Monday, August 24, 2009

Way to Start Another Week

As I was leaving work today I had to swerve to miss a fellow Discovery employee who stopped short in front of me. I believe he was avoiding one of a thousand pedestrians who completely ignore the "Walk" and more importantly the "Don't Walk" signals in front of our building's exit since the city of Silver Spring has transferred the entire Metro Bus depot to our building's curb while they renovate. As I swerved I heard the worst grinding noise on my rear passenger side tire. Crap.

I drove about a mile to a safe parking lot and assessed the damage. A very large and deep gouge was what I saw, in the deepest part of the gouge I could see the metal tread of the tire. I'm no mechanic but I figured that can't be good. I decide, since the tire had not yet lost any pressure, I would push my luck and head for home at a respectable speed in the slow lane of the highway. I call my Dad on the way home and he suggests I go to Costco's Tire Center to get it replaced before it goes flat.

When I arrive at Costco I park the car and head inside, my stomach churning about the money I'm going to have spend all because I misjudged the width of my car. As I look around at the racks of tires I'm focusing on the prices. Michelin and BF Goodrich, OK, all of the tires had prices in the $65-$100 range. I'm feeling better since I drive a 2000 Honda Accord Coupe I must be at the low end of these tire prices. I mean, it's not like I'm driving an X5 (BMW SUV for those of you not in the know). Kevin, the tire supervisor, calls me to the desk and asks what the problem is. I lead him to my car and show him my mangled tire. "Oh yeah, that needs to be replaced. How did you do that?"

At this point I would like to clarify that I am actually an excellent driver. In my 13 years of driving not even a speeding ticket. I've been rear-ended twice since living here but that was not my doing.

I tell Kevin how it happened, he laughs and we walk inside to check out how much these tires cost. He grabs a clip board with line after line of numbers, now I'm nervous, I didn't notice this mysterious clip board when I made my first estimate. Finally his finger lands on $175. $175 PER tire?!?! I ask him how that can possibly be, he replies "your car has Michelin performance tires". WHAT? My little 2000 Honda Accord Coupe is a PERFORMANCE vehicle? Please.

I promptly ask for their knock off brand tire. Kevin replies "We don't do knock offs. This is Costco." Oh really? When did Costco become Sax Fifth Avenue? I'm pretty sure I come here to buy my Kirkland Chicken because it is a hell of a lot cheaper than Perdue. Anyway, Kevin looks into another book and finds a similar BF Goodrich tire that would work for $75. Sold.

As I'm waiting on the bench outside while they pull my car into a bay it hits me, man I wish I had a camera. And as I possess the world's only Blackberry that is camera-free I'm out of luck. Maybe my man Kevin has a camera phone. Yes he does.

We head to the bay and Kevin jumps into the tire graveyard to retrieve my disposed of tire. As we assess the gouge on the car-free tire we notice something else interesting. An enormous nail through the inside of the tire! OK, so this tire was just begging to be put down, now I feel better about having to replace it.

Hard to see in this picture but the gouge is down towards the bottom.

Top of the enormous nail.

How I feel about having to spend part of Monday evening at Costco Tire Center.
(My car is the black one to the right, Accord's must be having a rough tire day.)

They actually had my tire changed in about 35 minutes so I really can't complain. It's just that when I'm at Costco I'd rather be checking out the designer purses at wholesale prices - not tires.



L. Blackwell Photography said...

This post sounds something I would write...with my car luck. did you make Kevin take the posed picture of you? You are too funny!!

Natalie Blanchard Brock said...

Yes, Kevin did take the pictures but it was his first time using the camera function on his phone so I had to walk him through it step by step.

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