Mar. 23, 2017

Flat Tire

I was on my way to work one afternoon when I had to pull over due to a flat tire. This was before cell phones were ever invented so I had to walk to the nearest house and pray they let me use their phone to call someone. Thankfully, it was to a little old lady’s house. After allowing me admission into her home, I used her phone and then sat with her in the sitting room waiting for my father-in-law to arrive.

First, Clyde inspected the tire damage and then he came to the house and retrieved me. On the way back to my car he said, “That tire is gone. You were riding on the rim. It had to have been flat whenever you left Georgetown.”

“I don’t think so,” I answered thoughtfully.

“How fast were you going?”

“About 60.”

As we reached the car he asked, “Well, how did you know you had a flat tire?”

“Because when I pulled over and got out to look, I saw it was flat,” I answered. I thought to myself that he must have thought I was an idiot not to be able to see a flat tire when looking at one.

“No, I mean, what made you pull over to check in the first place?” he clarified.

“Oh! I looked in my rear view mirror and saw smoke coming up the back so, I pulled over and checked and saw the tire was flat.”

I sensed he was irritated when he asked me, “Didn’t you feel like you might have been going over boards or something while you were racing down the highway like a maniac?”

“Well, yeah! But I thought I was driving on top of those little reflector thingies in the middle of the road!”

Clyde stood shaking his head looking at me in wonder and undoubtedly thinking, yes, I was an idiot.

You’d think I would have learned my lesson. Actually I did learn something. When I left home one afternoon to run into town, I came down the old Pennyroyal Road which is quite windy with all the curves and turns. The speed limit is 55 and I minded the limit.

When I got to the stop sign on Highway 17 and Pennyroyal Road, I was about four cars back. As the first car pulled out onto the highway and I moved up, I felt my back tires were going over boards. When the second car pulled out and I moved forward again, I again rolled “over boards.”

Since I’ve been educated and knew from my father-in-law that “going over boards,” meant I likely had a flat tire, I knew I better not pull out onto the busy highway. Thinking quick, as contrary to popular belief, I’m no idiot, I whipped into the empty car lot to my left and got out to inspect the tire. Sure enough it was flat.

I walked back to the apartment complex my friend, Eleanor, lived in and used her phone to call my husband, Reese. Eleanor’s son, Bobby, arrived at the same time Reese did.

Bobby came through the door and said, ribbing me a little, “Michelle, did you know your car was in the empty parking lot on the corner with a flat tire?”

My husband spoke up and said, “Yeah, she knows. That’s why she called me.” Reese turned to me, “How fast were you going? And, that tire was flat when you left home.”

“I was doing about 55 and no it wasn’t flat,” I said full of confidence as I didn’t feel the board thing until I got to the stop sign. “I would have known!”

“That’s what I said,” Bobby agreed. “Damn, Michelle, you could have killed yourself driving on that road at that speed!”

“Yes, it was,” Reese insisted about the tire and I can prove it.”

“How?”

“When you were driving down the road, did you feel the car pulling you to the right? You know, the steering wheel giving resistance?”

I thought about that for a minute and then answered, “Yeah, I did feel that.”

Reese shook his head and asked, “Well, what did you think that was?”

“I thought that was just my driving,” I answered with a shrug.

Both men had to sit down.