Wednesday, February 24

Happy F*!%ing Birthday to me

I woke up this morning at work at 6:31. It was a little before my watch alarm went off. Typically, these last 30 minutes in the shift are spent cleaning the truck (giving it an external and internal bath) and gathering my belongings. At 6:55 I went to my car and started it, scraped the frost of the windows and got in to drive home. No sooner had I left the parking lot of the ambulance base when I noticed something was NOT right. The car seemed to be driving a little low on the passenger side of the vehicle and was making a weird noise. Immediately I knew, beyond shred of doubt, that I had a flat or almost flat tire. I pulled into the closest parking lot I could find, grabbed my mini portable air compressor and got out of the vehicle to inspect the damage.

With fear and reluctance, I walked to the passenger side of Pedro (my Grand Prix) and assessed the damage. The tire...definitely flat. I hooked up the air compressor and began to fill the tire. I started to see little bubbles of air beading out through the tread. Crap! I knew I would need to suck it up and buy new tires for the front end of my car. It took my tiny little pump half an hour to fill the sad, flat tire - all the while I was very thankful to have my bright, chartreuse paramedic coat on to keep out the cold air. When I got home I had already decided I needed to buy tires immediately for Pedro. I checked around for prices on line and found some cheaper ones at Active Green and Ross here in town. I called up and booked an immediate appointment.

I pulled into the parking lot for Active Green and Ross (herewith called AGR) at 9:26. I went in, chatted with the man at the counter, got a good deal on my tires and went to the pet store to wait 30 more minutes to get the tires changed. My bill was estimated at a little over $300. When I returned from the pet store, the associate behind the counter was looking at me with a sullen expression on his face. Our conversation went like this:

"How long have you had this car?" He asked.
"Since August," I replied.
"You need a tie rod."
"I just had one replaced in November to safety the car."
"It was not replaced."
"No much is this going to cost me?"

He brought out the paperwork and I cringed in disgust. He told me he couldn't let me leave without the following procedures because the car was not safe - it would be against the law to let me leave there.

On the paperwork:

2 tires @ $125/tire, 1 tie rod @ $130, alignment @ $80, 3 hours of labour @ $80/hr, additional fees and taxes. Adds up to over $600. Not what I wanted to spend on my car today, not what I wanted to spend on my birthday. This sudden increase in car fees means that unfortunately, buying a Pomeranian is no longer feasible. So, the thing that I have wanted for WAY too long is not going to happen because of Pedro coming down with a tire/tie rod/alignment problem....arg arg arg!!

Pictures of Pedro for your viewing pleasure

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