Flat Tire Adventure At Costco – Part One & Two
Not too long ago I awoke to the realization that I was boxed in by an illegally parked car. Thank the goodness I had the day off otherwise I would have a late incident would have been written up and put into my permanent record. Yes, I work in a place that treats you like you’re in school – complete with balloons and everything.
Around noon, the jag off that boxed me in decided to move his illegally parked car and I thought to myself (probably out loud as well, as I have a tendency of speaking my thoughts along with sing narrating my life), “Swell, I’ll move my truck to a closer spot.” I get into the truck start ‘er up and start to drive it when I heard: THUD THUD THUD THUD.
I call Triple A and they said they’d be around in 90 minutes, I agree with this timeframe, as I have nowhere to go. I go downstairs and see “Crazy Joe” looming around the mailbox. I tell him what happened and he grumbled something about something. I don’t really know because I wasn’t paying attention really. Triple A arrives and I go outside to greet him and he looks over the flattened tire. He asks me if I have a shovel as the jack will slide around on the snow covered surface. Crazy Joe hears this and tells me there’s a shovel in the basement. I look at Crazy Joe and say, “Right on.” and trek to get the shovel.
The shovel was a crooked type and I don’t mind telling you it was a treasure to use. The snowy slush cleared away effortlessly. I asked the nice Triple A man if he needed any more shoveled and he replied no. I start to shovel around the truck anyway because that shovel was the shiznit, as the kids on the streets said circa 1995.
The man asked me where the spare was and I pointed underneath the truck. He asked me where the tool was for the spare.
“What tool?” I asked.
“The tool or key to unlock the spare.”
“There’s a tool for that?”
“Yes, you need it to unlock it.”
“You don’t know where it is?”
“I didn’t even know I had it.”
“Well you need it to get to the spare.”
“Doesn’t it just spin to unlock it or something?”
“No. There’s a tool for it.”
He then tells me he can put air in the tire and see if it will hold up. I decide to take this opportunity to return the awesome shovel from where I got it from. Crazy Joe muttered something and I looked at him and said, “Right on.” and headed back to the tire.
The man said that the tire deflated again rather quickly and that the tire is no good and I would have to be towed.
“Where are you going to tow me?” I asked.
“Wherever you want to go.”
“Even Costco in Hackensack?”
“Yes even Costco in Hackensack.”
“Hey wait a minute.”
“No YOU wait a minute!”
“Sorry, force of habit.”
“Is this 4WD?”
“Yes it is, why?”
“I can’t tow it. I’m going to have to call a flat bed.”
I then let my ADD take over and start to play around with my phone. After a few minutes, the man asked me if I want to wait in the truck with him. I look at him a little leery about his request and he must have caught onto it because he then said, “Because it’s cold outside.”
A little relieved, that there wasn’t going to be an incident where I would have to show the policeman where he touched me on a doll, I got into the truck.
The flat bed arrives and the best thing in the whole wide world happened.
A little person climbed out.
It was like Christmas Part Deux for me.
The two men have a short exchange and then hook my truck up to the flat bed. Excited, I approach the little person and say with utter glee, “I’m going to Costco to get a new tire because these are under warranty for 60 months. Can I get in with you?” He looked at me much like I looked at the first man that came for the flat and said, “Yeah, get in.”
We’re driving and I decide to start up a conversation with him.
“Soooooooooooo, how long have you been doing this?” I asked. Unfortunately, he wants nothing to do with my eagerness and answers, “About 20 years.” curtly. Not to be thwarted by this, I carry on.
“Hey, do you know my cousin Ken?”
“Who?” He asks.
“My cousin Ken. He owned Unique Towing.”
“There’s so many towing companies out there now it’s hard to keep up.”
“He doesn’t live here any more. He moved out west about 15 years ago.”
“Sure is cold out there today.” I say trying to make small talk (no pun intended)
“Do you want me to roll my window up?” He asked.
“No I’m okay. Thanks though.”
A few more minutes pass by and something unexpected happened – he rolled up his window and started to open up.
“Now I’m a little cold.” He says.
He goes on to tell me about his stepson being lazy and shiftless and he doesn’t want to do anything except stay up all night, sleep all day and play on the computer. He said he can’t yell at him because it’s not his son, only his step song. I listen to him speak with elbows on my knees and hands resting on my chin. He then tells me that his step son just joined the Coast Guard so even if he wanted to say something, he couldn’t. He drops me off at Costco and I become a little saddened that my adventure with the little person had ended. I gave him a tip and for a split second thought about hugging him. I decided against it and shook his hand. He drove off and I never saw him again.
I walk inside the tire center and the man behind the counter greets me. After a moment of telling him my tale of woe, I realized the man behind the counter was a stutterer. This day just keeps getting better and better.
He tells me that the tire is still under warranty (60 months – can’t beat it) and that it will be a two and a half hour wait. It took him a few minutes to spit out that sentence, but I didn’t mind one bit. Stuck at Costco for an eternity I learned that you would never starve inside that place. They have sample stations strewn throughout the warehouse. The samples included:
Popcorners – chips made out of popcorn
BBQ chicken salad
Smoked SteelHead Trout served on a cracker – turns out it’s just a smoked freshwater salmon
Mini Rice Cakes with chocolate swirly things on top
Mini Meatballs in a red sauce
Some Kind of Soup
An orange slushy drink
I think that’s it. I can’t really remember anymore but I know I did buy a hot dog.
After eating, I found myself a comfty chair and sat there reading Stephen King’s latest book, Full Dark, No Stars – a book comprising of four short stories.
After awhile (I think at one point I actually fell asleep) I decide to check on my truck. It’s now been three hours and surely they are done. Although the stutterer was gone, a new man advised they couldn’t fix the tire and they had to replace it. I signed the paperwork and paid him $10.69 for the new tire. Apparently, you have to pay the sales tax on a tire that’s still under warranty. I look at my watch, which read 5:00 PM EDT. My five-hour adventure has now concluded. I drove home belching all the way.