What was that about an omen?

What a great start to the new year! The kids got off to school after break with no problems this morning, and I made it out the door early as well. I hop in my car, and notice that it’s cranky after sitting around for almost two weeks. I pull it out of the garage slowly to give it a few minutes to warm up, when I realize the car doesn’t feel right, like it’s slumped over. I hop out to have a look…

And see the left front tire is flat. The screw I ran over is sitting right there staring at me too, just the head sticking out of the side of the tire.

$&@#!

I throw the trunk open and dig out the spare tire and jack. I stick the jack under the front bumper and slowly crank it up, up, and up. There doesn’t seem to be much clearance for the tire, though. I double-check the instructions, and they say to put the jack elsewhere to properly lift the car.

$&@#!

But, since I’ve got it up here anyway, let’s see if I can wrestle the tire off as is. I go to take off the hubcap…

And discover that it’s locked with a special tool. One that I don’t have in the car.

$&@#!

I crank the car back down, go in the house to warm up, and consider getting it towed to a shop. Well, nobody’s going to be open yet – it’s not even 9 am – so I go to give the car another try.

This time, I pull the car back into the garage, so it’s on level ground. I also put the jack in the documented position. This time, the car goes up quicker, and it looks like I’ll have clearance. I take a look at the jack to make sure it’s balanced and level…

And see that the rusting underbody of the car is starting to collapse around the jack head.

All together now…

$&@#!

Crank the car back down, throw all the crap tools in the yard, go back in the house again, thaw out (did I mention that it’s below freezing out there?)… call the insurance folks to confirm the procedure for getting the car towed…

And now I’m waiting for a tow truck to pick up the car so I can get a new tire installed by people that have the right tools and a heated work space.

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