Phoenix gets more and more like L.A. East every day. Which is another way to say “a worse and worse place to live”…
Driving (…driving…driving…driving) out to the Mayo yesterday, I glance down at the dashboard and see the “low tire” light has come on. Rich people don’t need gasoline and car care, of course, and so there wasn’t a real gas station or garage as far as the eye could see. At the Mayo, their security guy was able to refill the tire with a portable air thingie, and I limped alllll the wayyyyy across the Valley to lovely North Central Phoenix.
Straight to Chuck’s, the beloved mechanic shop I’ve used for years.
Well. It’s no longer Chuck’s. The only thing Chuck-like about it is the name, which the new owner (wisely) has never changed.
The new regime repels all boarders! They tell me to go up to Discount Tire, a chain store with an outlet not far away on Camelback Road.
You never saw so much traffic in your LIFE! And it’s not even rush hour. I have to fight my way up there and then turn in the middle of a block across a torrent of traffic. This entails driving past the shop to a place where I can pull a u-ie — a risky maneuver on that road under the best of conditions — and then pulling into a lot that’s just flat jammed with cars and people standing around.
There, the guy tells me it’ll be a three-hour wait!!! The place was soooo mobbed you could barely creep across the parking lot to get out.
So I figure M’hijito can drive with me back up there, take me to his place or else home, and then drive me back whenever they get the tire on. I’ve forgotten my cell phone (an alien object, in my world), so I can’t call him…have to schlep to his house and tell him this sad tale.
He, being an experienced insurance adjustor dude, says oh hell no!
Since I always buy my tires at Costco, he knows I can get a better price there, and they may give me a discount, because they warrantee their products.
He makes an appointment: 6:00 p.m. By now it’s around 2:00.
Decide to drive home, let the poor little dog out, and continue on to Costco so as to get there before the tire goes flat again and, with any luck, not end up stuck by the side of the road in even worse traffic. Take the computer to while away the time and start driving driving driving up to the Costco at the freeway and Yorkshire. This, we might add, is a LONG drive through difficult, high-speed traffic.
Actually, they fixed TWO things that had gone wrong with the tire — not only the nail but also the valve, which they said was not in the best of all possible shape. Charge? Ten bucks and change. The appointment M’hijito made was for 6 p.m. Got there around 3:00 and took a seat, figuring to spend the next four hours or so ensconced in their waiting room.
They were DONE at 6 p.m.!!
Hmmm… This morning I see I’ve busted another molar…probably from grinding my teeth half the day. That’ll be another expensive fix. Won’t be able to call the dentist first thing because I have to be at the dermatologist to carve off some more cancerous spots at 9:30. She’s in Avondale, so I’ll have to leave here before quarter to…before the dentist’s office opens.
Got no advice from the new MayoDoc about the lump in the eye…but the usual lecture about the blood pressure, which (for obvious reasons…) shoots into the stratosphere every time I go near a doctor’s office. Probably does the same every time I have to get into a car around this accursed place.
Now she wants me to repeat the tooth-grinding rigamarole with the Omron to prove, as I’ve already done twice, that I don’t really need drugs that make me sick to avoid a heart attack or a stroke.
What I NEED to avoid a heart attack or a stroke is not to live in freakin’ L.A. East!
At any rate: today’s project, other than to drive to the far side of the galaxy again, is to ask on the Facebook neighborhood page if anyone can recommend a decent mechanic. Think I’m done with Pete and company.