|These are not happy tears of laughter.|
I just feel so naive, even if it was a mere two days before the Unfortunate Wheel Incident. But I hold strongly on the idea that I had posited before rewriting this intro: whomever owned this car before us gave not one shit as to whether or not it was cared for. Every time a problem was resolved, another one would perk its little head up: if the blinker sound wasn't going off, the A/C wouldn't work. If the coolant wasn't leaking, our windshield wipers stopped functioning. I mean, what in the absolute hell.
Anyway, it wasn't always the previous owner that fucked the car up. Other times, it was supposed Good Samaritans that go apeshit on the trunk.
When Three was working forty-five minutes away from Small Town, TN, he had to drive on a very long stretch of interstate that had very few commuters on it, particularly at the times that he used it (he worked night shift ... most of the time ... when his schedule wasn't being jacked up by incompetent bosses). On one such trip home, suddenly, one of the rear tires blew*. Frustrated, Three jumped out of the car to get the spare from the trunk, and lo and behold, the spare was flat, too. We did have Good Sam coverage (like AAA, but a local company that actually had better services for much less money), but unfortunately, he had no signal on the highway. Not that it would have mattered, anyway, because his phone was close to dead. Three wasn't sure what he was going to do, but he took a deep breath and stared at the just-dawn sky.
Luckily - or was it - a mechanic was on his way to work when he saw Three on the side of the road, and the lovely gentleman had an air pump in his truck.
If it had stopped there, I would not even be writing this. It would have been one of those "cool story, bro" things that I tell my mom to prove to her that we're fine. But oh, no, it wasn't about to just end that way. Three has a habit of placing his keys on the latch whenever he has to get anything out of the trunk (which is a lot), both as a way to make sure he doesn't lose his keys and also so he doesn't have to reopen the trunk if it were to accidentally close. Once the newly filled spare was on Fancy and the blown tire was secure, the mechanic went to shut the trunk and couldn't figure out why it wasn't closing. Instead of, you know, thinking and examining the situation a little more closely, he kept trying to close it, slamming it harder and harder, and finally decided that, hey, it's just out of alignment, let me jerk it from side to side (?????). What's even more annoying is that he continued to do this as Three pleaded for him to stop, finally having to jump in and grab the guy's arm. And, like a self-fulfilling prophecy out of a Star Wars prequel, the trunk was now out of alignment and refused to shut. In a huff, the mechanic left, pissed that Three wasn't as grateful as he should have been, and Three was forced to remove the string from his hoodie to tie the trunk into place.
That quick fix didn't last long, so every now and then the trunk would just pop open. And by every now and then, I mean all the damned time. So we'd have to pull over and slam it down, hoping that, this time, it would just stay that way. Three eventually put some bungee cords to good use, but when we'd go over bumps (or just randomly at other times), it would creak open and bounce around as we drove. We actually turned it into a little betting game, where the loser had to put a penny in a jar: we'd see an obstacle or dip or turn (or whatever, really) and bet whether or not it would make the trunk unlatch. Lemons into lemonade, I guess.
But, as I said in IHtWLwC, Part XII, we no longer have this problem. Honestly, I kind of miss those days. You know, having a car and everything. I really hope we get this figured out soon.
* Tires are Three's vehicular boon. Somehow, some way, he always seems to suffer from some sort of tire malady. In the four years we've been married, we've had to buy more tires than I have in my entire life. And a lot of times, it was to replace tires that we had just purchased.