Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Are we Having Fun Yet

Our Fate
Just label me “Mr. Preparation”. Perhaps “Mr. Cautious”. -- Three days before we left on the great adventure, I took the car to the dealer for a pre-trip check-up. I asked that they look at the brakes, tires, fluids, etc. After we had consumed bad coffee and dry donuts in the waiting room for awhile, the mechanic came in and solemnly informed us that the front wheels had been out of alignment for a long time and had totally worn out the front tires. After a deep breath we OK’ed new tires on the front and alignment. This, plus all new juices in crucial joints and bearers, or wherever the go, came to a sum that would have handled three nights at a Super 8. Ouch!

The day we left we dilly-dallied because we had only a four hour drive to the motel where we were staying (in our old home town-one of many). As we drove into town we noticed a soft front tire. I tried to put air in it, but it wouldn’t take. It was ten past five, so in hopes that the Buick guy was open until five thirty, we hurried there. Big sign – Closed at 5:00 PM.

The next morning we were at the Buick place before they opened. They were sympathetic and took the car right away. We had explained we had to be at the Auto Train at 2PM for early boarding because we were those sinful sort of people that drive SUVs and must be loaded first. Back to stale coffee and rancid donuts. Finally, the service manager took us to our car and showed us the soft tire. There was an industrial size staple stuck through that portion of the tire which can’t be repaired with a plug. The previous repair had put the old, “good” pair of tires on the front and that was where the staple was. More bad luck, he did not have a matching tire in stock and he had called around and no one in town had one. Yes, he did have a matching pair.

We arrived at the Auto Train loading station before two o’clock, having traveled only 250 miles from home and already purchased four new tires not included in our planned budget. That was what I would label a disasterous start, but I am easily touched by money matters.

There goes "Goody Four Shoes" on board now

1 comment:

Marilyn said...

A staple, huh? My parents were once visiting us in Portland...and as I was driving the four of us through downtown Portland en route to a lovely brunch, we suddenly heard one of the front tires make a horrible noise...but my father was riding shotgun and neither of us had seen any sort of pothole in the road. We drove to the restaurant, parked the car, got out to check the tire...and found a huge BOLT protruding from it. So that Sunday it was a fancy brunch...followed by tire shopping...