Well there I was yesterday at noon heading down I-85 (motorway 85 to my Scottish readers) on my way to my friend Dirk’s house and home studio to record the next five radio shows. (Celtic Clanjamphry, since you ask.) Sailing along at the seventy MPH speed limit I rounded a corner and saw in front of me a large chunk of tire from a tractor trailer (Artic lorry for my Scottish readers). It was straddling both lanes.
It must have just happened as there were no vehicles stopped and I only had a split second to decide what to do. I could see lots of other vehicles behind me, so I had to make a decision. Should I go right or left? I made the wrong decision. If I’d gone to the right onto the hard shoulder I’d have missed it (we drive on the other side of the road for my Scottish readers) but I opted for left. I didn’t want to end up toppling into the median (the grassy area between the carriageways for my – – – ) but in trying to avoid the tire and the median I hit the tire with the front fender—pretty hard.
It made a thump but I didn’t think too much of it. I had the radio on and was listening to a talk show on WETS.fm (of course). The car kept going and I thought everything was fine, until I began to hear what I thought was interference on the radio. Alas, it was a bit too rhythmic – – – . So I switched off the radio and realized the noise was elsewhere and coming from the fender area.
I pulled off at the next exit and onto the shoulder, got out and had a look. Most of the plastic ‘mudguard’ inside the front passenger side fender (wing for my – – – ) was sticking out in the wind and the rest of it was rubbing against the tire (tyre for – – – ). I thought I’d managed to spring it back up to where it was designed to be and carried on.
But thirty minutes later as I approached Abingdon (Virginia for – – – ) the all too familiar sound returned so I pulled into a parking lot (do I really need to – – – ). There it was hanging out again in the wind (nope, nope!).
Maybe I could tie it in place with some of Wendy’s yarn that’s bound to be stashed around the various corners of the car? Just my luck – she had done a car tidy last week. For the first time in over twenty-five years I couldn’t find a scrap!
I ripped the damn thing out with my bare hands and carried on my way – – – –