2.5 – 3 hour wait to have a nail removed from a tire

On Saturday morning I had multiple errands. The last stop – a visit with the veterinarian for my dog’s injection. Walking back to the car, I noticed something silver like on my tire. I stooped down and realized it was nail embedded in the tire. Just great.

There used to be a Merchants Tire & Auto Center about a mile north of the veterinarian’s office but I didn’t know where the center is now located. So I called my mom, who knew (in Greenbelt past the NASA Goddard) & decided to drive to that location.

I arrived about 15 minutes later and explained my situation to the employee. He told me no one could provide service without me waiting 2.5 to 3 hours. Just to have a nail removed from my tire? I noted I had a dog in the car. He replied, you can walk him. Okay, that wasn’t going to work. So I asked, could you at least look at my tire?

He accompanied me outside and checked the nail in the tire. The Merchants employee remarked, it is borderline. What, I said? He explained, based on the location, I may have to purchase a new tire. Great.

I then asked, I can’t hang with the dog for 2.5 to 3 hours. Do you think I can drive on the tire? He believed so. I inquired further, so what is a good time to return. He could not say ( not sure how many other customers like me will walk in). May I make an appointment for this afternoon? He responded appointments must be made 24 hours in advance.

I decided it was best to go home, drop off the dog and return to Merchants with a book.

Just as I was ready to pull off, my mom called inquiring about my status. I explained the lengthy wait and my decision to go home first. My mom mentioned a local mechanic, Paul, at K&J Autos, used to have Saturday hours but no more. But occasionally, he’s there on Saturdays.

Driving home I figured, what’s the harm in driving by the shop to see if Paul is around? He’s open! Within 15 minutes of arriving Paul removed the nail. I noticed another tire looked low. His nephew agreed and added air. I told Paul’s nephew – you guys are my angels.

Cost for nail removal service = $6.36. Tip given to Paul $5.00.

I still had my Saturday. Wouldn’t waste my time sitting for three hours at Merchants. 🙂


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