So if you're an avid blog reader (and why wouldn't you be?), you know that my car was recently deemed a piece of crap (a title waaay overdue). You would also know that I took it to Gary, the Car Whisperer. But what you didn't know was what happened after that wondrous encounter. I know, I know: you haven't been able to sleep or work, as you've been constantly checking for an update on my car's sitch.

Well, Gary's spark plug (and a/c) work was all that and a bag of lugnuts. The tires, however, he informed me, would have to be put on at an official "tire" place. So after coping with my abandonment issues (you mean I have to [gulp] leave and go somewhere else?) and telling Gary about 20 times that I would be back the following week for a balance/alignment -- to which he replied, "well, you don't have to do that right away," (and I felt the knife of rejection go through my heart) - I headed to the cool retro-looking Firestone on Alton Road and 16th Street.

An hour after I dropped my car off, they called me to inform me that, whoops, they don't have the tire I need after all and that they would have to order it. Good news was it would be there in a couple hours, bad news was a quick tire change turned into an all-day event involving begging for rides from various people with functioning tires.'s trusty calendar editor (and damsel in distress rescuer extraordinaire) dropped me off at the end of the day and I drove home, happy to not have to worry about hydroplaning to my death anymore.

The next morning, I walked out to my car with my partner (now you think I'm a lesbian, don't you?) and he/she excitedly took a look at my new wheels. "This one's old," he/she said, confused. "What?" I asked as I put my face within inches of the tire in question, as if the only evidence of this claim was a microscopic flaw only seen by someone trained in identifying old tires. "They're ALL old," he/she continued, moving around the car. And not just old, they were the SAME mo-fo tires.

Now, I'm an admittedly un-observant person, which is why I'll never be able to write a hilarious memoir about my life. When someone points out that so-and-so was obviously on drugs/a man/a woman/checking out my butt, inevitably my reply is, "What?! No way!" But this not noticing my own old-arse tires was a new, embarrassing low. This shame was mixed, of course, with outrage directed toward the Firestone staff, who were apparently hired through some special needs work program. Was I a victim of a scam? Or just plain old Miami idiocy?

I went with the latter, as I'm also not one of those people who writes the better business bureau or calls the news reporter who goes after the guy doing Botox injections in his Westchester garage, and headed back for Day 2 at Firestone. "How can I help you?" asked Walter (not his real name, but only because I can't remember his real name -- unobservant, remember?). I'm also not the kind of person who, at this moment, would begin a loud, 10-minute rant about the incompetence of Firestone (I save that for my blog), threaten to sue, demand free stuff and turn around and tell everyone else in the place to go somewhere else.

"Um," I stumbled, "I came in for new tires yesterday and, well, they never got changed." Walter looked confused and went out to take a look. He came back shaking his head, "I don't know what happened, let me find out where your tires are." (If I had been aforementioned loud ranter, I would have answered with, "not on my car, that's for sure!") I wish that there was a great "mystery of the missing tires" to finish with here, but Walter and the rest of his coveralled cohorts just played dumb. So I'm just going to fabricate a great Clue-style ending right here, because, well, if you made it this far, you deserve it.

After reviewing the security tapes, it appears that there was a kink in the time space continuum, causing clocks to move backward six hours, causing the mechanics to think they had more time to work on the cars than they did. Ergo, when I picked up my car, it was really only noon, therefore all the mechanics were at lunch and couldn't stop me from driving away with old tires. Time warps - they get you ever time.

-- miaeditor