Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The World Is Flat... And So Is My Tire

I was driving down Perkins when a young lady started honking at me. I was flattered, but kept driving anyway - sorry, ladies, but I'm taken!

This person was persistent, though. She pulled alongside me and pointed down repeatedly. I assumed she meant that she wanted to either get in my pants or for me to get into hers. When you have a unibrow as large and illustrious as mine, this is pretty normal.

We both stopped at a red light and she rolled down her window, so I did likewise. That's when she told me that I had a flat tire.

Luckily a Circle K was just up ahead, so I pulled into a well-lit area by the air pump. Sure enough, my back right tire was flat. The tread on my back tires was pretty low and I had planned on getting them replaced within the next week or so, but it looks like I'll have to do it sooner - like, immediately.

Changing a tire is one of those tasks that you're always asked when someone's trying to determine if you're competent. "Can you change your own tire?" How should I know, when I've never done it before? Sure, my dad and I changed the tire on his car after I ran over a curb when I was 16. And I helped a friend whose tire was flat back in December. But I've never had to do it by myself.

How hard could it be?

It turns out that changing a tire is ridiculously easy - as long as you have all the parts. Luckily for me, my car magically had everything I needed in the trunk.

The hardest part for me was getting the jack out of the trunk. I kept pulling it but it wouldn't budge. I finally got the idea to turn the screw on the front, which compressed the jack and then I was able to take it out. But I was at it for probably a good ten minutes before this thought came to mind.

The next thing I did was jack my car up. I kept turning the screw with a metal pole from my trunk. I grunted with exhaustion as my hands hurt from the constant, vigorous screwing motions done while jacking my car up. Up, up, up... woo! I had finally done it. My car was now officially jacked up.

Unfortunately, it was jacked too high. I realized that the tire needed to stay on the ground while I tried to get the lug nuts off, otherwise the tire would just spin. So I jacked my car back down.

I tried using my brute strength to loosen the lug nuts, but they wouldn't budge. I tried various ways of getting the lug nuts to loosen, such as twisting, turning and pleading with them, to no avail. Then I remembered that I'm short, stocky and weight 20 pounds more than the upper end of my body type's normal weight range, so I stood on whatever the name of the tool is that you use to loosen lug nuts, and they came right off.

I had called Betty to let her know that I would be home late due to a flat tire, and she called her dad, Jimmy, to come and help me. Jimmy was at my side in about ten minutes. It was actually really great having someone there with me, because I felt exposed and afraid that I would get jumped or something. You know how crazy that Perkins Rowe crowd gets after dark!

Jimmy came so fast that I nicknamed him Triple J. Who needs AAA when you've got Triple J?

I had one profound thought while changing my tire. I think instead of having a small replacement tire in your trunk, you should carry a monster truck wheel. It would look so much cooler.

If you're not an idiot like me then you probably know how to change a tire. But if you need a reference, I recommend this page. I also recommend pulling into a convenient store's parking lot to change your tire, because you have everything you need: good lighting, concrete, access to bathrooms, food and drinks.

If you ever need a hand, please give me a call. I'm now a pro at changing tires.


Michelina Douglass said...

Thanks for sharing that site, Bobby. And I think that you did a great job in changing your flat tire. Some people find it easy, others are having some difficulty in this department. I think it is a must that car owners know how to change their flat tire, so they will know what to do in case this situation happens to them.

Rita McCall said...

I enjoyed reading your story! Haha! Your flat tire experience was cool. :D Well, it’s really not easy fixing it by yourself, especially when you haven’t done it before. The first time my car got a flat tire, I didn’t have any idea on how I will be able to fix it. I was just so lucky that a friend was nearby to help fix it. I had my spare tire and tools, so there wasn’t any problem. From then on, I tried to learn how to change flat tire on my own. I can do it now, though I still need someone to help me a bit as you need some power to do it. Hehe!

Jack Chapman said...

“If you ever need a hand, please give me a call. I'm now a pro at changing tires.”--- Haha! Nice one! I just really hope that there’ll be someone like you who’s willing to lend a hand in case I get a flat tire. There are some people who really find it difficult to change a flat tire. Well, we must understand them since the work needs a lot of power and strength to do it.