No, seriously. Listen:
On my way home, the car suddenly started to go... ka-thunk. And lo, a little thought bubble appeared over my head, and within the thought bubble was the highly onomatopoetic:
And, you know, ka-thunk? Not a happy sound. I got home and proceeded to run around the car in search of the flat tire.
...which did not exist.
*thought bubble changes from "ka-thunk?" to "erf?"*
And then I saw it - a big industrial nail, residing like a punk-rock piercing in my rear passenger tire.
I called docorion, as we had planned a phone date at 1:00 that I was now going to have to reschedule. He assured me that the tire could likely be safely patched, and I was off to Sears.
At Sears, the woman said "Eighteen dollars," and I said "Peachy keen!" - and then she went to examine the tire.
And she said "Um."
And I said "Um?"
And she pointed out the little cracks in the tire - and the way bigger cracks in its partner.
And we determined from the relative age and the Korean tire names that these were actually the (2000) car's original tires; and she told me she could patch it if that's what I wanted, but you know... it might be time.
And I looked up at the windows advertising the major tire sale and said "Yeah, I think it is."
Lucky Thing #1: Catching this before the tires went explodey, which... might have happened sooner rather than later.
Lucky Thing #2: Baby, it's payday.
Lucky Thing #3: Sale!
And verily, she hooked me up with two B.F. Goodrich tires for like $40 each and balanced 'em and threw in rotation for free and stuff. And when she asked for my cell phone number and I told her I didn't have one, she asked if I was going to the (attached) mall, and I said sure, and she asked if I would like a coupon, and I told her I would love one.
Lucky Thing #4: Coupon! $5 off a pretty pair of earrings - Chanukah gift #7 for Elayna. :)
I still had time after shopping for Elayna. With effort - and the knowledge that at home I had a 30%-off coupon for this weekend so there was no sense in buying stuff there now - I resisted Waldenbooks, and sat down on a bench to write.
I have been very writing-resistant lately - a combination of hitting Stuff in my head with nanosong and just holiday timecrunch, wherein the timecrunch makes me feel like I ought to be cleaning the house for my mother even though it'll never be good enough for her anyway. So when I'm home, I'm always talking myself into doing Grown-Up Stuff like laundry and filing and spreadsheets.
Away from home now.
Lucky Thing #5: Enforced writing time!
After a bit of first-person Julia musing, it was time to pick up the car. Not enough time to go to the house, but perfect timing to get gas before picking up Miss Kid. Which is good, because I always forget to get gas until the warning light comes on.
Lucky Thing #6: Remembering to get gas/getting a good price/not having to wait for a pump.
I still arrived at her school early. I thought about staying outside and writing, but Julia's scene had really come to a natural end - so I went in.
Which turned out to be very lucky for Elayna... whose friend had found out that morning that she was going to the museum/IMAX theater after school and would be allowed to bring one friend, but who feared she'd be unable to get anyone at such short notice. Cue her good friend Elayna's mama walking through the door with no afternoon plans...
Lucky thing #7: An afternoon at Fernbank Museum, and Mystery of the Nile. For free.
I highly recommend Mystery of the Nile, by the way. It made me want to go whitewater rafting. Except I'd rather not deal with crocodiles. And the kids loved it. And Elayna's friend happens to actually be from Cairo (lots of international students at her school, due to the visiting-professor thing at the nearby university), so she told Elayna *lots* about Egypt. And all of the parents (each of Elayna's friend's little brothers also brought a friend + parent) were cool, too.
And none of it would've happened if I hadn't driven over a nail. :) Safer car, tires on sale, happened on payday, discount on gift, writing time, museum trip, et cetera.