For my 40th birthday, I was lucky enough to be honored with an incredibly well-planned surprise party and some far-too-generous gifts.
For my 40th birthday, I also got a present from the city of Hoboken and its road-maintenance crew (or lack thereof): a meeting with a pothole that has now cost me nearly $900, and counting.
For those who know Hoboken — and if you know Hoboken, you know this pothole — the offending crater can be found by taking Observer Highway out of town toward the Exxon station, the New Jersey Turnpike and 1/9. It’s underneath the railroad bridge, just after you make the left turn. For those who don’t know Hoboken, feel free to tell me to shut the fuck up.
I hit the pothole hard — and I DO mean HARD — the afternoon of Feb. 23. The impact was unlike anything I’d felt in a long time. One of my front tires was completely flat in seconds, more than likely after one or two revolutions.
After a little over $300 and some work that I needed done anyway — two new tires, rotating and balancing, oil change — I had a car again.
That lasted about two weeks.
During the far-from-strenuous eight-mile drive back from the Izod Center last night — Nets 104, Cleveland 99, HOLLA! — I realized that the needle on the oil-temperature gauge was WELL past the red line. Nervous as all hell, I took the rest of the trip home at a very easy pace. About two blocks from my apartment, smoke started coming out from under the hood, but I was able to cruise the last two blocks, park in my spot and wait a full 10 minutes after turning the car off for the exhaust fans to turn off, as well.
What’s the bottom line? A new radiator, a new radiator cap, two new hoses and a little more than $500 on my Visa card — exactly what I did NOT need right now.
My head hurts, possibly even more than my checking-account balance.