Yesterday evening was supposed to be a festive evening. And it was.
Roxane, Ed, and I decided to drive over to La Manzanilla to help the co-owner of Magnolia -- one of my favorite restaurants in the area -- celebrate her birthday. Let me quell the suspense by telling you that Alex the birthday girl produced a meal we raved about on the drive home. My chicken piccata was delicious, as was Roxane and Ed's tuna.
It was the ride over that started out just a bit off. I had given myself plenty of time to drive over to Villa Obregon to pick up the Gilliams.
Or so I thought. I am not certain if it was the heat -- or what. But I locked and unlocked the front door three times. Each time thinking I had locked the door when I had actually unlocked it. Maybe I was auditioning for the lead in Rain Man.
That put me a little behind schedule. Then, from the moment I pulled away from the house until I arrived at Ed's place, I ended up behind a series of the slowest drivers in Mexico. It was almost as if someone was telling me to slow down.
And someone needed to. When I got in the car, I was so fixated with my front door lock obsession that I did not notice one of the handy warning lights Ford was good enough to add to my dashboard. In this case, it was the tire low pressure light.
Sure enough. My right rear tire was seriously deflated. Not quite as bad as the Japanese economy. But it was down.
I told Ed and Roxane I would take the Escape to my tire guy in Jaluco after I stopped at the Pemex station. They decided to follow me in their car -- just in case.
This is the third tire on the Escape that has suffered a puncture wound. So, I know the drill. I backed into the tire shop to allow easy access to the tire -- and pulled out the lug lock tool from my glove compartment.
Up went the car on one of those portable lifts that are no longer as common as they were when I was a lad in Powers. But there is no need for fancy technology for something as simple as a flat tire.
The fellow who repaired my tire last time was not there. But my new acquaintance was every bit as efficient.
After the tire came off, he took it for a quick dip in the tire bath. A quick rotation found the culprit with the telltale stream of Jacques Cousteau bubbles.
Out came the tire. You can see the culprit at the top of this essay. A nail. Obviously pulled out of a board and discarded where an unwary Gringo could drive over it.
That bend was at a perfect angle to embed it into what was one of my two undamaged tires. Then, there was one.
Roxane asked an interesting question. If I had been in Salem at this time of night, could I have found anything open to help me? I am not certain. I do know, though, that finding service in Mexico is rather simple.
In this case, I used 10 minutes of my time and spent $50 Mx ($3.20 US) to be on my way to La Manzanilla for dinner at Magnolia. But you already know we had a pleasant evening.
Some people ask me why I live in Mexico. Last evening was about as good an answer as I can provide.
By the way, happy birthday, Alex.