Saturday, October 9, 2010

Flattened


My hand had just come in contact with the glass when the phone rang. A Friday night, prime for kicking back and watching a movie with my husband, an adult beverage seemed like a good idea. Hearing my ringtone trill caused me to freeze before I'd even had a sip. I knew the chances were good that my son was calling for some form of rescue. My husband answered my cell phone.

Last July I wrote a post called Generation Phone Home and among my real life friends, and a couple of online friends that descriptor took hold. A couple of my friends with kids will refer to their own experiences with their children with things like, "Generation Phone Home struck again."

It's just something that modern-day parents can relate to, evidently.

My son had a flat tire last night, and needed to be talked through things like loosening the lug nuts. Then another call when he was done because, "Mom, now my keys won't turn in the ignition!" I rather reasonably asked if his steering wheel was locked in place, which it was. Jiggle the wheel back and forth, son. Jiggling proved key.

I hung up and my untouched drink sat beside me. I knew better than to think the matter was closed until my son walked through the door. Sure enough, five minutes later, my son phoned home again.

"The spare is flat," he said from the depths of his understandable despair.

"Okay, where are you?" I sighed, but my husband reached for the phone and informed my son that he would be coming to get him. He advised me to go ahead and drink my cocktail.

You see, it's been a month since my son hasn't needed some form of rescue at least once a week. He locked his keys in his car as the opening bid and I took a spare key to him. I made sure to hang around and get it back, so I could return it to the file I keep it in. He lost his wallet on campus, and the campus police called me. He needed to be driven to get that, as trust me on this, my son attempting to drive without his driver's license in his possession is just a recipe for disaster. There have been a couple of other things, too.

This morning, as my husband woke my son up in order to drag him off for tire repair, we sat together and discussed what we were both like at twenty, wondering if my son was more, or less of a disaster. By the time I was twenty I lived across the country from any of my family. If something went wrong, I had to fix it myself. That's all true, but something occurred to me as I told my husband about the flat tires I have known.

The first flat I had was at nineteen, and I quickly discovered that I didn't have a crowbar in my possession. Brainstorming I remembered I had passed a service station a mile or so back. I grabbed my purse, and began walking. I made it precisely a half a block before passing a road construction crew.

"You have a flat?" The crew boss called to me.

"I do, I don't have a crowbar though, so I'm going to the service station," I replied and thought I'd keep walking.

"We've got a crowbar!" The man, clearly he was quite amused as I was dressed for work in a Chi-Chi's waitress outfit. Hey, it was my summer job but if you'd seen that uniform, you'd have a good idea what was cracking up the road crew. I looked like an extra escaped from a John Ford film in which I should soon declare something about not needing, "no stinkin' badges". "C'mon guys, let's go change a tire!"

And with that, four public works employees downed tools with a clatter, and trouped as one over to my Mercury Lynx. That's right, my car had about as much dignity as my outfit. I followed meekly and watched.

The next time I was driving down the Pennsylvania Turnpike, heading back to Colorado after a visit back East in my late twenties, when my tire blew. I had literally not finished pulling over before a pickup truck was pulling in behind me, and a large man leaped from the interior.

"I saw your tire blow, figured I'd lend a hand," He proclaimed and over my protests about how I appreciated the help, but I had what I needed said, "Honey, I've got a daughter your age. I'd want someone to help her."

He wouldn't take any money from me, just directed me to the next exit's Firestone to get the flattened tire repaired. By the way, that man was secretly a member of the Tire Changing gods because I've never seen anyone so efficiently do something, while fielding an attempt at polite protest the entire time.

By the time I had my next, I was thirty. I'd had a business meeting in an office park that ran late, and when I came out to my car, found that my tire was busy settling into permanent disuse. Flat is too mild a term for how thoroughly that tire had given up on life. I must have run over a school of glass-shard-coated piranhas in a spike-lined puddle to bring about that level of flat.

Well, dammit, I wanted to change that tire. I was in a parking lot, there was no danger under the street lights, and the time had come for me to prove to myself that I, an empowered woman with a fully working knowledge of how to change a tire, could do so. I'd jumped a huge variety of cars, taken care of a host of other maintenance issues, but I had yet to successfully change my own tire. Come hell, high water; damnation or flood, I was going to do this for myself. Only I couldn't get the hubcap off.

Never fear, I walked into a nearby office building, interrupted some sort of meeting in progress and asked the assembled group of men if anyone had a screwdriver, as I wasn't able to pry my hubcap off. Outside it began to bucket down rain.

Do I even need to add that instead of handing me a screwdriver from his truck, the man who came outside with me insisted on changing my tire, as I made small sounds of protest, and held an umbrella over his head? Or that when he was done, he handed me the flat-blade screwdriver I have to this day and said, "You should keep this, just in case."

I like to tell myself I am part of what I referred to as Generation Save Your Own Butt, but the truth of the matter is a little closer to being that I evidently can barely hit a public street without someone attempting to rescue me instead.

There are a lot more stories like that. Just earlier this year I was at the Home Depot, buying a ladder that was quite lightweight but ungainly at an almost epic level, and I ran a near gauntlet of offers of help trying to get it to my car. I'd wheel my cart four feet, balancing that bad boy, and every single person I passed offered to help me. Young men, older men, a particularly muscular woman. I must have a homing beacon implanted in my spine that sends off waves of perceived helplessness. That or there are a lot of good, helpful people in this world, and I don't discount that possibility.

So was I really any better at working a problem, or was I set down on this earth with a particularly delicate-looking countenance that makes other people practically stampede to my rescue? Truthfully, it's a bit of both. After my encounter in the rain, I spent the next Saturday practicing changing my own tire, just to prove to myself I could if the need arose.

Rob told me his stories, all of which involved simply muscling off a tire, replacing it with a spare, and heading back down the road. I shared my theory that perhaps I was fooling myself that I was any good at riding to my own rescue. Many a protest issued forth from my tall husband, why I was the most capable woman he knows, he'd seen me put out a literal fire with his own eyes. Watched as I'd ducked passed him to get to the main water shut off when a plumbing problem occurred, and he didn't even know where it had been. My husband defended my independence so much, but it did seem a rather charming example of protesting too much.

Sure, I could do things for myself, when I had to.

"Yeah, thanks, but there's just one thing..." I began and faltered.

"What's that?"

"When you offered to go and get him for me, I let you." It was true, I hadn't protested much at all, just asked if Rob was sure, and then gratefully picked up my drink when he told me he was.

"Oh you can't count that!" My husband leaped to my defense, "Four times in four weeks you've had to go and take care of things for Flint, and it was dark outside and..."

He went on as I listened with growing skepticism about my own independence, remembering how I'd gladly allowed him to ride off to my son's rescue. Sure, the ready cell phone may have arrested self-sufficient development to some degree in my son's generation.

But maybe a fraction of it was learned behavior, after all.

53 comments:

PhilipH said...

Hi Alane,
Great posting, as I would expect from thee.

The following is from an email sent to me. I guess you could substitute 'PARENT'S ANSWER MACHINE' in some cases...



GRANDPARENT'S ANSWERING MACHINE:-

Good morning. . . . At present we are not at home. Please leave your message after you hear the beep.

If you are one of our children, dial 1 and then select the option from 1 to 5 in order of "arrival" so we know who it is.

If you need us to stay with the children, press 2.

If you want to borrow the car, press 3.

If you want us to wash your clothes and ironing, press 4.

If you want the grandchildren to sleep here tonight, press 5.

If you want us to pick up the kids at school, press 6.

If you want us to prepare a meal for Sunday or to have it delivered to your home, press 7.

If you want to come to eat here, press 8.

If you need money, dial 9.

If you are going to invite us to dinner, or, taking us to the theater.................. start talking we are... listening !!!!!!!!!!!"

Cloudia said...

Very thoughtful and rewarding post!



Warm Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral

Teri said...

LOL When I was 10 my step-grandfather found out my grandmother, mom and aunt did not know how to change a flat. Tire changing class happened in a flash. And he decided I wasn't too young to learn... so that's how long I've been able to change a flat.

I've only changed about 3 of my own flats... but countless ones for those with grey hair or very pregnant!

ellen abbott said...

I have actually changed my own tire twice. Once when there was no one there to help me and once while parked in front of a house where I had gone to do a field measure and across the street were two yard men who watched me do it. this was before the days of cell phones. The hardest part was getting off the lug nuts. the second hardest part was getting the flat tire wheel into the truck of the car. I probably weighed in at right around 100 lbs at the time.

On the other hand, I have had my tire changed for me twice. Once by a cop.

Hilary said...

The continuing story of Flint. I'm riveted.. and no, that wasn't a tire-changing remark. It's true though that the cell phone makes rescue a very easy option. But so does the would-be cocktail. ;)

Another interesting post, Alane. They always are.

jadedj said...

Here in Nebraska the saying goes, "if she knows what a lug wrench is, and knows how to use it...she's from Nebraska." However, I will say, I have never, ever, never had a Nebraska female type stop and offer to change my flat tire for me...including my wife.

The Bug said...

I know for a fact that I'm not strong enough to loosen my lug nuts because Dr. M's vocabulary gets "colorful" when he tries to loosen them himself. Maybe it's a Saturn thing. In any case I wouldn't even try - that's why we have AAA :) Actually though if for some reason I couldn't get help that way then I would certainly make an honest effort. Then I'd probably sit in a puddle & cry. I have strong OPINIONS, not life skills :)

Land of shimp said...

Philip! There you are, sir. I was afraid you'd slipped into a void in the universe. I hate when that happens.

Good to see you, and I hope you and your wife are both doing well :-) I liked the Answering Machine joke, by the way. Someday, all things being willing, perhaps I will know what it feels like to be a grandparent.

Not any time soon though (she says with fervent hope).

Hello, Cloudia! Thank you. You know, since I associate you so much with Hawaii whenever I see your screenname I ended up thinking about tropical breezes. What a fantastic association to have with a person.

Teri, it doesn't surprise me in the least that you have frequently changed tires for other people! Not only are you the most capable of women, you're also kind.

Ellen, you're running a good ratio! Enough help to feel cared about, enough dealing with it yourself to feel capable. Balance!

Hilary, seeing as you know the entire story about Flint's recent forays into being rather ...disorganized and incapable...I'm sure you must have been sitting there saying, "Oh my God, again? So soon?"

He's a great kid, but he's caught in some sort of vortex at the moment.

jaded, it's important to know how to do, and a mark of pride. Cornhuskers kick butt, I guess! I'll bet your wife could come to your rescue, but she'd probably have to think it over carefully first ;-)

Bug, we do have AAA :-) It's just generally much quicker to be able to change a tire yourself. Besides, when Rob and I were talking about it I said, "I can't be too hard on him, if I had a flat, I'd probably call you. Actually, I'd probably call AAA."

His response was, "Call me, please. I'd rather go trouping out in the night than find out you'd been hanging around in the dark, waiting for indeterminate AAA employees."

We basically carry it because of the towing factor. It's almost always cheaper to carry AAA than call a tow truck for more than a mile or so. But for roadside assistance, we tend to call each other, just because there's always some reason that it's easier.

Flint couldn't find his AAA card, by the way. I left that part out because it still makes me want to drink more.

Cricket said...

Flattened, huh? Funny, as always. One bonus tip that you probably already know... you can't go wrong with a can of WD40 in the trunk. Just leave it there. It's cheap enough. For when those lugnuts don't want to lug, or when you realize at the absolute wrong moment that the jack got wet sometime in the past.

I keep a mini stash of stuff in mine, trash bags, paper towels, WD, duck tape, a few tools, work gloves, jumper. At least I don't have to have extra diapers/wipes &c. anymore.

My best flat tale: at one point, I drove my Nana pretty much everywhere. She didn't like my car, so she gave me hers which she could no longer drive anyway, an old but impeccably maintained, barely driven '80 Caprice. OK.

I used the car for a month or so. One day, I went out to go somewhere, all 4 tires flat. I first thought they'd been slashed, but no. No sign of that. There was nothing for it. I jacked it up, took one tire off, borrowed Mom's car, and went to buy a new tire.

Four times.

The car had sat so long unused, the tires had developed flat spots. Under regular use, it was too much. They cracked open and leaked.

That was a morning I'll remember.

Zuzana said...

Beautiful post.;) Do not despair, I have similar stories from my ten years living in NC, when i was in my twenties.;) I look at them as the fact that chivalry is not yet dead. Not in the US at least.;) I loved it and I miss it! If you want to try out your muscle power, move to Scandinavia.;) Here no men will ever help you with anything until you ask and it is the women that wear the pants.;) I hate it!
Thank you for your recent visit and please, do continue complimenting my name, I am happy you like it.;)
Have a great weekend.;)
xoxo

slommler said...

I just loved this post!! I have some harrowing stories of "rescue" myself! And now I am laughing hysterically at yours and mine!
Thanks for the reminder.
I sure hope your son survives this vortex!!! Ha!
Hugs
SueAnn

TechnoBabe said...

This is such good writing, very interesting and thought provoking. I am amazed at all the flat tires in your life. Thus far.

Tabor said...

Well, my son did call for help somewhat and my daughter as well...always car problems! I remember the first flat I had in my life. It was in the pouring rain on my first day of teaching and I was at least 5 miles from the school!

Nicole said...

Hello!

While I'm a bit (or a lot) older than your son I am so guilty of calling "home" the second something goes wrong. Right away I thouight of my mom. She would be the first person I would call. Sometimes it was over something that couldn't be fixed but it was nice to know that someone out there cared about my problem. Do I need to say how lost I am now without her?
Of course, I'm good at calling my husband too. Usually he is 2000 miles away from home at the time of my calls. There is nothing he can do other then listen and give advice.
And my cell phone! I love to text message my brothers!
Goodness...I need some help with this phone habit.

Land of shimp said...

Haha! Oh Cricket, yeah, you'd remember that particular day forever. To use popular slang to describe "That sounds like The Suck."

Clearly the subject of flat tires is one nearly everyone has an empathy hit with, "Oh God, yeah, I remember..." but yours is the best flat story I've heard. The ants go marching, one by one...only they are tires.

You have a really neat name, Zuzana. It conjures triumphant images, which is a super-cool thing to be able to do with your own, personal name :-)

I actually did know that Scandinavia was far less "We still seem like a Patriarchy in many of our social structures" and on the one hand, hurray! On the other hand, as I was saying here, sometimes it's nice to have someone say, "I'll go take care of this (dirty, draining, probably cold) task."

SueAnn, I'm sure he'll survive and hopefully grow to be a person who can handle a lot of things on his feet. Now here's hoping I'm still sane (sane-ish) by the time he does so.

I'm glad this evoked some fun memories :-) A lot of this stuff is so fun and amusing to look back on, isn't it? Plus, it kind of gives that nice, "Well, I did get through that, I'm sure I can get through the next thing, after all."

Land of shimp said...

TechnoBabe, I think the one on the Turnpike is the one that amazes me to this day. Life has some interesting timing, doesn't it? Thank you, by the way, I do appreciate the kind words.

Tabor, what happened? Or was it simply a case of "And that was just as much unpleasantness as it sounds like it was going to be!"

That was a big part of the reason I ran into trouble getting that hubcap off, it was raining, not the "seriously, might be time to build an ark" type of rain it later became and I couldn't get a grip on the darned thing.

Flats in the rain are a special form of "Ah jeez, what karmic god of retribution did I tick off?"

Oh Nicole, I am sorry because that really is a difficult thing. I know eventually you'll get used to it, but it's still just so hard. I'm sorry you're going through this, truly.

To be clear on one thing, it isn't the impulse to call for help that makes me raise an eyebrow in my son. All of us, every single one of us, tends to feel stronger when we know we aren't alone with a problem. Like calling your husband, even if he's miles away, it isn't about feeling incapable, it's just easier to cope when we feel like we aren't stranded on an island. However, when there isn't someone there, we have to be able to soldier through, and get it done.

That's where my concern falls with my son. I'm not entirely sure he wouldn't just get so rattled that he'd be stumped. Maybe he wouldn't, but that thing with the ignition? His response was, "Oh yeah...I knew that." He did, he was just so frustrated, he wasn't thinking clearly.

It's not being asked for help that worries me, it's that I'm not positive my son could figure his way out of a pickle...and unfortunately, in life, anything can happen without much notice.

So it's sort of this combination of "While I'm around, you really aren't ever alone, I'd move an entire planet to help you." but he has to have that ability to move a planet for himself too because...what happens if his cell battery is depleted? Or I'm nowhere near that phone? Or any number of things?

Like when my husband and son were fishing in 09 and the water heater turned up its toes and died. They were out of cell phone range, and long story short, I was able to field that and have hot water restored by the time they got back.

If my husband had been here, there absolutely would have been the "Honey, the hot water heater is deader than Lenin." type of call...but it is important to have an actionable plan B on the occasions that you're just...there with you and a problem.

So that's really the thing. That my son has "Find my mom" as his plan A isn't something with which I take issue. It's that his plans B, C, and D are all still, "Find my mom". At twenty it's fine that plan A is to call me, but he needs a solid plan B that doesn't involve, "Keep trying to find my mom".

Also, I just wanted to add, you'll do fine, Nicole. I know it's difficult to no longer have your plan A but the key is that you're able to move on to the plan B. You did learn from your mom and she sounds like she was a highly capable person. You had a good example :-)

Thanks to everyone for the comments. I'm loving all the stories of flats, and phones :-)

Jude said...

Flat tires are scary though! I had one back in...February was it? It was my first and luckily a good samaritan replaced it with my doughnut tire. I'm always scared it'll happen again though and I'll just be driving on the highway when lug-a-lug-a-lug, I'll have to pull over before someone rear-ends me.

Ack!

DUTA said...

I believe that everyone that owns a car/computer/sewing machine, should know the basics and be able to fix things. It's no such a big deal;there are tools and guides available, and the internet can also help with that.

Having said that ..it's a delight to read your writing.

Grandma's scrapbook said...

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Nancy said...

Boy, could I relate to this post! Somehow I made it to 56 and still have zero mechanical abilities. If I am ever left to fend for myself - there will be a learning curve!

As for kids calling home - there is absolutely no doubt we have created a generation of semi-adults. I cringe every time my youngest calls because usually something is wrong - she texts when everything is right.

Pauline said...

If we don't let people help us we deprive them of the pleasure of giving and us of the fulfilled need. I say, let the help flow and the reciprocation continue to make the world go round.

Carolynn said...

Excellent post. I have no children, by choice. A decision I am most grateful for, the older I get.

I have also never had to change a flat tire. One one occasion, I opted to call a tow truck, rather than do it myself. There are just some things I'd rather pay someone else to do for me. The other times have either been my Dad or a helpful stranger of the male persuasion.

I think you chose wisely, when you chose the cocktail...

BTW, thank you for stopping by my place the other day and leaving such a lovely note. You're welcome to visit any time.

Carolynn

ethelmaepotter! said...

This is terrific!

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, Fred made a valiant effort to teach me the art of tire-changing. I couldn't get the hubcap off, so he finally relented and did that chore for me. I couldn't lift the spare from the trunk, so he removed it, then I couldn't lift the jack. And of course, I completely failed on lug-nut removing. In my defense, I later discovered I had torn rotator cuffs in both shoulders.

The truth is, I don't know a single female who can change her tire. Seriously. Maybe a Southern Lady thing. I always call Fred when it happens to me, and he always tells me to call the auto club - "That's why we pay them!" he says. And one time at work, a guy who had a serious crush on me, (I found out later he called me his "work wife!") changed my tire IN THE SNOW, DURING LUNCH BREAK, so he got nothing to eat. All I did was stand over him holding an umbrella and feeling completely humbled and helpless.

Women's liberation has come a long way - I can pump gas, work a full-time job, change a lightbulb, and even balance the checkbook. But I draw the line at changing tires. Unh-uh. That's still man's work.

(By the way, I have a little something for you over at my place!)

ds said...

My father would not allow me to get my driving permit, never mind license, until I had changed a tire. Luckily, Fate intervened rather swiftly in the form of a squashed-bug tire on my BFF's mom's Bug. Budding feminists that we were, we leapt to the challenge, locating spare tire, lug wrench, instructions, jack, and set to work. Many (long) minutes later, we tightened the final lug nut extremely proud of ourselves. Up drove a fancy sedan. Out swaggered a middle-aged man in business attire: "You girls need a hand." No no we were fine, we had just finished. "I'll see about that." He grabbed the lug wrench, set it to the bolt, strained, strained again. Turned red in the face. Began to sweat. "Well, I guess you girls have done a pretty good job."

We laugh about that still. And yes, I got my permit the next day...

Great post, as always! Hope Flint is okay.

ladyfi said...

Wonderfully funny - and insightful.

Jinksy said...

What an entertaining post! Thanks for leading me to it! :) As a non-driver, I have no knowledge of motoring needs, but I do rescue my kids in more homely ways...The phone calls start, "Mum, how do I...?" and end "Can you just...?"
Bless 'em! :)

Brian Miller said...

smiles. great post...for me asking for help was/is the big problem...perhaps i can be a bit too independant...but life has humbled me in many ways in that regards...

Shrinky said...

Ha! Try multiplying those phone-calls by four! As to being personally rescued? We don't get many hurricanes in the UK, but back in my young and single days, that's when my first tyre blew. I shamelessly allowed a 14yr old kid change the tyre - and yup, it rolled off again less than 10 yards on.

I learned a valuable lesson that day on how to fix my own darned mess. Sadly, I don't appear to have passed that message along to my offspring.. when in doubt, they just holler and we come running (sigh).

Another wonderful post Alane, thanks for making me chuckle.

Katy said...

I've never had a flat tire... (I need to knock on wood...)

That said I'm 28 so I see a lot of this. I was once in a car with a guy who was 24, when he got pulled over for his expired registration. His answer to the cop was, "My mom must have forgotten." Yeah... guess who I dumped that night.

Both of my parents had to work long hours when I was growing up so my sister and I are really independent, but I know there are times when I have had to lean on my family because the crap I got myself into was way beyound anything I could deal with on my own.

JoMo said...

We've done the what were we up to at that age thing too...

Times have really, really changed.

Having said that, I think times now are different, not better or worse...it's just a different world (she types to unmet fellow blogger...)

Great post!
Cheers,
Jo

Land of shimp said...

Oh my goodness, I fell behind on replying to everyone. I'm sorry! I did get to everyone's blogs to say hi, but I let the comments pile up. Oops!

Jude, hi and thanks for stopping by. I took a look at your blog too, and it's so fun! Book reviews with style and wit :-)

Duta, I really agree. Even if we choose to call the auto-club, and hey, that's a legitimate choice, it's important to know how to do things ourselves...just in case. Like I know how to light the pilot light on my water heater. Knowing and always choosing to do something ourselves isn't the same thing, but it's good to have that option, that knowledge...just in case.

Hi Grandma's scrapbook :-) I know we're dealing with a language difference here, and laughed at the thought of what the heck my words must look like run through a language translation program. You're a brave soul to try because I'm naturally confusing :-)

Thank you for stopping by.

Oh Nancy, it's nice to know I'm keeping such good company :-) You're not the only one who winces, "Oh man, it's not a text?"

This is funny enough to share. I was at a BBQ and someone had a grilling basket that had interlocking lid. Well they were standing there trying to fit the lid on, and I said, "Okay, that side first then that side and...there we go."

And the woman said to me, "Are you an engineer?"

Before I could even think about it, "Oh God no, we'd all be doomed if I was." Then realized that as they hadn't been able to figure it out, I was being rude and said, "But I'm really good with hinges."

Not exactly a nice save, eh? Man.

And get grease on our hands, Pauline! Congratulations again, by the way. Thank you for the visit, I hope you are happily bonding with the next generation of poet :-)

Carolyn, I think that's a good choice too. We pay for these things to be able to use them! I just like to know that I can do things.

Mainly because I seem to have a magnet for weird stuff. So if I ever am driving through a Zombie infested swamp? That's when I'm going to get a flat, I'm telling you :-)

Land of shimp said...

EthelMae, that's a darned good excuse, even though it sounds painful beyond the telling of it. Yes, the flat is then very weighty, isn't it?

I didn't practice heaving it into my trunk but I do have AAA. The funny part, Rob says he'd much rather I called him first. I think he has a secret fear that would-be maniacs are attracted to things like roadside assistant services.

They're not, of course (otherwise they'd have very short employment records!) but I think he envisions me with a flat, on the Moors (god knows what I'm doing there) and a Werewolf tooling up in a tow truck, just in time to discover that the full moon is rising, and then I'm a wolfie snack.

And my tire is still flat. So better to call him, in his mind.

I'm not complaining. I like him better than werewolves too :-)

Also, thank you very much for the blog award :-)

ds, if you read the above about Rob's fears, you'll know why I'm glad he has no daughters.

By the way, you got really lucky. I used to drive a Bug, and the windshield wipers run off the air pressure in the darned spare tire in a lot of the models!! So every now and then I'd have to muscle the thing out from under the hood, put air in it.

Strangest design flaw about a Bug.

Thank you, Lady Fi :-)

Hello, Jinksy, it was my pleasure and that was a delightful post...the poem about the witches brew, wasn't it? Truly, that was a delightful read and thank you for stopping by.

Brian, I think that's actually a good trait to have, within reason. Just like Flint's ability to ask for help is a good trait to have within reason.

But I did laugh at the "Now the keys won't turn in the ignition!" because he had to have tried troubleshooting that one for three, four, maybe even five seconds before calling me!

A middle ground is good.

Shrinky, I honestly don't know how people who have done this multiple times stay sane! I have nothing but the greatest admiration for people who do this over and over.

But I hear that buying Gorillas on impulse may be a resulting sign of the strain it places on a person :-) You're a marvel, I not only know that you do it? You manage it all with humor and grace...and the occasional garden hose.

Katy, I suppose there's plenty of time for you develop flats but I hope you never do. I hope you drive on smooth roads, always, in more ways than one.

It is a different world, JoMO, and some balance between the "Out here on my own!" type of troubleshooting, and knowing you never have too far to fall is a good thing.

He'll get there. He'll get there. I'll be in need of a serious nap by then, but he will get there.

Thanks everyone, I loved all the tales of flats. Fun to know I'm not alone, by a long shot.

Dianne said...

great stories and dead on social observations

while we may be fellow weirdos I do not look like someone who wants help
I had a tire blow on the turnpike and the Highway Patrol passed me by!!

I loved your sparrow in the car story, thanks for visiting my stink bug :)

Frances Tyrrell said...

It is nice though, that you are the first people he turns too, that you are still the wisest people he knows!

My own most recent brush with hands-on independence was fixing the toilet, which had been making nonstop hissing and trickling noises for weeks. I found some web pages to refer to and went between the bathroom (upstairs) and the desktop PC (downstairs)with tools in hand, over and over until I discovered the source of the problem and fixed it. Myself. I am woman, where's the chocolate.
Cheers,
F

Kerry said...

Changing a flat is just not as easy as all that. I've never successfully done the whole thing by myself. Stupid corroded lug nuts, they just don't budge.

Suldog said...

Those are a really great collection of tire tales. Isn't it amazing how help materializes out of nowhere sometimes?

In Fred Rogers' biography, his mother is said to have told him, at a very young age, "Freddie, always look for the helpers. Whenever someone is in trouble, there will always be people who want to help." He took that advice to heart, and he said that at no time during his life did those helpers fail to materialize. I find it to be the truth, too.

It can be a heck of a nice world, sometimes.

Frank Baron said...

I'm certain you're capable as all get-out at a bunch of things. But don't lament the fact that men seem to want to help you change tires.

Men LIKE to change tires! It's, well...it's manly! They get a chance to be John Wayne, or Galahad or some other heroic dude.

Don't begrudge them. Embrace your Delicate Flower-ness. You're doing a service for others. Godblessya'. ;)

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