Monday, January 14, 2008

"Watch out for that Pot-..."

That's about all I hear before slamming our poor car into yet another pothole. Corey is old eagle eyes when it comes to spotting them, I on the other hand hardly notice their existence. If I do notice them I either notice too late to go around them or try my hardest to miss them and wind up in one of two places, straddling the center line headed for the pretty lights or dangerously close to the ditch. Both of those places aren't really my favorite so I instead chose to hold my breath and hang on, I mean really, they aren't that deep and what's the worst that can happen?

I learned this past weekend what one of the nicer of the worsts that can happen was. It was a rainy day (gasp, shock, horror - rain? in Chilliwack? Never? Always you say? Hmmm) and we were pluggin' along on our way to my folks place. I drive this particular road almost daily as the office that I work in happens to be in their newly renovated and particularly spacious and lovely basement. This day didn't seem any different except that I had Corey in the back seat keeping Bethy happy. We're pluggin' along and then I see it, it's that pothole, the one I try to avoid each trip and usually wind up nicking. It seemed a little larger than normal but I figured, "Hey, what's the worst that can happen?" and also maybe "Meh, I'm too lazy to go around it today." and took 'er straight on.

A few seconds later I noticed something very amiss with our dear car. No, my tire didn't blow. And no there wasn't a huge chunk of asphalt stuck to the undercarriage, but there was a vibration. Normally I would say a "slight" vibration, but this was not a slight anything. In fact it was bad enough that Corey noticed it and I felt as though I'd sat in one of those massage chairs that had malfunctioned on high.

We initially feared the worst, a bent rim or maybe I'd split a belt, and I'm not referring to the one on my pants. Inside your radial tire are a series of metal belts that are meant to keep your tire perfectly round all the time. These are as opposed to the old tires that would form a flat spot when left in park for any period of time.* When there is enough trauma done to a tire one of these lovely belts can split and cause your tire to be misshapen, thus causing a vibration or worse. We called the tire shop and Wally our "Tire Hero" (he's like the Wizard of Oz of Tires) and he told us to get in to see him as soon as we could but not to worry it was probably a balance issue. For a second I couldn't quite understand, "A balance problem? There are four tires, all on the ground, doesn't that mean they're balanced?" In fact it's more technical and boring but basically there are weights on your rims that if shaken up or changed cause the tires to become unbalanced. I don't know what they're balancing but this is where I say "Whatevah!"

We hopped back into our new Silver JACKHAMMER and headed for Fountain Tire, where we found the problem. The car was out, wait for it, are you ready...a whole 1.5oz! Can you believe it? I can't believe we weren't driving around looking like Fred Flintstone with one of those ribs hanging on the side of the car. That amount is less than the first bottles Bethany consumed. And yet enough to rattle your brains. Wally fixed us up, sent us on our smoothly ridin' way and all was again right and soggy in our world.

I learned a very important lesson on Saturday. If you are driving and you hit one of these

And it feels more like you've hit one of these
It might make you out of balance by this much
Consequently making you feel as though you've transformed your vehicle into one of these
Lesson learned, drive around potholes, at all costs, "What's the worst that could happen?"

*I don't actually know all this stuff about tires. I totally married a mechanic and I'm just repeating what he said.*


bethany actually said...

Ha. I liked your disclaimer. :-)

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry Ashley,
I am sooo guilty of exactly what Corey tells you all to often... I am always on poor John's case about the pot holes, and he is so like you, in it is ok once in a while, it won't hurt anything. I am an eagle eye when it comes to pot holes, I guess it really did wear off onto Corey. I love your take on the pothole pictures and the storie... God bless you all...
Love Mom

Kami said...

Oh no! In the spring we have the hugest pot holes ever, this could totally happen to me.

Glad it just needed a balance for that whole ounce and half!


Anonymous said...

You are such a funny "author" WRITE A BOOK MY DEAR. You have a gift Sweetie.

Love ya...

rachel z said...

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rachel z said...

I meant to say, email me and I'll send you an invite to my blog, to see who I am. I'm a mom of 2 boys, 3.5 & 1.5, living in Abbotsford.