Sunday, noon - After spending a very fun weekend in PA with my brother and family, we all loaded up our cars to go to this mall that was about 30 minutes south on 95 for some shopping together, then we'd all go our separate ways. My brother notices there's this blister-like bubble on my front tire while we're getting the kids out of the car to go in the mall that looks like it could blow any minute. No problem, there was an NTB on the way in. I take my car to the NTB, ask for 2 new tires and a call when they're ready since I'll be in the mall.
2:00pm - Apparently, there's a locking mechanism on my tire bolts to prevent someone from stealing the stock rims of a 2001 Cabrio, I suppose. NTB has tried to unlock the bolts, but the key broke in the process, so they're trying to figure out some other way of getting the tire off, so it will take longer than expected and he'll call me when it's ready. That's fine.
2:15 - I explained what he said to Evan and my brother, who were confused also. If my tires are locked, there should also be a key in my trunk somewhere, so why don't they use that? I call NTB back and offer this solution, and apparently that's the key they broke, so they're still stumped.
3:30 - I call and ask for an update, and he says it's ready. Were they planning on calling and telling me that? They did when I called to say they could use the key in my trunk that they broke.
4:00 - Return to NTB, ask for slow and clear explanation of situation. Whoever put the tires back on last time used too much torque which caused NTB to break my key in trying to take it off. They don't have any keys that will work or "they could just go around and take tires off of any car they saw". I ask NTB if they plan to compensate me for the broken key, and they claim it is the responsibility of whoever took the tires off last time and I should go to them. I incredulously ask if someone walked up to NTB and said someone else said it was their fault the key broke, based on the level of responsibility they're taking for this now, am I supposed to believe they'd take responsibility then? His response included mentioning how he broke three $120 sockets of his also, and tells us where to find a dealership nearby.
4:30 - Arrive at dealership, it's closed. On a Sunday. When people don't work and probably would be free to shop for cars. Also can't find the night dropoff area - the entire lot is chained shut. Park overnight at shopping center across the street.
Weekend visit extended another night, which is spent solving Goonies II on NES with the aid of a walkthru.
Monday, 8:30am - My brother drops us off at my car on his "way" into work. Go into the dealership, show service guy at the desk the broken key, explain situation from yesterday. He says their parts department should have the replacement key, and I can just go get it. I say I don't want a new key, I want the locks taken off, and while he's at it, if he has decent tire prices I'll buy them from him. No problem. He'll call me with the estimate for the lock removal and tires in a bit. Go to Dunkin' Donuts, and wander around ghetto supermarket next door. Discover cheap nails place, receive manicure/pedicure while Evan plays DS.
10:15 - Get a call from the dealership. The tires are $100 each, but they don't have any my size so they'll have to go to a tire distributor, pick it up, bring it back and install it. Probably won't be ready until after 1pm. I say there's a tire place across the street with a 30 minute guarantee, and I'll go to them. Just take the wheel locks off. She'll need to call me back in 2 minutes with an estimate for that.
10:30 - Depart nail place, no call from dealership. Confirm discount tire place has my tire, get quote from them (also $100 per tire), say I'll return in a few minutes with my car. Go to dealership. They don't have the key for my tire lock in the parts department. The locks for 93-99 Jettas are different than the rest and not common. That's not my car. Oh, well, 2001 Cabrios use the same locks. That's fine, I don't want a key, I want the lock off, so they can just use the master to take them off. Well, their master set is missing - someone must have walked off with it. I could try another dealership and see if they have one. *You* are the dealership. You should try and get one. They say they could burn the locks off and put simple bolts on. Fine, do that.
11:00 - Okay, um, we don't have any replacement bolts for your car either. You see, your car (the kind I see at least three of every day) is really rare and the parts aren't usually around. We could get new bolts for you, but they won't be in until Wednesday at the earliest. Did you happen to notice the tags on my car, buddy? I don't have until Wednesday. He figured I worked around here or something. Well, uh, he doesn't know what to say.
11:30 - Overhear dealership calling around to see if anybody has a used Cabrio or Jetta of the magic years that they can take the bolts from. Nobody does. They say they're not comfortable letting me drive off with only 12 bolts on my tires when I'm supposed to have 16. I say to burn off the one I need off to replace the tire and I'll drive home on 15 and sign a waiver saying I know the danger I'm in. Well, I'm missing another one too, so it would be only 14. Whatever, fucking do it.
12:15 - Get car back, drive across street to tire place. Explain situation, only need one tire now. He thought he might have the bolts I need, but turns out he doesn't. Dick around tire/auto parts store (buy this neat suction-cup holder thingy for smart tag) and go for a slice of pizza.
12:45 - Return from pizza consumption, car ready, check out just in time for computer freeze.
1:00 - Depart.
3:00 - Highway sign says 3 left lanes of 95 shut down ahead, divert to secondary road of a mile or so of highway followed by a mile or so of gasoline alley. Get back on original route past accident.
5:00 - Home.