Happy 4th of July!!!   Independence Day.  To celebrate, I had my first holiday blowout.  A tire blowout.  It could not have been more fun.

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I was driving along singing to an original Broadway Cast Production of Aida with the barfing dog in the back and suddenly I heard a noise that did not sound like Adam Pascal singing.  Damn.  I pulled over and there was a very large metal object sticking straight out of my right rear tire.  It sorta looked like I had installed those spikes on my tires like they used to have on Roman chariots. That would have been cool.  Unfortunately I had a big flat tire which was so not cool.   And as a special added bonus to my day, my 100 lb dog had just barfed not once but twice in the back seat.  I pulled over to the side of the road (luckily there was a shoulder) and called AAA. Turns out they can’t come on the Saw Mill Parkway (don’t know why) but they called a county police officer who called a tow truck.

A tow truck finally came and changed the tire.  Before that some guy pulled over and asked me what was wrong.  He said he would change the tire for me, but I told him I already have a tow truck on the way.  He seemed nice enough, but I’ve seen enough TV shows to know that he was probably a serial killer.  It’s times like that when I’m glad I have a 100lb dog with me.  Isn’t that terrible?  One can no longer trust the kindness of strangers.  (If in fact he was going to be kind and not chop me up into little pieces and throw me into the woods.)

And then to top it off, one tow truck with an official “westchester.gov” address on the back showed up and the man was very nice, afraid of the dog and said he could change the tire.  He was almost done when ANOTHER tow truck showed up and the 2nd guy started saying that the first guy shouldn’t have helped me because HE was the truck that was dispatched by the county police.  I just wanted to get out of there.  I found out later from my sister and brother-in-law that Westchester County (that’s the one north of  the Bronx for all of you getting your maps out) has these “help” trucks that patrol the highways and help people with flat tires, cars that overheat, etc.

It was all very creepy and I’m just really glad it was in the middle of the afternoon and not the middle of the night.  My cell was barely getting reception up there.  Thank goodness my sister was available to meet me, take my doggie and all my stuff and bring it home with her while I went to a Sears Automotive place and got the tire changed.   It took 3 hours and cost me much more than the $156.00 for the new tire since I spent those 3 hours at the mall.  (I hate shopping and I hate malls, but I had no choice I had to shop.)

But I learned quite a bit!   I now know where the spare tire is on my car, how to get to it, where the special thingy is to take off the one lug nut on the tire that is “locked”, what a lug nut is, not to drive 70 mph with a doughnut instead of a real tire and, most importantly, that I can take care of myself even though I wanted to cry.

So Happy 4th of July to everyone.  I got me some independence today.  I learned how to get a flat tire changed!

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