June 30, 2007 3 Comments
Here’s a joke. What do you get when you mix an exhausted dad with a new teen driver. Answer. Tired.
Ok, not much of a joke but a good description of my Friday night. After a long and stressful week I arrive home at 7:30 with no more ambition than collapsing. Leaving late meant I had to turn down an evening with my friend Paul which I had been looking forward to all week. My wife had made other plans and was out. The only one happy with the situation was my son. He now had access to my car.
I settled in with dinner in front of the TV. Not for long. I get a call from Son saying that a tire “blew” and that he was parked about a mile and a half from the house. So much for my relaxing night. First, let’s focus on the good. No one was hurt. These are the days of cell technology. If it had happened to me at his age I would have been searching for a pay phone. Remember those days?
On go the shoes as I run/walk to where Son and car are awaiting. Note to self. Get in shape. Painful and slow mile and a half.
I have changed many a tire in my day. We had 20 or so minutes of daylight left. In my mind this was to be one of those father/son teaching of basic skills night. Yeah right. After getting the tools, jack and spare out of the trunk I had Son start loosening the lugnuts. Some teen angst, a little swearing but generally the first 4 were no problem. He was struggling with the fifth. I, assuming that he just isn’t focusing, was getting angry as darkness was setting in. Wrong. The tool did not fit the fifth lugnut.
How many of you know about “locking” lugnuts? None of my former cars had them and apparently I had not changed a tire on this one. After a phone call to my handy brother-in-law I learned that there should be another tool in the kit to deal with this. I found nothing. Here we were unable to get the tire off and out of ideas. That’s when Lady Luck strolled in. Actually this is when Lady Luck got up off the couch, went for a walk, turned left when we were to her right and then finally arrived in her own sweet time.
Let’s see if I can shorten the remainder of this story. Sent Son to friend’s house less than two blocks away hoping he had tools. The two arrived carrying nothing. Short banter. Friend has phone number of dad of son from Son’s baseball team who owns a towing business. Dad of baseball son agrees to come.
In meantime I find special little tool for locking lugnut hidden in special pocket of car tool kit. Get tire off but luckily do not cancel dad of baseball son. Car is on an uneven and rocky surface and twice the cheap jack that comes with the car slips. Second time the spare becomes pinned under the car and I wait for a hole to develop in the spare.
Dad of baseball son shows up with a professional man’s jack and takes care of everything. Everything includes the special issues in putting a tire back on this particular car. He then drives off into the moonlight not accepting any payment. We have known him for years and he is one of those nicest guys you will ever meet. Gift basket coming soon.
I drive the two of us back to the house and Son tells me how nice it was spending the evening together. I do not think he was being sarcastic– at least not totally. He was genuinely appreciative that I came to help and I am sure that he thought I might be angry. No anger. These things happen with new drivers. It will probably cost me two new tires and a night. Relatively small price to pay.
For the record the tire blew because he was driving too close to the curb on a four lane street. He ran over the curb at a point that happened to have a jagged edge. A 4 inch square piece of tire ripped.
Tired. That says it all.