I had a blowout on I-40 this morning on my way to Harrison. I did about three 360-degree spins before running off the right side of the road, scraping an Adopt-a-Highway sign along the way. I lost some chunks from my bumper and dented the backside of my car, but other than that everything appears to be OK. I got a tow, changed my tire, duct taped the bumper back together and headed on to Harrison. I’m very thankful today: I hit no one, I’m fine, the car is essentially fine, and there were a lot worse places it could have happened. I’m also thankful that this is the closest thing to an actual car wreck that I’ve ever had to experience in all my years. It’s also the closest I’ve ever come to serious injury or death. That’s all I can really say at this point; I’m still kind of freaked out about it.
UPDATE: As I bought new tires today, I noticed that the offending wheel was still fully inflated. I didn’t have a blowout, I had a full-on tire separation. Stay away from Bridgestones, people! These weren’t the recall tires, but I’ll be damned if I’m ever buying Bridgestones again. I went back to get the stripped tire later that day but it was already on the bottom of a big pile, so I can’t keep it for evidence or to complain to Sears Auto Center. Damn.
I should also mention how great people are. I had several people stop to offer assistance following the accident. One lady even gave me a hug. And I met a cool bass player guy with a huge Yamaha 6 string in his van, as well as a 5 string he bought from the store where I used to teach. Arkansas is a small town.
Back on the downside, my brother just called to say that Mrs. Benetka, the nice lady that lived across the street from where I grew up, died on Tuesday. She was my childhood cookie enabler, and she will be missed. Go tell someone you love them right now. Life is fast and short.