For about a minute, I didn’t know what to do. I tapped the head gently with my finger and it didn’t move. Yup, this is real life. Now what? Lucky for me, there is a complete auto care shop a couple blocks away from where I live. All I could think about was how did it get stuck in there?
I make it to the shop and park in front of the entrance. An older man is at the front desk helping someone already. I’ll refer to him as Phil. He’s the only employee I see so I wait for my turn. When I finally reach the edge of the counter he asks, “What are you needing today, sir?” I didn’t want to say I needed a new tire. I don’t know if I need a new tire. I just need that thing to be taken out. In a way that made him believe I had gone through this before, I said the truth.
“There’s a screw lodged in one of my tires.”
Within seconds an invoice is being printed out. He tells me to sign and initial here, here and there at the bottom. I nervously sign and initial, only noticing the word repair and a total of $25. I was relieved.
“You can have a seat and feel free to help yourself to some coffee,” he said in a friendly tone as he pointed to the lonely coffee pot underneath a television. Three other men were also waiting. Nobody touched the coffee.
A couple minutes pass when I hear a mechanic come in through the side door and tell his boss nervously, “Can you come look at this?”
I turn to the entrance where I parked my car and it wasn’t there anymore. Right there I knew the mechanic was referring to my car. About three minutes pass when I hear Phil call out my name.
“Follow me outside so I can show you your tire,” he says. As he points to the screw, the mechanic holds the tire up. “Because the screw is so close to the edge of the tire, we won’t be able to repair it. It’s very dangerous. Let me show you the options I have available inside.” My $25 repair quickly escalated to over $100.
After a short while, the keys are placed in my hand and I’m pointed in the direction of my car which now has one brand new tire that demands attention. It reminds me of Beyonce in a Destiny’s Child music video.
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