Well, the suspicion I placed on my car for ruining yet another tire has been alleviated. The car cannot be blamed. The car was, in fact, the victim.
On the way out of the office on the lunch hour, my coworker told me that there has been a rash of tire slashings in our neighborhood. His car's tire has been slashed twice, and he finally called the cops, which is saying something, since I think of him as probably the last person on the planet who would call the cops other than, say, a mob boss.
He thought that they might be targeting bigger cars, though, SUVs and Subarus, that it might be an environmentalist thing.
My car gets almost 40 miles to the gallon on the highway. It is small and light. It is an environmentalist's happy car, if an environmentalist were to have a happy car.
The tire place called me not ten minutes after I dropped the car off to tell me that the tire had been intentionally punctured by a sharp object. (I think the difference is the location: accidental punctures happen on part of the tire that runs on the road. Intentional punctures go into the side-wall.)
Also, the tire that had been vandalized was the newest, best tire on the car, and the others were basically illegally tread-less, and did I want to buy four new tires?
I did not want to buy four new tires, but I didn't seem to have much of a choice.
(Just to fend off any aspersions on the name of the tire shop: I have used this PNW chain of tire shops multiple times, and I have universally found them to be honest and helpful. They are known for those qualities. Almost every time I have gone in, they have fixed my tire without charging me anything. The only times I have paid a dime are when 1. my tire - the predecessor to the one with the puncture today - got a hernia on the highway and pretty much burst through its interior wire caging and was not salvageable, and 2. today.)
While I waited for my tires to be replaced, I called the non-emergency police line, and some detective person called me back.
"You came very close to being our 1000th caller about this," he said. "You almost won the t-shirt."
The tire slashings turn out to be more of tire... stabbings, with a leather awl or an ice pick or some undetermined sharp pointed object that does not have edges like a knife. They have been going on for months.
I mostly called the police to help them establish the pattern and maybe make this stop. I don't ever expect to get reimbursed the $90 for my newest, best tire, but it would be nice to not have to worry every time I go out to my car that my tire will have again been stabbed, costing yet another $90. I only have so many multiples of $90. The multiples of $90 in my bank account are not unlimited.
* The title of this is funny to me because it is what we used to say when practicing knifework at my martial arts studio in Universe City. Slash-stab. Slash-slash-slash. Stab-slash. Stab-slash-stab.