A Charm City Caper

Dear Wesley,

I bet that you’re slightly confused about the events that led to you being brought to Nana and Poppy’s house for an impromptu sleepover on Saturday night. Especially after Mommy and Daddy left you for most of the morning while we were off getting our Christmas tree. So as not to somehow leave you scarred and with something to point the finger at when you’re telling future girlfriends how your parents screwed you up, here’s how the story really went down.

It’s a big year for your Auntie Amy- she turned 30, and invited friends and family to come and help her celebrate with her in Baltimore. Mommy and Daddy tried to get you booked at the puppy spa, so that we could partake in all of the festivities, but we waited too late for a holiday weekend and were forced to only join the gang for dinner.

The day started off innocently enough, even though you seemed plenty confused when we had to move your crate to another part of the family room to accommodate this new evergreen resident. You don’t seem to remember the Christmas Tree from when you were a new puppy, when you spent a great deal of the month of December either a: biting it or b: peeing on it. This year, we were ready and had the exercise pen up for a protective perimeter right away.

You were thrilled with the addition of foliage to our living area, and have spent a great deal of your free time since then trying to convince us that tree water will aid your constitution. We’re not buying it, kiddo.

After we spent some time doing some initial holiday decorating, Mommy and Daddy got spiffed up, promised that Nana would come see you soon, and headed out for an evening of celebrating. We had every intention of being home by 11 that night, and knew that you’d be in good hands with Nana.

Fate, it seems, had other, more sinister ideas.

We arrived down in Baltimore uneventfully, keeping ourselves in the holiday mood by listening to some Christmas music and talking about the busy month that December was shaping up to be. Likewise, we headed into the city with Aunt Amy and her current “steady” and found a great parking space within a block of our restaurant.

Dinner was fun and full of laughs, and we were really glad that we were able to share the celebration with Amy, who was your Mommy’s maid of honor when she and Daddy made you legitimate.

We parted ways with the group around 9pm, and it looked like we were going to have an earlier night than planned. When we got back to Mommy’s car, we saw that our plans were going to take a turn- Mommy’s back tire was totally flat, on a main drag in Baltimore.

Daddy wanted to change the tire right there, but Mommy nagged him to let her drive it into a side street and away from the traffic. We managed to get into an alley and park illegally next to a fire hydrant, but there were mounted police nearby and they didn’t have an issue with us changing a tire there.

Even though a flat tire was an inconvenience, Daddy is an old pro at changing tires and was unconcerned with the mechanics of it. He had the dummy tire out and the car jacked up in no time, and handed Mommy the lug nuts one at a time. Then he pulled —

— and pulled—-

— and pulled—-

And the tire WOULD NOT COME OFF.

A generous passer-by stopped and offered to help, and Daddy explained the predicament. Together, the two men tried to pull the tire off. They didn’t have any luck. At this point, the mounted police took an interest in what was going on and came to investigate. One of the men jumped down and tried to help remove the flat tire, but it was stuck fast.

(Before you ask, Wesley, the car WAS jacked up, all 4 lug nuts were off and the E-Brake was not on. This mother-humping tire had just been torqued too tightly when Mommy got new tires in February.)

The female mounted police officer decided at this point to prove that she had a bigger penis than Daddy and the male police officer, and offered to shoot the tire off. She was a show off. Don’t be like that, puppy.

Fortunately, our good luck hadn’t run out yet, and another generous passerby brought over his portable air pump. The plan: hope that we had a slow leak and we could get enough air in the tire to make it part of the way home. We were optimistic! We were coming home to you, and not too late! We were….. hearing the air hiss out of the tire when the pump stopped. We were shit out of luck.

Air Pump Guy pointed us in the direction of a gas station a block away that also had a service center attached, and we drove over there. Of course, said service station wasn’t open at 10:00pm on a Saturday, and there wasn’t even someone manning the little attached convenience store. We were well and truly screwed, with no way to get home. Our fellow party-goers had ridden into the city WITH US, so they had no way to get us home, and they were also… well, partying. Probably not the most helpful in a crisis.

Mommy called information in search of a towing or emergency tire service, and that’s the turning point as to when things started getting REALLY weird. Information connected her to a “service”…. That was someone’s personal answering machine. Each of the other two numbers she had turned out to be duds as well. Mommy and Daddy were well and truly screwed. They’d called Nana and Poppy, and let them know that you needed to be taken care of, because they were more than likely not getting out of the city that night.

One thing that is very true about your parents: they’re level-headed and good at thinking on their feet. Mommy had seen a hotel two blocks away, and she realized that a front desk clerk would more than likely be able to give them some options for getting her car fixed. They could also get a room, and at least get some sleep. Because they were in the city for Auntie Amy’s party, Mommy had her cutesy clutch purse that carries approximately nothing. They had to make an emergency stop at a CVS for some basic toiletries (yet managed to forget a comb and hair ties) and some trusty Tylenol PM.

Another block of walking (and thanking their lucky stars that Mommy wore flats and that her foot is basically back to normal), and they were checking in to a lovely hotel right on the water in Inner Harbor. Had they been there in any other circumstances, it would have been tres romantic. As it was, the girl at the front desk was NOT helpful at locating a towing service, and Mommy went right for the phone book.

There it was: the number for a 24-hour emergency service that would come out and fix a flat, etc. We called, spoke to a nice man and were told they’d be at the car in 20 minutes. Back out into the Baltimore night we went, and met the very friendly Peter* at Mommy’s car. He assured us that he’d knock that tire off in a jiffy, and we’d have no trouble getting to a tire shop first thing.

(At this point, Mommy was very smart [re:PARANOID] and took a picture of this nice man’s car and his license plate. Just in case. She has watched way too much “Dateline”. She also talked to Nana and heard what a good boy you were being at your sleepover.)

He started removing the lug nuts that Daddy had screwed back on before we drove the car to the gas station… and he couldn’t get one off. He used his electric screw-remover device**, and that one would not budge. The screw was stripped. Things were getting better and BETTER. Not to worry, he assured us. He’d just knock the tire off and use the weight of the car to pop that lug nut off.

Once it became clear that wasn’t an option (though the tire did pop loose after he banged it repeatedly with a mallet, it was still connected by one screw), he switched to plan B: Locate and plug the leak.

Now Wesley, trying to find a tire puncture at 1am in Downtown Baltimore is like… well, damned if I know what it’s like. It SUCKS. Every time one of us thought we’d located the puncture, a car would drive by with its music blasting and throw us completely off. Or some drunken club-goers would have a dramatic fight. Or Kourtney Kardashian would end up pregnant. Either way? It was NOT an easy task.

The ensuing process lasted another two hours, until he finally decided that, No. He couldn’t find the leak, and couldn’t get the nut off. It would need to be cut off. He’d meet back up with us in the morning and get us to a garage that could help. Once again, we put enough air into the tire so that we could drive it to our hotel garage, and avoid getting towed. We were stuck for the night.

*End: Part The First*

*Names have been changed to protect whoever whatever just get us out of the city ok?

**- Txtingmrdarcy Technical Term

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4 thoughts on “A Charm City Caper

  1. Oh my gosh, what a pain!!! Enjoyable to read about, though. Is it sad that, when I was reading this, all I kept thinking was, “You got a surprise night out with your husband?! AND you get to sleep in the next day?!”

    This is your brain on kids, my friend. When a flat tire and necessary night out at a hotel can seem like the BEST THING TO EVER HAPPEN.

  2. Pingback: Eleven Things « Txting Mr Darcy

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