Of all the ways to begin a day of driving, a flat tire is the worst.
Peter opened his front door, saw the Google Street View car with the prominent camera, and immediately noticed the flat on his passenger side front wheel. Not just a little low. Flat. As flat as Kyrie Irving’s view of the Earth.
“Great,” he muttered into his coffee cup. “That’ll get me started late.”
He set his coffee cup down and walked over to inspect the tire. He gave the tire as good a lookover as he could with it weighed into the curb. He couldn’t find the source of the leak, so he’d have to put the spare on, and take it to the shop.
So, Peter went to the trunk, opened it, and pulled out the tools. He wedged the jack under the car, and he started winding it up. Once he finished, he turned his attention to the tire itself. One crank on the lug nut, and the car rocked back, sending Peter scurrying into the yard to avoid heavy metal poisoning.
“Crap,” he said.
Again he placed the jack under the car and started winding. Again, he started to loosen the lug nut, and again the car toppled back, this time pinning his foot under the tire. Fortunately, his car wasn’t on the heavy end of the automobile scale, so he didn’t feel any broken bones or permanent foot damage. But still, he had an auto on his foot, and he needed to extricate himself from it.
He looked around for his phone, and he saw it just a few feet away. He stretched as far as he could, but his fingers wouldn’t reach it.
“No calling the toe truck, I guess,” he said, laughing at his own joke.
So he did the only thing he could do, he tugged away. Trying to stand up, he stretched out a few times before finally pulling his foot free. Once clear of the car, he decided to call roadside assistance and use their hydraulic jack.
One hour later, he was on the road with a doughnut on the wheel, heading to the auto shop. Another 30 minutes got him to the shop, and he lowered the camera before going inside.
“It’ll be an hour wait, but we’ll get to it as soon as possible,” the service writer said when Peter told him he needed a tire test.
“Well, at least there’s a McDonald’s in the parking lot,” Peter said. “I’ll go get some breakfast.”
So he walked across the parking lot, and pulled the door. It didn’t budge. Then he noticed a sign written with a magic marker on a broken-down cardboard box. “Lobby closed for remodel,” it said. “Drive thru only.”
He muttered some foul words, then walked back to the shop lobby. He poured himself some stale lobby coffee, mixed in two creamers, and sat down. Sipping his coffee, he watched the all-too-loud cable news broadcast detailing the latest argument between the President and a journalist trying (and succeeding) to make himself the story.
Eventually, the service writer returned.
“We found the leak, but we weren’t able to repair it,” he told Peter. “So we went ahead and put a new one on for you.”
Peter thanked him, took the keys,and went to the car. Now he would get a chance to drive his shift for the day, though he was getting a much later start than he hoped.
He put the camera back on top of the car, and opened up, and slid inside. Once he started the car, the gas light came on.
“Crap,” he said.
Fortunately, there was a gas station nearby. He crossed the street and pulled out his wallet. He reached for his gas card, and went to slide it into the reader, but the card slipped out of his hand and fell into the trash can next to the pump.
“This day just keeps getting better and better,” he said as he grabbed for the card, resting on top of a half-eaten, gas-station burrito.
However, when he grabbed for the card, he knocked it down into the trash can. He muttered a profanity, then plunged his hand into the can. He went up to his shoulder, feeling through a couple days worth of whatever people dump into gas-pump trash cans (he didn’t want to think about it, at all). Finally, he found his card, and with greasy, slimy fingers, he gingerly brought it back through the morass of trash, until he got it clear of the rim.
Card recovered, he now had to wipe off a moulage of mustard, grease, and what he only could hope was chocolate pudding. Fortunately, the curbside paper towel worked wonders, and the reader read his card.
Now four hours late to starting his driving day, Peter slammed the car door shut after filling his tank. He put the car in drive and darted forward. Distracted by his frustration, he failed to notice the other car backing out of a parking stall. It wasn’t a big collision, but once the other driver saw the Google car, he started waving around excitedly.
“You hit my car! You must pay for it,” said the driver of the other car.
“Sir, we hit each other,” Peter said, calmly. “Let’s exchange information and get on with our day.”
While the driver of the other car took pictures of his unscratched bumper, Peter noticed a swarm of teenagers taking selfies in front of the Google car.
Finally, the driver of the other car and Peter exchanged information, and the driver made a phone call. “Google is going to make me rich,” Peter heard the driver say as he closed the door.
Peter sauntered over to his own car, and looked at his own bumper. A little scratch was noticeable, but nothing major. Still, he would have to call it in, take photos, and get permission from the home office before he could drive it again. The process would take at least a day, so he started the car and headed home.
Doing his best Scarlett O’Hara impersonation, he sighed and said, “After all, tomorrow is another day.”
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I enjoyed the sprinkling of unexpected humor. A funny story with some nice imagery!
Glad you enjoyed it. I like to get feedback on my writing.