Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Left rear.

Yesterday was a long day, started early and finished late. So I zipped home at lunch to let the dog out. Spent two glorious minutes in the sun and fresh air while Fluff ambled around the yard. Got out of my car back at work and there was a car behind me. Older couple, window down, the man yelled across his wife, "Your tire is slack."

"Thank you so much," I called back. I looked. Yes, left rear. It bubbled down to the pavement.

I stopped at my office to shed my coat and grab a box of cookies. Chocolate espresso, from the Farmer's Market. Dark crunchy chocolate. Mike's office: Mike, Dana, and Denise.

"Trade you these cookies for help with my tire," I offered to the three of them.

"Open your car door...." Dana started to tell me, then wilted. She was sick, and on her way home. "Count me out," said Denise, slurping a creamy iced coffee. I turned to Mike, fearing he would say, "Fix your own tire." He said something like that. Panic rose. Seems like I used to put air in my bicycle tires when I was a kid. That was a long time ago. I knew the general concept, of course, tires need air. But the details, the exact process...unknown.

Mike saw my panic. "Come on," he said, grabbing his coat.

We drove to the gas station around the corner. $1.00 for air. A dollar? You have to pay for air? I didn't remember that from my childhood. "I have quarters!" I informed Mike. I looked on my car door, as Dana said. "36 PSI," I said.

He was determined to teach me, and make me do it myself. "Take the cap off, put that on there, and the gauge will pop out."

I was scared the tire would explode, but I did it. The gauge didn't pop out. "It's broken." Mike grabbed the air hose from my hand and applied it himself. He put in some air, then laid down the hose and stepped back to look at the right rear, comparing. He added more air. Then more. Suddenly the gauge popped out. 20.

"Look at that! It was so low it didn't even register," Mike said. He added more air, got it up to 30. "You've either got a nail in your tire or the valve is broken," he said. We went back to work, but Mike wouldn't take the cookies.

I drove home after work, worried the tire would explode. This morning it looked low. I called my tire guy and made an appointment for Saturday morning. I worked all day and Mike walked out to look at the tire after work. "It's a nail," he said. "I see it, right there."

I got down on the ground and I saw it too. I drove to the local tire place. It looked deserted. Was it open? It was. The guy was friendly. "That's a bad place to keep your nails!" he said.

"Can you fix it today?" I asked.

"Well, we can't do it right now," he said slowly... "but we can do it in 10 minutes," he grinned. Badaboom.

I sat in the waiting room with the day's newspaper and a TV blaring entertainment news. It took about half an hour and cost $25. Fixed! Cancelled my Saturday appointment. Nothing exploded. Ready for adventures.

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