As soon as I saw the hickey, I should have known how the rest of the transaction would go. I needed to replace a tire on my car. I bought the tire on tire rack and had it shipped to an NTB five miles from my house. Even with $18 shipping, the tire was still $50 less than what NTB wanted for it. All they had to do was put the thing on.
The guy who initially waited on me had a hickey on his neck. It has been so long since I’ve seen one of those things, I’d literally forgotten that they existed (much like the time I was reading plays at the Alley that were submitted by teens for a summer program, and one of the plays mentioned “fingering,” which is a concept that you sort of forget about once you start having the sex) (not that fingers are never used again, just that they are part of a larger piece of work rather than the destination, so to speak).
So the hickey guy asked me – in front of other customers – “Why did you buy your tire from Tire Rack instead of directly from us?” I told him about the whole price thing. In other words, I gave Tire Rack a free commercial in front of tire customers because hickey guy asked a dumb question he should have known the answer to. You know, since he works at a tire place. Maybe a better response would have been, “Because I have access to a computer, the internet and a debit card.”
It takes a good hour and a half for them to finally get to my car, though they pulled it into a bay right away. I like to keep an eye on things, so I made phone calls and stood in the parking lot (and 100 degree heat) to watch my car. For an hour and a half. Lucky I did because a) I got to see the lovely bird at the top of this post in the field next to the parking lot and b) they jacked up the wrong side of my car as if to replace the wrong tire. I had to go up to the guy to let him know it was the other fucking side. Sigh.
So I stood out there, talking to Tohner and then James and then my dad. Then I noticed one of the guys screwing a lug nut onto my car (without the tire having been put back on) and then taking the lug nut over to another guy. Obviously there’s a problem. I get off the phone, and they tell me that one of my lug nuts got stuck in the…lug nut remover (I don’t know what it’s called). When the guy beat on the machine with a hammer, the lug nut went flying.
Yeah? So what? So what that means is, they lost the lug nut. Oh, but they have another one. Sure, it’s longer than the rest of my lug nuts, but it’s pretty much the same otherwise. I suggest to the guy who lost my nut that we take a gander at the floor of the garage to see if we can find it. My car is only two years old, so I’m still sort of into it having matching parts. The duct tape and praying comes later. This search turns into me crawling on hands and knees around a dirty garage with my ass crack showing, and then standing up and hitting my head on a car that is jacked up to head-hitting level while sweat is pouring down my back and pooling in my bra. For fuck’s sake. Still no lug nut.
Two hours have passed at this point, and I just want to get out of there. So they go to put the mismatched lug nut on my car with promises to buy me a new one after I (gently) demanded they repalce the one they lost. The guy who lost the lug nut said, “Okay, I’ll pay for it. But I didn’t have to be honest with you.” I suggested to him that honesty should be a given in a business transaction and should not be something that you get a cookie for. Then I remembered where I was in time/history/location, we had a good laugh and moved on. At this point the lug nut replacer realizes that, hey, there’s already a mis-matched lug nut on this same fucking tire! So they’re getting all smug like ha ha, you already have one lug nut that doesn’t match, you can’t get mad at us. Uh, yeah I can. Because since I bought this car, I’ve only taken it to NTB to have the tires rotated and replaced. So that means one of those fuckers replaced one of my lug nuts at some point in the past two years but didn’t tell me.
They’re buying me two new lug nuts, but until they can be replaced I’ll have to drive with mismatched nuts.
I think if you added up every single time I’ve uttered/written the words “lug nut” prior to today, it would not equal the number of times I’ve used them in this post.