July 30th, 2014


The Last Tire I Ever Changed

I had just finished work for the day when the phone rang - the mother of one of my kids' friends just had a blowout on the Interstate coming into our little town. I hopped in my car to change her tire out for her. Only...the little compact tool they have nowadays wasn't budging the nuts, so I drove back home and got the tire tool from the back of the Mercury. I was able to loosen all but one - a hellishly tight bolt I couldn't break. I had her put her minivan in neutral and rolled it forward a bit, hoping to shift the force on the last bolt. After a back-and-forth between cranking, rolling forward, cranking, rolling forward, I finally got it. While I was working, I was trying to remember the last time I'd actually changed a tire - I couldn't remember!

I was pretty pleased with myself when I thought of this little roadside incident, but the more I thought about it, the more I remembered it was drax0r who'd jumped out and changed the tire.

Then it hit me. The last time I'd changed a tire, was the last time I'd changed a tire.

While I was sure I'd told this story before on this blog, I couldn't find it. You see, growing up in Texas, I spent untold hours on the side of the road changing tires for women and the elderly in my every day travels, it was just something we were raised to do - and was often repaid when my own wife would have a flat while I was working.

But the last time I changed a tire, there was an elderly couple in the parking lot of IGA in Boyd (the one that sold deer corn, drax0r), sitting in their car on a hot Texas day with the windows down and a flat tire. They weren't very communicative, so I reached in the car, took the keys out of the ignition, opened the trunk, and began to change the tire.

There comes a time I suppose, when every mantle must be passed. Mine apparently, had come. Because while I was working (at a very young 35-years of age I might add), a young man - probably in high school - tapped me on the shoulder and asked, "May I help you with that, sir?"

I didn't argue with him. Just handed him the tire tool and made my way home.

And that was the last time I'd changed a tire.