Fix-A-Flat is a damn good product. We found this out on Interstate 10 between a little town called Kent, TX and Las Cruces, NM. We were attempting to celebrate my 43rd in December since we are unable to at its actual date in Feb. The weather was windy and cold, neither of us was feeling well and now, on this long drive from Houston, a sensor was saying one tire had low pressure. This was bad since I filled all the tires with air the day before. But perhaps it was just so cold that the tires, especially that special one, were losing pressure quickly.
We stopped at a gas station in West Texas, climbed out into the blustery nastiness and used our air compressor to refill the bastard tire and check the others. Relieved that the sensor went off, we continued. Not far from that station however, the sensor came back on. So we pulled into another gas station in Kent, TX and inspected the tire which was now hissing at us, making it clear that it was not simply cold – there was a puncture.
I could barley breathe a word without decrying the miserable wind and cold. Gassing up was dreadful. Filthy, freezing restrooms were equally as dreadful. And the stress of driving was exacerbated by the high winds pushing the car around and keeping things unpredictable. Walking through water best described my level of energy for the entire drive. Tammy was just getting over a stomach bug and not quite her squirrely self. We were simply not what the Great Jollyhoombah is about. What the hell was going on?
Now, this asinine tire. We were freezing as the sun began to set in the middle of the West Texas desert. As I looked at the tire with great contempt, I remembered that I threw a can of Fix-A-Flat in the trunk left over from our trade-in on this vehicle. Tammy read the directions and I connected the can to the valve stem. In the gunk went and worked its magic within a few moments.
Then we realized we had 200 miles to El Paso which was still an hour from Las Cruces. Our options were to call AAA and grow old together out there, put the doughnut on and stay under 50 mph for the remainder (you can do the math), or put Fix-A-Flat to the test. Perhaps it would get us to a town or maybe even El Paso. So I drove the next hundred miles or so in constant fear that the tire might blow leaving us on the side of Interstate 10, in the dark desert to be mugged and stabbed or flattened by an 18-wheeler while putting the spare on.
Terror faded into silent fatigue and eventually into hope. 200 miles to El Paso, 177, 140, 112, 84, and then as we drove through the city with hazards flashing, we decided to go all the way much like Kramer and the car salesman in the Seinfeld episode where they kept going to see how far on empty they could make it.
A Discount Tire sat a top the hill at our exit. We’d been joking about how nice it would be if there was a Discount Tire near by the hotel. This one was in walking distance. As we checked into the hotel, the lobby was empty. The jolly host took pity on us and upgraded our stay to the executive suite on the top floor with a mountain view for the same rate. In the morning we walked out to the car with the Discount Tire associate and found the tire to be in perfect position for him to find the screw in the tire instantly. Since they had us in their system from previous encounters in our home town Houston, they sealed and patched tire for free.
Have you any such stories that demonstrate the juxtaposition of life’s highs and lows in your own life?