Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Flat tire!

(Image from NCDot. Having done this a few times myself, my stomach knots up just thinking about it.)

Lyndsay called me at work yesterday afternoon. "Dad, my front tire has a leak! What should I do?"

I asked where she was, and I was greatly relieved to know that the Blazer was in the driveway. But she said she could feel the air on her hand, so the tire was leaking very rapidly. I told her to position the truck where I could get the jack under it when I got home. Our driveway slants, so I didn't want the Blazer parked on the slope.

An hour or so later, I rode the Bianchi home. Sure enough, the tire was dead flat. I changed into yard work clothes, got the big cross-wrench and the trolley jack, and sent to work removing the wheel. Lyndsay wanted to watch, thinking she could learn to fix a tire herself. It went into the trunk of the Ford, then we were off to Tate Boys to get it repaired. A neighbor had recommended them. I certainly didn't want to visit the local W@Mart hell again.

Lyndsay and I were walking into the tire shop when I said, "There's no way you could fix this alone. The tire is just too heavy for you to lift."

"Oh, when I called you," she replied, "I was in the kitchen looking for duct tape."

"Duct tape? You were going to fix it with duct tape?" I started laughing uncontrollably.

"Yeah, I was gonna roll it up in a little ball and stuff it in the hole!"

I've fixed a lot of things with duct tape. Automobile tires are not one of them.

The service manager asked if we'd been in his shop before. I said no. In a minute or two, they had the tire out of the Ford. Ten minutes later it was repaired. They'd even re-balanced it.

"No charge," said the manager.

I think they just gained three new customers.

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