After spending two plus days at the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, you can imagine the pressure I felt to come back and post something funny. I thought about it the whole way home. I even half-hoped my family would provide some fodder when I walked in the door.
I was so deep in thought that I barely heard, then subsequently ignored, the low fwap-fwap-fwap sound coming from somewhere behind me as I neared the end of the drive.
My hopes for humor-inducing minor catastrophe were dashed when I walked in to a pretty picked up looking house. Shoot.
Twenty minutes later, I was out the door again, on my way to the gas station/theatre class/soccer game/church. If there was a fwap-fwap-fwap going on, I didn't hear it. But as we pulled on to the highway, there was a very loud POPSLAP!
"What was that?" Annie asked.
"I don't know." I shook my head and kept driving.
There was no more fwap-fwap-fwap. But there was a loud and getting louder gruuuuund-gruuuuuund-gruuuuuuund. I looked around for some beater of a car driving by that could be making that ruckus. No luck. By this time it was clear that I -- or at least my car -- was the source of the ruckus. I didn't really want to pull over on the side of the highway, so I put my flashers on and slowly drove to the nearest exit, just around the bend.
That's when I noticed the bluish-black smoke and started to smell something burning. Had I lost my tailpipe? Was the radiator dragging? Was the engine on fire?
Now off the highway, I pulled over to the side of the road, turned off the car and braced myself for what I might find.
That bluish-black smoke? Does "burn rubber" mean anything to you? Oh yes, ladies and gentlemen, fwap-fwap-fwap, POPSLAP and gruuuuund-gruuuuuund-gruuuuuund are the sounds of a leaking, exploding, and finally shredding tire.
I am happy to report that I did NOT cry. I did what any other blogger/recent attendee of the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop would do. I raised my eyes to the heavens, laughed at the knowledge that Erma was putting me to the test, and started taking pictures.
(No, I don't think Erma Bombeck has the power to cause my tire to shred. I'm sure she put God up to it.)
After I was finished taking pictures, it was time to find the spare tire. I was pretty sure it was in the trunk -- under my luggage from the conference, my CPAP machine, the earth-friendly grocery bags, the extra fabric from Annie's $100 uniform skirt, the pair of shoes I meant to take back to Old Navy last fall, two Christmas gifts I knew I bought but couldn't find in December, three blankets in case we ever got stranded on the side of the road in the wintertime, and the body of Jimmy Hoffa.
Just after I moved all that stuff to the inside of the car and before I could figure out if our AAA membership is still active, a big maroon truck pulled up behind me and a guy asked if I needed help. After quickly reasoning that he wouldn't kill me in front of my children, I said sure.
Ten minutes and some small talk as I waved oncoming cars to the other lane later, I was on my way. Thanks to Darrell of the big maroon truck for coming to my rescue.
And thanks to Erma for helping me laugh about it.