• Friday the 13th’s child is apparently bad luck, if you’re a 1994 Pontiac Sunbird.

    Laura has taken Kyle out three, possibly four times in her car, the aforementioned 1994 Pontiac Sunbird. On two of those occasions, we had to have the car towed.

    On Wednesday of last week, after bringing Kyle to see me at work, Laura found herself at an intersection in a car that would not go. The car 1I used to call my 1980 Chevy Malibu—which was totaled on Groundhog’s Day, 1995—”Puff the Tragic Wagon,” and I would transfer the name to Laura’s car, but I don’t … Continue reading would start, but stalled as soon as she put it in gear. Laura called the police and a cruiser shortly arrived to push her out of the intersection. AAA sent a tow truck to transport the car to our mechanic, and one torque control convertor, two front stabilizers, a couple of transmission hoses, two front rotors, four brake pads, one oil change, two days and six hundred junior bacon cheeseburgers later, Laura had her little blue sedan back.

    Now it is today. Laura ran some errands with Kyle in tow. 2Actually, he was in a car seat. At the insurance agent’s office, she noticed that the car appeared to be… leaking. She drove a (very) short way to Panera Bread for a late lunch and called me. I advised her not to move the car anymore and drove out to meet her and assess the situation. By the time I arrived it looked as though Laura had parked on top of a hobo; the ground beneath the driver’s side tire was soaked with transmission fluid.

    One tow truck later…

    By the time we got to the mechanic, they were long since closed, but they know the car will be waiting for them in the morning. I’m hoping it’s just a hose, and I’m hoping that they’ll just fix it and send us on our way without requiring additional junior bacon cheeseburgers. After all, the car certainly wasn’t leaking transmission fluid before they fixed the transmission.

    Perhaps Friday’s child is attempting to do away with the 1994 Pontiac Sunbird, fearing that it might pass into his possession on 13 January 2022. If that’s the case, it strongly suggests that his telekinetic powers are already quite well developed.

    Where did I put that damn midi-chlorian count tester?

    1 I used to call my 1980 Chevy Malibu—which was totaled on Groundhog’s Day, 1995—”Puff the Tragic Wagon,” and I would transfer the name to Laura’s car, but I don’t want to incur any more unfortunate vehicular woes.
    2 Actually, he was in a car seat.
  • New Claws for the Tiger


    Okay, so comparing the MVoD to a tiger is probably a bit of a stretch. Nonetheless, after having driven for more than 43,000 miles without rotating the tires once, I discovered that the front tires were nearing bald, while the back tires were still in pretty reasonable shape. It’s all about the tread, you understand. It’s measured in thirty-seconds of an inch, and when you can count those fractions on one hand, it’s time for some new tires.

    We had something of a reprieve from the Hideous Hand of Old Man Winter last week, when temperatures soared into the 60’s. Most snow in the area that was not piled up into hideous, filth-and-trash-encrusted mounds in the parking lot of Target had melted. Previous experience with slippery roads and driveways had kept the need for new tires fresh in my mind, though, so I visited an establishment whose very business is the vending and installation of round rubber.

    Alas, the fellow I talked to on Monday assured that the only tire in stock compatible with the MVoD was some sort of bleeding edge über tire, and that other tires could be ordered, but would take three to five days to arrive. When he attempted to order tires that weren’t sent back from the future to destroy my bank account, his efforts were thwarted by the fact that the Office of Tire Ordering was closed for the holidays. On the third of January.

    The Old Man turned his attention back to us once more yesterday, and it snowed pretty much all day, making driving conditions rather hazardous. Last night, as I inched my way along a very slippery and unpleasant 271 North, I watched a vehicle behind me suddenly veer to the left, spin out of control, slide across three lanes of traffic and come to a stop in the snow-covered grassy knoll separating the express lanes from something resembling sanity. Über tires it shall be, I thought, and (slowly) returned to the vendor and installer of the same.

    I was met by a different fellow, who assured me that not only were the über tires not in stock, but every other tire of size P215/70R15 was. Amazing. In two days, the stock had completely inverted. I picked out a very nice pair of Michelin Symmetry radials. They have a slightly lower DEX than the über tires, but are comparable in both STR and CON. They are also about a double sawbuck cheaper per tire. With new claws installed (in about thirty minutes), my tiger definitely has a better grip on the road, and I’m less likely to be the next guy making an unscheduled stop in a snowbank.

    Five paragraphs about getting new tires installed. Why would anyone still be reading at this point? Why am I still writing at this point?