Locking Lugnuts. For some reason, every time I say that out loud, I think of Annie exclaiming, “Leapin’ Lizards!” It would certainly be an apt exclamation in this case….
It was a rough week. Do you ever feel like you just have a black cloud over your head?!
On Monday, I was driving home from the store with my daughter when my stomach began to rumble. I was feeling a little sick, so we decided to stop so I could use the bathroom. After that, it was homeward – as fast as possible!
We drove two and a half miles and turned a corner when the car began to imitate a shake-weight commercial. Uh oh.
Incidentally, when we turned the corner, I was able to pull into a parking lot. In fact, I was pretty familiar with that parking lot. It was at the business that fired me back in January! Coincidence? (Well, yes, of course it’s a coincidence. There’s no such thing as a cursed place. There’s no such thing there’s no such thing!)
Well, I called my hubby and he came to pick us up. He monkeyed with the car – jiggled cords and checked the oil – and then determined that we would have to leave it and call a tow truck. (Duh)
My stomach started to rumble again. Oh boy. I really needed to get home.
At last, while he called the roadside assistance number, he drove us home to drop us off. My stomach didn’t settle down until the next day and I was really worried that “bad gas” might be the problem.
I had just put gas in at a station right next to (and downhill from) a place that had burned to the ground a couple days before. The fire department had spent hours spraying it with water, to no avail. Additionally, we’d had monsoon rains a day or so before that. I Googled – because Google knows – and it said that if there was a crack in the underground tank, that a lot of water in the area could seep into the tank. Google, that genius, also said that one of the symptoms of “bad gas” in the car was “The Hippy Hippy Shake”. Sure enough, my car (I named her Fiona) was acting like Speed Buggy having a panic attack.
That settled it. I knew we were doomed. I continued searching Google. Those repairs could cost hundreds – even thousands of dollars! I was ready to call Fox News and The Ellen Show. I just knew the repairs were going to cost more than the car!
Finally, the call came. The moment I was dreading. “What’d you find?” I sat down so that I’d be ok.
She said it was a temperature gauge for the cylinder and that it was less than $200.
LESS THAN $200! I thought I’d won the lottery! I asked her to also do a recall and to replace my horn, which would be charged to a warranty. I was elated. What a relief.
I picked up Fiona on Friday. I missed her! I was so happy. I put on my “Bumpin’” Playlist, opened the sunroof and bounced all the way home. Sweet.
Now, when I got home, I decided to update my iTunes. Nothing remarkable happened. Typical boring Friday night at my house.
Saturday, I got up and decided I wanted to update some of my playlists. I discovered that 300 of my songs were “missing”. Weird.
I called iTunes. **As a side note – if you ever have to call iTunes – they are amazing! They are easy to understand, you don’t wait on hold forever, and they usually solve the problem.
Except Saturday, they didn’t.
I was on the phone for an hour and a half and they could not figure it out.
So, at 4:30, I decided to leave and go to church. I’ve been attending the 5pm service on Saturday because I hate getting out of bed on Sunday morning. I figured I had enough time to go to the ATM and get some cash for the offering plate and then get to the service.
The ATM was out of order.
Ok, so I give double next week.
So, I had a few thoughts at this point.
My first thought was not sharable. Haha
My second thought was, “Hey, that’s pretty cool that it dings enough to let me know there’s actually something that needs immediate attention.”
My third thought was, “Satan doesn’t want me to go to church. I refuse to lose this battle!”
So, I looked at the tire. I could make it around the corner to church. Once I got there, I called my husband and told him that I needed air. I asked if he could come fill it while I was in church. He agreed.
So, after church, I went outside and my husband was there working on the tire. The hole was so big that he could put a finger in it! So he aired it up and followed me to a garage that could mend the tire.
When we got there, the worker asked if the car had locking lug nuts. And this is where the whole thing went downhill in a hurry!
I said, “Yes, I know they couldn’t find the tool last time, so I will go find it.”
As I was looking, my husband pulled into the parking lot. “YOU WOULD KNOW IF YOU HAD LOCKING LUG NUTS!” He said forcefully. So, I tossed the bubble-wrapped thing that I was holding onto the seat. It was small and round and I figured it must be an extra lightbulb.
The garage crew pulled the car in.
“It does have locking lug nuts. Do you know where the tool is?”
They searched my car. My husband complained about the idiocy of the whole concept. Lug nuts that cannot be removed except with this special tool. No garage keeps this tool around. It comes with your car. The auto-parts stores don’t carry it. You have to get it from the dealership.
Who was the last to take the tires off? This same garage was. Oh no, had they lost the tool?!
They tried everything. No luck.
So we wheeled poor crippled Fiona back to the parking lot with just enough air in the tire to take her to the dealership where she would have to spend the long Memorial Day weekend.
Now, by this point, I was still not convinced that the tool was not inside the car. Sure, lots of people had assured me that they had looked everywhere. That there was nothing. But I didn’t buy it.
So, in the parking lot; I began to look.
“WE HAVE TO HURRY TO THE DEALERSHIP!!” My husband yelled. (Why? Did the garage use the last of their air? I was cranky and snarky.)
Fine. So I drove to the dealership.
After parking Fiona in a nice shady spot, I began to gather my things. As I picked up my sweater, I saw the bubble-wrapped item that I had tossed to the seat earlier – thinking it was a lightbulb. I decided to unwrap it.
At this point, you would think I would have been super-excited, right? I was so mad I could barely see.
I TOLD him that I knew where the tool was. I TOLD him it was in bubble wrap. I HAD IT IN MY HAND. But he insisted that we didn’t have locking lug nuts.
I drove back to the garage. I wanted to have a mutiny.
I said, “Are you sure the tire can even be fixed?”
They said, “Oh yes.”
Fifteen minutes later we were picking out new tires.
So, $350 and two new tires later, the garage handed a sporty Fiona back to me. I took her shopping. We bought small ziplock bags and put the tool into a nice little see-through bag. Then we bought a pouch to put a lot of the stuff from the glove box and console into a nice organized place.
On the way home I cranked the bass up so loud that I didn’t hear my phone when my husband called to ask me to pick up food for him.
Ooops. Maybe next time.