I’m halfway up the block this morning, on my way to Starbucks for my Saturday Mocha, when I detect the unmistakable repetitive knock of something solid embedded in one of the Sentra’s tires. I pull over to have a look and quickly locate a half-penny nail, the business end of which is unseen, having buried itself rather nicely into the right rear radial.


Of course, this being November in Seattle, I had the odious pleasure of changing the tire in the pouring rain. I’ve lived here most of my life, so I had no fear of melting; It’s just that I hadn’t even had my coffee yet. Flats should always occur after one has had one’s coffee.

Anyway, an hour or so later, adequately caffeinated and desirous of getting rid of the humorous little donut tire I was forced to install (note to self: purchase full-size spare for Sentra), I called up our local Les Schwab and got Ken. Ken sounded like he was also well-caffeinated and informed me in half a second flat that it would their pleasure to repair my flat absolutely free of charge.


I drove the 30 or so blocks to Les Schwab acutely aware that donut spares will fly completely apart the precise moment the car exceeds 40 miles per hour*. With such vast and highly probable danger involved, it was no wonder to me that I was making the trip alone. I cued up Bad to the Bone on my iPod.

Everything went smoothly enough at the tire shop, I guess, except that I came to learn that when they are offering to do the work at no charge, they don’t exactly put a priority on said work. Should a young woman come in looking for an estimate on a full brake job, front and back, you will find yourself reading Auto Trader for an extra half hour. I ended up driving off their lot about an hour and fifteen minutes after I’d driven onto it. But my tire was good as new and I hadn’t spent a dime, so it's a fair enough trade off.

A few other things I learned during this particular excursion include:

♠ It’s silly to get your hopes up just because they’ve pulled your car into one of the garage bays. That doesn’t necessarily mean squat.

♠ Rows and rows of tires produce a smell that is absolutely repugnant. If you work in tires, you must get used to it the way farmers are used to cow shit.

♠ Some people will eat anything, including popcorn that by all evidence was popped yesterday.

♠ This guy with the exact same cell phone as me is working on a septic system and needed his buddy to leave some special coupling and bolts on the seat of the Ford.**

*That’s 64 kilometers per hour to the rest of the world.
**What? He was a loud guy! It’s not like I gave a crap.

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About kirkstarr

I draw pictures for a living.
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10 Responses to Nailed

  1. Well now I know why I don't usually wait at the tire place, unless someone prettier comes in. :)And the older I get, the more likely that will be happening.

  2. Kzinti says:

    And that's why AAA sells service to millions… LOL

  3. Red Mosquito says:

    at least it was free, that's cool.

  4. R.G. Ryan says:

    Uh, yeah…at the Sam's Club by my house in Las Vegas you actually have to walk past the racks (upon racks upon racks) of tires and the heinous stench to get out of the store. Once–and I am asking you to keep this between us–I actually experienced involuntary gagging as I hurried past.

  5. Dancing Bear says:

    Happy Ending. I never get off that easy. For some reason it is always my Rotors. My window won't open. "it's your rotors". My horn won't honk. "It's your rotors". They cost more I guess and I am the sucker that was born a minute ago. Glad you got to be wild on the donut.

  6. Jay says:

    At least you managed to avoid the standard $495.00 bill that I have come to suspect the government regulates as mandatory at every repair and body shop.Half-penny nail. Is that still a term used? Sounds rather Dickensian to me.

  7. Kirk says:

    "Half-penny nail. Is that still a term used? Sounds rather Dickensian to me."Well, it's still used by me! ;-)To be painfully honest, I use it incorrectly to mean a big-ass box nail. In actuality, a half-penny nail is rather small; I should have said "10-penny" nail. I have continually made this silly error as long as I have been talking about nails, which is longer than you might think.

  8. Jay says:

    Well, it's still used by me!Kirkensian.

  9. tom says:

    HAR! You don't give a crap about the guy installing the new septic system? HAR, again! It's that Kirkensian wit.I apologize. I walk in the other room for half a minute, and an eighth grader takes over my computer. Happy Tuesday.

  10. Kirk says:

    My, how I appreciate people who acknowledge puns, no matter how contrived they might be. Thanks!

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