: the flat :

image153It was a cold and stormy night. Wait, sorry, that’s a lie. It wasn’t cold and it wasn’t stormy, either, but it was night. And dark as pitch. Late, too, well past midnight. So what was I doing rocketing along the interstate so late at night? Well, if you must know, I was on my way to work.

Maybe it’s just me, but have you ever noticed how creepy highways are when traffic is scarce? Every car, and there are precious few at that hour in this sleepy little burg, seems sinister. They can only be up to no good, right? Right.

Imagine my alarm then when I heard the first thump against my car. It was jarring, startling even, and I jumped. Almost immediately the distinctive sound of splashy, wobbly, uninflated tire filled the car. Great, I thought, I could pull over here and wait for an escaped murderer to come to my ‘aid’. Or I could drive on and ruin the rim.

I drove on.

For three or four miles I rode on the rim, half of it interstate. The loud grinding noise, and the occasional whappity whap, drowned out the radio, yes, but did not deter me. I drove until I reached the safety of the brightly lit parking lot at work. Men will be horrified, women will understand.

Both the tow truck driver and the mechanic at the service station looked nauseous when I related my adventure. My boss, a woman, looked relieved.

As for me, I was amazed. Stunned, actually. I mean, who knew work could be a place of refuge? I didn’t, not even in my wildest dreams. I always thought of work as penance — something we had to do, the price we paid for being atop the food chain. I suddenly saw work in a brand new and redemptive light. It was disorienting to say the least.

It wasn’t until later, as I retold the story for the umpteenth time, that I realized work hadn’t saved me. No. Work is why I was out on the road in the first place. Work was still the problem, not the solution. With that thought, order returned to the universe and all was right with the world.

Have a nice day : )

Copyright © publikworks 2012

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14 Responses to “: the flat :”

  1. John

    Glad you are OK!! A blowout can certainly cause loss of control. I completely understand a woman wanting to continue on to a safe location to stop. I applaud your decision! :)

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    • publikworks

      Thanks, John. In the final analysis, the rim wasn’t damaged at all, so everything is fine. Well, everything but the tire. It’s a goner — shredded to bits : (

      Like

  2. nevercontrary

    I do the exact same thing. And if a cop tried to pull me over in the middle of the night in the middle of an empty road I would not pull over until safe lights and people were around either. Can’t trust the night.

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    • publikworks

      I’m with you, nc. I’ve probably seen too many episodes of America’s Most Wanted and 48 Hours Mystery. Even so, the world is a creepy, lonely place in the middle of the night. I like bright places and crowds of people.

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  3. writerdood

    Yes, I agree. When highways are vacant, it’s just plain weird. I remember hitting one at 3 in the morning once – a family vacation that started WAY to early. And there was no one on the road. First time I’d ever seen that, and it was bizarre. Your imagination runs wild, and virtually anything might appear around the next turn. A hitch-hiking clown with a bowie knife. A semi truck covered with satanic symbols. A herd of flaming swine running across the road. Anything…

    But nothing happens.
    Usually…

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    • publikworks

      That’s what I was counting on — nothing happening. But as you astutely observed, there’s always that ‘usually.’

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  4. Lenore Diane

    Did I ever tell you about the time I drove to get a friend at the airport – blew a tire on the way to the airport. Changed the tire. Picked up friend. Drove home from the airport – blew a tire. No spare. Did I tell you that story? Hmm… yes, well, it happened. It was dark, too. The tow-truck driver was nice, though I was nervous – very nervous.
    Glad you made it safely to work and – I assume – home again.

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    • publikworks

      No, you never told me that story. I’m deeply impressed you can change a tire, LD. I can’t. Not in a million years. I don’t even know where the jack is. Or what to do with it if I did find it. You’re my hero.

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  5. suzymarie56

    Bad news about the tyre, but thank goodness you’re ok! I think I’d have done the same, I’ve seen too many films where somebody flashes their lights on the highway for them to pull over and then they turn out to be a murderer. Not good for the times when you’re actually on your own on a highway.

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    • publikworks

      Hey, suzymarie. My post probably would’ve been much more entertaining if I’d pulled over and waited for a good samaritan to come to my aid, but I’ll only go so far for the sake of my blog, you know? Plus, I’m not anxious to be the lead story on the evening news. Not yet, anyway.

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  6. Jackie Cangro

    I ride the subway to work every day, but still I know how you feel. Sometimes just getting to work is an adventure. Glad that you survived this particular adventure unscathed.

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    • publikworks

      Hi, Jackie! You’re right, getting to work is an adventure. No matter how you get there. The subway has to have its share of drama, too, right?

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