Overheard While Buying Tires in Willits

by Katie Norton

She breezes through the door, cellphone to ear, with the confidence of the affluent.  Can you look at my left rear tire, the dashboard indicator says it's low.  Back to her phone, Oh, Marsha, hi, how are you, you gorgeous WOMAN, you!?  Hey, I'm on my way to Cheel Lay, exaggerating the Spanish pronunciation, to visit my grandchildren.  Wow she doesn't look old enough to have grandchildren and why are they in Chile?  I'm flying out of SFO tonight at 10, arrive Houston at 5:00 a.m. with a 2 hour layover, then a flight to Caracas, another 4 hour layover, then finally a flight to Santiago.  To visit my grandchildren.  Excuse me, Ma'am.  Yes.  Your rim has a huge crack in it.  Can you put on the spare?  Well, you only have one of those little spares.  Will that get me to SFO?  Noncommittal Hmmm, mouth turned down.  I wonder if it's a bad omen to begin a long journey with a problem.  Undaunted, she pays and sweeps out the door, gabbing away.  Enter three citified gangstas who limped into the driveway in a dust-caked black BMW 750Li, fashionably thin tennis shoe tires now torn up (from driving off-road to the marijuana patch it goes without saying).  Sorry, we don't have those in stock, suppressed eye roll.  Wendy Williams cackles on the waiting room TV but this show is better.