I was about 3 blocks from home, getting ready to turn onto the interstate when the car seemed to act funny. I pulled over and saw there was a flat tire. Bummer. But, across the street was a Car2Go!! Back when they first came to Seattle, they had free signups so I signed up. But, I'd never used it before.
I dug out my card and grabbed my swim stuff, hopped into the Car2Go and off I went!! The Car2Go has the same engine and same transmission as my own car (confirmed by the mechanic) but the Car2Go felt way peppier and more responsive. Weird. And fun to drive. I enjoyed the experience.
I got to the pool only a few minutes late and went in to swim. I managed to get in a full 2,000 yards and it was great!! I had planned to stay for class because I assumed Montrel, the regular instructor, would be teaching and no way could I sneak out on him - it would hurt his feelings. BUT, turns out Montrel is out today and next Saturday. The sub is a fine guy but he wouldn't care if I split so I did.
And... a good thing too, cause when I got out of the shower and dressed and ready to deal with the flat, I discovered that my Car2Go session hadn't ended!!! The deal with Car2Go is that you pay by the minute. So my intent was to end my trip before getting in the pool and then start a new one to get back to my car. Instead, I rented the car for the entire time I was in the pool. PHUCK. By the time I got back to my car, I had frittered away $38.
I pulled in behind my car and finally ended the stupid Car2Go trip successfully and locked it up and got into my car only to realize that both were parked illegally. Oh and I'd left my water bottle in Car2Go.
I sat in my car and tried to call Smart Car roadside assistance. Got nowhere. I tried that for about 30 minutes. Either they disconnected me or the connection was so bad, if they had come on the line I couldn't have hear them anyway, or they disconnected me again...
So then I called a tire place. They didn't have towing and were very nice but couldn't do anything for me. Then I called the Mercedes dealership. They told me to call roadside assistance. They gave me the number which I got wrong and after trying two variations and getting wrong numbers gave up. Then I dug out an old folder from that dealership and saw a different roadside assistance number and called it and actually got a guy at the dealership who said he'd send a technician right out!! Score!
I was actually only a mile from the dealership. Oh and I should mention that the Smart Car has no spare tire. It has some air you can blow into a flat but no spare. I wasn't sure where the air was and wasn't about to try that anyway.
While I waited for the technician, I started up another Car2Go trip to move the sucker across the street to a legal parking spot. And get my water bottle. And then I waited. But not long.
The technician arrived - cutest guy in the world. He got out his fancy portable blower and blew me up. We could both, instantly see the gouge in the tire. BUT, he said he thought he could blow me enough (yeah, yeah, I get the hahahaha) to get to the shop. So that's what we did.
I got to the dealership where it was warm, with a nice ladies room, free coffee, free bottled water, and lots of people interested in helping me. They even have a fire place in the waiting area. One guy told me that it was looking like in addition to a new tire I would also need a new rim that they didn't have any of in stock. Nice. Oh well.
Pretty soon a guy came out with a clipboard for me to sign. New tire. $190. I said fine and signed. And waited. Not too long, actually. Then they came and told me my car was getting washed and would be ready soon. Washed!!! Yeah! Turned out it was only $170. Rim was fine. Tire guaranteed. Car washed AND vacuumed!!
When I got home I wrote a short entry about the good and bad of my first Car2Go experience and within minutes I got a Tweet from the Car2Go people who were very sympathetic and said I'd hear from Car2GoSeattle on Monday. So maybe they'll give me a little refund. I was at least impressed at their responsiveness on a Saturday.
Oh and then when I got home, by the time I got up here to my apartment, I was in full blown asthma attack mode. I hadn't had an attack like that in a couple of years!! Between my rescue inhaler, water and just sitting down and being quiet for a bit, the attack backed off.
What a day.
It really, though, could have been so much worse. I could have not had the Car2Go membership ready. I could have left that card at home. I could have been totally stranded. I could have had to pee badly. The dealership could have been closed or too busy. They could have been out of tires. I could have had other plans that were a problem to interrupt or postpone.
All's fine. I hate paying the $170 but at least I have it and it's not more. I'm home, warm and happy and I have food in the fridge which I'm going to eat now because I am starving!!!!
p.s. They kept asking me at the dealership if I had hit any potholes recently. Seattle is FULL of potholes - especially down here in my part of town. I kept telling them that I live in Seattle so the answers were yes and often.
BUT, then I remembered... coming home from somewhere yesterday - the pool maybe? probably - I turned wrong and BANGED into the curb instead of gliding into the driveway. I'll becha that's exactly what did it.