Last Thursday night, I was driving home from Silverlake after drinks (Cha Cha Lounge--$1.50 happy hour Pabst!), more drinks (Silverlake Wine Shop winetasting night-$12 for 3 generous half-glasses of syrah) and dinner (Gingergrass; a semi-authentic, hipster-filled Vietnamese spot with a big selection of summer rolls) and driving along Glendale Blvd towards the 101 onramp when BOOM! phiissshhhhh...fuh-lump, fuh-lump, fuh-lump.
I flew over a giant pothole! Giant, as in I could have laid down in it with my futon.
It was 11pm and I was thisclose to the freeway and my bed, that I was tempted to carry on driving but thought I should inspect the damage before driving 80 mph for 30 more miles.
Darn. My front right tire was a sorry saggy puddle, the metal rim of my wheel was bent up and my hubcap had bounced off. I thudded to the nearest gas station and attempted to pump air into my tire in vain. The air was whizzing out of the hole as fast as I was filling the tire.
Changing my tire was the last thing I wanted to do at 11pm in a semi-sketchy area of town so yes, I actually fished around my car to find an old plastic shopping bag and bits of paper to try and 'plug' up the hole. Stuffing my wheel with rubbish from my back seat didn't work (surprise) so I decided to make a house-call to my brother who's apt. is only a few blocks away. I remembered to backtrack along Glendale Blvd. so I could pick up my missing hubcap along the way.
Back at my brother's apt, I changed my tire, and by that, I mean, I diligently held the flashlight for my brother's roommate and friend while they changed my tire (thanks heaps Matt and Tony!!). The stubborn lug nuts sealed tightly with grease took a while to loosen and the ghetto handcrank-style jack that came with my car also posed problems so it probably took a good hour to put on the spare.
Finally! Just after midnight, Matt tightened the last screw and I ceremoniously took out my flyaway hubcab to pop it back in....when Matt goes "um, there's a Toyota logo on your hubcap..."
I own a VW Beetle.
How did I get the wrong hubcap? I picked up the first (and only) hubcap I saw during my drive-by. How was I to suspect there'd be a bevy of hubcap casulties along Glendale Blvd?
I woke up early the next morning to drive by the same two block stretch along Glendale Blvd between Bellevue & Temple when A-Ha! I found my lone hubcap near a sewer grate about 10 ft from the pothole. blocking morning rush-hour traffic, I pull my car to the side and run out to fetch a...Alfa Romeo hubcap?!
If you are an Alfa Romeo or Toyota owner who accidently picked up a VW hubcap when looking for yours, please email me to arrange a hubcap exchange! (I was so flustered by the abundance of hubcaps, that I forgot to take them out of my car and back onto the Glendale curb for the rightful owners to pick them up--and for that, I apologize.)
Until then, I'll be the one driving around in a ghetto-fab looking VW Beetle with an exposed, slow-leaking right front tire.