Sick tire interrupts Sunday journey

Lynn Moncus

Although Aggie wanted to write this column, she lost the battle because she is still storming around expressing her disgust over our Sunday drive and hasn’t begun to get her vocabulary under control sufficiently to avoid censorship.

Besides, she’s making life miserable for a turtle in the backyard and doesn’t have time to sit at the computer.
We had planned a fairly long Sunday afternoon drive through Norton Valley, up the hill to head west on the plains to Ragland, and back through Quay Valley. Because we hadn’t taken that route in several months, we were really looking forward to that outing, to taking pictures of the landscape, and to finding several places in which to do some walking.
Fortunately, we slowed down a few times to take pictures of the very tall sunflowers and other colorful scenes because we didn’t have time to think about pictures or walks once we hit the foot of the Norton Hill and “low tire Pressure” appeared on the instrument panel. Of course, I got out at once to check the tires and was much relieved to see that all four were still fairly round but that the right front might be a little low. Obviously, we shouldn’t have proceeded on our tour so we turned around to retrace our trail and to think what we might do if the tire went down completely.

Yes, I probably could have changed it had I been forced to do so, but I wasn’t really in the mood to play with that flimsy jack or to test my strength against the lug nuts. As we drove slowly along, I began to think about the people I knew who lived near that road and decided that any one of them would help if asked, but that most of them would rather continue enjoying their quiet Sunday afternoon. We did stop for a few minutes at Norton so Aggie could say she had a little walk and so I could calm the nerves against the remainder of the trip. At least, she was happier than she had been but must have felt my tension because she didn’t make any further demands and just sat quietly beside me.

After stopping to check the tires several more times and to note that enough air was still present, we finally turned into our own driveway without having to disturb anyone. I then kicked that low tire a couple of times and slammed the garage door so it could either go flat or hold its own. By then the temper was a little shorter than usual, and I needed to get it under control before morning in order to be able to talk quietly to the gentlemen at Quality Lube and Tire.

Yes, I had already decided I had endured enough such experiences with those tires that I was going to buy new ones. After all, I have had more flats on this car than on all my other cars combined, and all patience was at an end. At least, the car has the decency to tell me when such a disaster is about to strike, but it had flashed that little green light in my face one time too often.

By Monday morning, the tire seemed to have just as much air as it had the day before so I didn’t even have to call for help in order to get to Quality Lube and Tire. When Kenneth Henderson approached the car smiling, I knew he had noticed that the front of the car was tilting a bit and was ready to begin searching for the culprit causing that problem. He has done that chore frequently and has always found the trouble maker even when other people have merely added air and said all was well. He seemed a bit surprised when I said new tires were indicated but didn’t argue once I had finished a brief speech. I’m sure he hopes as much as I that we won’t be seeing each other for a long time about another flat, but I know he will come to the rescue if needs be.

At any rate, Aggie and I will try the same trip again soon just to see if we can make it without incident and with plenty of stops to do some walking. Too much space between treads on tires should not be allowed.