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Life is a picnic!

Life is a picnic!

Travelling with me is always an adventure! On May 26th, Kim, my mom and I headed out to Sussex, NB, so that Different Folk could do a gig. The gig went really well, and we headed back home. The drive takes about three hours, and two hours into it we heard a strange noise. It turned out that one of my rear tires had blown. This was on the side of the Hanwell Road on the way out of Fredericton. We were able to get back to a gas station that we had just passed so that we would have a little bit of light.

I called CAA to have them come change my tire. I was told that it would take about an hour for them to come. We had to unload all of our sound gear from the trunk since that is where the spare tire is kept. We went ahead and did that right away.

The owner of the venue where we had just played our gig had really liked our playing, so she had sent us home with an ultimate chocolate cake and a rhubarb custard pie. We decided that waiting for the CAA guy was a perfect time for us to have a little picnic. Nothing like a dessert picnic at 1am on the side of the road! It was a pleasant way to spend the 20 minutes that it took for the CAA guy to arrive, although as we were sitting in the parking lot eating, the lights at the gas station went off. They were on a timer, and I guess it was time!

I am sure that all bands have these kinds of stories, and I wish that mine ended here. On Sunday I drove to town to teach and then borrowed my Mom’s car to go home. All was well. Monday arrived, and I headed back to Fredericton to take my car (a Subaru Outback) to the dealer to get some new rear tires. My whole plan was to take it there so that if there were any other issues (we thought that there might be as my tires had worn out far too fast) that they would have the parts instead of having to order them in as my regular mechanic would need to do.

This is when the fun began… I was assured that my front tires had worn down too far and that I needed four tires, which they would have to order, but which should arrive by 2pm, so they should have my car ready by the end of the day. I wouldn’t be telling this story if that is the way it played out! I also asked them about my tires wearing down so quickly and it was decided to do a four-wheel alignment while they had the car.

At 5:20pm I got a call from the mechanic. “I have information about your car” was the message that he left on my phone. I called back to discover that my tires had arrived late and they were just starting on my car. He assured me that nothing else was wrong. My mom told me to borrow her car again to head home (which is an hour outside of Fredericton) so I told them mechanic I would get my car the next morning.

At 9:30am on Tuesday the mechanic called me again to tell me that he had “information about your car.” This time the information was that they had taken the tires off and were doing the alignment, and apparently my bushings had rusted into my car, so they were going to have to replace them. I gave them the ok to go ahead. My car would be ready later in the day.

Fast forward to 5:30pm. I got another call from the mechanic with “information about your car.” Actually, I did not get the message until 7:30pm as I taught all afternoon and was not able to answer my phone at 5:30pm. “Oh well,” I figured, I would borrow Mom’s car one more day and pick mine up in the morning. I got 10 minutes down the road towards my house when the engine light on my mom’s car came on. “You’ve got to be kidding me!” was the thought running through my head! So, I turned around the go back to Mom’s house to stay the night in town. I live in the middle of nowhere and did not want to get all the way there and then have to call CAA to get me back to town in the morning.

Wednesday, 8am. I knew that the mechanic opened at 8am so I called to get the status on my car. Apparently the work that they estimated would take 1.5 hours had taken 4 hours and they were not done yet “but don’t worry… We’ll only charge you for the 1.5 hours that you agreed to when we told you about the job.” It was going to take another 1.5 hours to finish up.

I went to do my first bit of teaching for the day and returned to my mom’s house at 10:30am. No call from the mechanic yet, so I called him. “I know that you said you would call me as soon as my car was ready, but I couldn’t wait.” “Well, it turns out that we don’t have a tool that we need to finish the job on your car, so it could be the end of the day by the time we get it done.” Good thing I took my car to the dealership right? My mechanic might have had to order parts… These guys had to order a tool!

I had plans for the day, going to visit a friend and some teaching. Mom assured me that I could borrow her car (which we had not yet had checked out), but I figured that the way things were going I would end up stranded in a busy intersection with a dead car, so I took cabs. The first cab I took ended up getting lost on the way to my friend’s house so I had to give the cabbie directions… an auspicious start to my travels that day. I have to say though, the rest of the day went pretty smoothly. My cabs all arrived on time and got me to my destinations in one piece and on time. Always a bonus!

Wednesday, 1pm. The mechanic called me to say that my car was finally ready. I managed to go pick it up on the way to my rehearsal at Leo Hayes High School…

Who knew that getting two tires replaced was going to take 2.5 days and a sleepover in town? Life is always an adventure, and you never know what will happen!

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