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Of course I can change a flat tire

Gads what a day!

Wil worked at East Bay last night, which is a 10-6 shift when it's called for. So he's driving home early to sleep a bit before he has to go in and work a 12-close shift at Hobby Lobby.

He blows a tire when he's almost home, so he limps the car home. He takes the other car down to work and I tell him that I'll put the spare on so we can take the car in on Monday and get two new tires for it.

I can do that, you know, I've changed tires before. This one is sitting in our nice, safe driveway, so it won't be a problem.

Famous last words.

First we have to clean out the trunk to get at the spare. See, we still had a bunch of stuff in there from the move (yes, the move that was more than a year ago) that we've never gotten around to taking out. Or looking at. Or thinking about.

Then we dug out the jack and spare and tools. The jack didn't really want to work. And while the car is in it's usual parking spot, the gravel there is a bit soft. And the car is more than 15 years old, which means it may be slightly more rust than actual metal right where you have to put the jack.

We get it started, though. Just raise the tire enough to get the hubcap off. Only the hubcap doesn't want to come off, so we have to work with it on. Which means that it's really, really hard to get to the lug nuts. And the really cheap tools they gave us don't work very well. Plus the lug nuts are old and also rusty. So we fight with it until we get the lug nuts off. YAY.

Now the tire is really chewed up. So we crank away on the jack for a bit again, to raise it up enough to pull the tire off and put on the spare.

Oh, did I mention that the spare is looking really flat? But that's okay because I do have an air compressor that will fix that. Once we get the tire on.

Anyhow, the -- completely worthless and ridiculous jack -- slowly raises the car. You do remember that the gravel under it is a bit soft, right? And the metal it's pressing against is a bit more rust than solid metal? And because of how the (cheapass) jack is made you can only turn it a quarter turn at a time? Keep all that in mind. Well, we get it up high enough to (finally) work the tire off. YAY, again.

Now, today it was 87° and humid, so it was really very hot. I was covered with grime and grease and more than a little sweat. So I decide to sit down and take a break before fighting with putting the spare tire on. It's obvious that we're going to have to raise the car a few more inches before we can put the spare on and I thought it would be best to start that phase of the operation well rested.

I sit down and was just going to ask my mom if she would like a glass of cold water, when I hear this crunching sound. I glance at the car just in time to see the jack shudder and the whole car moves backwards, the jack collapses and, in the next second, the car is down on the gravel. It was almost as if it were in slow motion.

We have a three second pause and then I look at my mom. "Well," I say, "I have roadside assistance."

"Yeah, I think we should."

So I go in and call roadside assistance. An hour later, I have a professional working on my car. In my defense, even he had a hard time finding a good place to put his (much better) jack. He also gets his (much better) wrench to tighten the lug nuts. After a bit of maneuvering we have the now obviously flat, spare on the car. He was going to even fill the tire for us, but I insisted that I could do it myself, especially since we have a very nice air compressor. I realize the tow-guy was just being nice, but I had to salvage what pride I could. Actually, he was very nice and said that the reason the jack didn't hold was that frame of the car was too weak to hold it where we placed it. Which soothed some of my injured ego.

So. That's the story of my day. The lesson I got from it is that if I need to every change a tire again, I will just call roadside assistance. Especially if it is on my old, rusty car.

Well, that and the fact that you really need to make sure your spare tire has air in it or even roadside assistance won't be able to help you.


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