Ruminations of a Red Dirt Hussy

June 2, 2017

How not to change a flat tire

Filed under: General — Vadasmaker @ 4:59 pm

So I’m just driving along, thinking about whatever it is I think about when I’m not worrying about something specific. Suddenly, I notice my tire is flat.

I know that because 1) the little low-tire-pressure light came on, 2) the highway is suddenly all bumpy, and 3) people are waving at me. Not like they like me. Like they think I’m so stupid I don’t realize my tire is flat. Which has, in fact, happened in the past, but they don’t know that. 
They probably thought I didn’t know because I was still driving. Of course I was still driving. I had to cross three other lanes so I could stop on the right side.

Everybody knows you can’t stop on the left side of a highway. I’m pretty sure it’s a law. Even if your tire is completely and totally flat you go to the right side. I sat on the proper side of the road and pondered my situation.

For my entire driving life, changing a tire has involved standing somewhere in the vicinity of the offending tire while looking perplexed. I didn’t even have to touch it, people. That’s always been Plan A, so that’s what I did. I stood. And I stood. When I was still standing tire-adjacent, looking perplexed after three or four minutes, I realized something was amiss. My tire was still flat. I now not only looked perplexed. I was perplexed.

I got back in the car and thought about it. It took a lot of ruminating to get to that “Aha!” moment, but I finally did. It was my butt. It had be. Oh, don’t look at me like that. I know we’ve talked about my butt, its mutinous, perfidious, treachery, how it was up there where it was supposed to be one day, and then just like that, with no warning whatsoever, it was licking at my heels.

What else could it be? I can assure you I have not lost the ability to stand perfectly still and look utterly, stunningly, agonizingly perplexed, and apparently, a befuddled look alone will not get one’s tire changed. Ergo, my ass is to blame.

No use crying over dropped asses, I decided, and moved on to Plan B. I called Jim. I know he can change a tire, because he’s tried to teach me. I declined. I mean, Plan A had always worked for me. Why mess with perfection? However, whether he could or could not change a tire was a moot point because I couldn’t find him.

When Plan B fell through, I remembered my insurance. I dug in the console and found my card, which promises “Roadside Assistance 24/7.” It might take a little longer than Plans A and B, but I was still ahead of the game in that it did not involve me actually touching a tire. On the phone, I went through all the “Valued Customer” rhetoric and all the push this number for that and then push another number for something else. I listen carefully because “These Menu Items Have Changed.”

I thought I was in like Flynn. I was indeed a “Valued Member of the Safeco Insurance Family” who did in fact need “Immediate, Efficient, and Complete Roadside Assistance.” With a happy sigh, I pushed the number “1” on my phone and was immediately greeted with . . . silence. Nothing happened. Zip. Zilch. Nada. I pushed it again. Nothing. So I pushed all of the numbers, one after the other. The same voice that had assured me of my value now snapped at me that the number(s) I had indicated WAS NOT A VALID CHOICE!!

And the very worst part of this very bad thing currently happening was . . . I was out of plans. Unless the next plan involved me changing my own tire.

I pulled the owner’s manual from the glove box and looked up “Tires.” Not only were there instructions but there were PICTURES. Pictures of tires and lug nuts and screwdrivers and jacks. Apparently, these things were stored in the trunk, back there where I keep my beach bag (in case I stumble upon a beach unexpectedly) and the plastic storage box of stuff from my last car and the cardboard box of stuff from the car before that and the pillowcase full of stuff from the car before that and the Walmart bag of stuff from a car I didn’t actually own but drove for a while.

So I go back there and dig among the bags and boxes and sacks and you know what? There. Is. No. Spare. Tire. No jack. No screw driver.

You know what there is? A blow up thingie. I’m pretty sure that’s what it’s called. I’m absolutely sure that’s what it is. Apparently, in Korea people just blow up their flat tires. Yeah. I had a couple of problems with that, too. One, it was highly compressed air. Do you know how far into next week I could knock myself if I got on the wrong end of that? And two, the information accompanying it said it didn’t work on sidewall blow-outs. You know what I had? A sidewall blowout.

I did what I always do when the whole world fails me. Turned up the radio, curled up on my side in the back seat with my coat over my head, and waited for Jim to finally check his messages and come find me.


1 Comment »

  1. What I hate is when I take the lugs off and have to beat the wheel off the axle. While it is sitting on a ole spindley jack!


    Comment by Danny Ziegler — June 9, 2017 @ 10:19 pm | Reply

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