Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Flat Tire Fiasco

Yesterday, the Island King was on his way home from a photo shoot in Panama City Beach when he heard a weird tick tick sound coming from the back of the truck.

He thought something might be stuck to a tire but then he heard a woof woof sound that quickly turned into a clunk bumble clunk sound.

Damn, flat tire.

He was on Hwy 98 but was out in no man's land between Panama City and Destin so he pulled over but quickly realized he didn't want to change a tire on the side of a busy highway.

He walked along the side of the road for about 50 yards and found an old road leading up into the woods that he could pull off onto so he limped the truck along the edge of Hwy 98 and down onto the old road.

Where he took a picture of the tire and sent it to me.

 Wow. He's lucky that didn't turn into a bad wreck.

He called to tell me that he was going to change the tire but that was going to take a while because he didn't have the tool needed to get the spare out from under the truck

"You don't have the tool you need to get the spare out?"

"But you do have a jack and lug wrench right?"

 "Well, yeah, I have a jack that I bought at a yard sale but I'll need to find some logs to use with it."

I couldn't believe what I was hearing. He doesn't have the tool needed to get the spare and he has a jack that requires logs to help prop the truck up?

You cannot imagine how many man points he lost with that sentence.

I went off on a tangent about how dangerous it would be to jack his truck up with a jack that requires logs to help it and he tells me he'll call me back.

A few minutes later he calls back. He's crawled under the truck and can see how to get the spare off and has found a tool in the back of his truck that will work but he doesn't know which way to turn it.

I asked if he looked at the manual and he gets a little testy and tells me that not only has he looked at the manual but also at the Chiltons he has and he can't find the answer.

Has he never heard "righty tighty - lefty loosey"?

Then he says that while he was looking at the manual he saw a page about the jack being under the back seat but he can't figure out how to get the seat to move.

I Google it and tell him that on page 17 of his manual is a picture of the compartment the jack lives in and that he needs to find a strap connected to the back seat and tug on it.

He hangs up and then sends me these pictures.

 He pulled the strap, popped the seat up and was amazed to find the tool needed to release the spare, the jack and the lug wrench.

Six years he's owned this truck and never knew any of this.

More 'Man Points' lost.

But at least now he doesn't need to go find a log to use with his garage sale jack.

Excellent! Change the tire and come home.

A few minutes later I get this picture.

Spare tire is off but doesn't look good. 

 Not good at all.

It's been an hour since the tire blew and the next picture I get is this one.

So I call him to find out what is taking so long and he tells me this is hard work. 


A few minutes go by and this picture comes in.

Lug nuts are completely rusted on and he can't get them loose.

He then calls and tells me he's gotten 3 nuts loose but that every time he gets one loose he goes flying backwards and then says "I hurt myself every time and have to recover."

I couldn't help myself and said "By the time you got to the 3rd one didn’t you know that was going to happen?"

"Yes but I don't know when and now that I know it’s going to happen and I know it’s probably going to hurt, I’m scared."

All man points are gone and I'm laughing pretty hard at him.

So he sends me this.

The music in this video is not staged at all. It happened to be playing but I don't think I could have picked anything better. His flying backwards isn't staged either and I have to admit that I felt bad after watching it because he did seem to be landing pretty hard.

The next phone call is him asking me to get on Google Earth and find out how far the nearest store is because he wants a beer and is willing to walk - even though he hurt his bad knee one of the times he got flung off the lug wrench.

"Fix the tire and come home!"

Another picture comes in.

With a message that says he found a street sign and will probably be able to get the last nut off with that.

A street sign? Have you ever, anywhere, anytime, heard of anyone using a street sign to change a tire with?

Me neither.

So I called him and he tells me that he went looking for something long to get some torque on the nut and found this street sign laying in the bushes and that it's notched in a way that he believes he can use it to get the nut off.

Right here I need to explain a few things.

1. I have AAA but he doesn't (long story) which means I have to be present to call them to come tow the truck home.

2. The engine in my van has been completely disassembled and is sitting in a bucket in my MIL's driveway (even longer story) so I have no car to come out there in.

Now, he calls me back twenty minutes later and tells me to borrow my SIL's van and come out there and bring a long pipe.

He's also going to walk to the store for a beer and will wait there for me to pick him up.

Apparently, the street sign didn't work (surprise!) and he tried the lug wrench one last time and the wrench slipped off the nut, sending him flying through the air - again.

He landed on his back and says as he was laying on the ground, leg throbbing, bruised and hurt, all he could do was look at the sky and think "Really?"

It's now been 4 hours since the tire went bad.

 I borrow her van and drive 45 minutes to the store near his truck.

I pull through the parking lot but don't see him so I parked and went inside.

The clerk can tell I'm looking for something so she asks if she can help me and I said "I'm supposed to meet my husband here. His truck broke down. Weird looking guy"

Before the clerk can respond a female customer said "Does he have a hat?"

I nodded and she said "There's a weird looking guy standing on the side of the building"

I love that I can describe my husband as the weird looking guy and people know exactly who I'm talking about.

We drove to his truck and I started to call AAA.

Because we're in the middle of nowhere and I know it's going to be quite a while before a tow truck can get to us.

And because it's now dark and I'm kind of over this whole tire thing.


He spends another ten minutes trying to get the nut off. The long pipe gives him the torque he needs but instead of popping the nut it bent the lug wrench like a pretzel.

He then decides he wants to go to Walmart - which is twenty minutes down the road and buy a different kind of wrench.

Off we go and once we get to Walmart he's over in the tool department trying to figure out how to make $50 worth of tools do what he wants while I went straight to the tire department and found a $15  four way lug wrench that was exactly what he needed.

He wasn't happy that I came up with the idea of going to the tire department to look for a tire tool but he's been trying to use logs and street signs all afternoon so I really felt like it was time for me to step in.

He's not real happy and I'm gloating as we pay and are getting ready to leave when all of a sudden he grabs his crotch and yells "Oh No!" in a really panicked voice and then turns around and runs to the bathroom.

I have no idea what is happening but it's 8:00 at night, we haven't had dinner, the kids are at home waiting for us, the tire went flat HOURS ago and still isn't off the truck and now I think the Island King has wet his pants.

I managed to stumble to a bench near the door but I was laughing so hard people were staring at me.

I tried to get up and go outside but I thought I might wet my pants too if I stood up so all I could do was sit there laughing like the village idiot.

He finally comes out and tells me this...

"I felt cold air on my $@^% and for a moment I thought I had not zipped up my pants and that it had fallen out and I was walking through Walmart with my $@^% hanging out."

That was too much for me and down I went, right in the middle of the Walmart parking lot.

I couldn't even breathe I was laughing so hard.

Turns out that's not what happened and a complicated underwear story followed.

Back to the truck we go and he starts again trying to get the nut off with his new wrench.

Do I have to tell you that it didn't work?

Exactly five hours after the fiasco begins I call AAA.

They take my information and within a couple of minutes AAA calls me back. The man starts rattling off all of my info and then asks what time I will get to me.

I tell him that I am me and that I'm already here.

He realizes he's called me instead of the tow truck company so he laughs and tells me that he'll call them and then call me back with an ETA.

Moments later the phone rings again and again he immediately starts saying the same thing over again.

I tell him that he's called me again and bless his heart he was so embarrassed and promised to get his numbers right and that he'd call me back.

Fifteen minutes go by and he calls back to tell me that a tow truck should get to us in about 25 minutes.

Sure enough, about 25 minutes later the tow truck rolled in and hooked us up.

We got home at 12:38 - 10 hours after the tire blew - and the tire is still on the truck.

How often does a blown tire turn into an event of this proportion?
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