Friday, June 27, 2008

Oh, erm, that wasn't exactly what I had in mind

After yesterday's low tire pressure warning light situation, I woke up this morning understandably concerned. I just popped downstairs into the garage to see if any of the minivan's tires had gone obviously flat and then came back up to inform Hubby, who was getting ready for work, that while there was no definite flat, both rear tires looked lower than they had (to my admittedly inexpert eye) last night. His response threw me a bit. He said "Well, I don't think that you actually have two or three flat tires, so what's the problem? If one goes flat, you've got a spare..."

It was then that it hit me: Hubby was thinking I'd change the tire myself should it go completely flat.

Oh, erm, that wasn't exactly what I had in mind. You see, theoretically, I can change a tire. They made us change a tire unassisted in Driver's Ed. (The piece o' crap Chevy Chevette that was the official Driver's Ed vehicle was no doubt made that much safer by having each of its tires repeatedly taken off and put back on by a bunch of teenagers...) However, I took Driver's Ed back in the summer of 1988, so it has literally been twenty years since that particular lesson entered my brain. In the subsequent period of time, I've changed a tire exactly once, and that was a mere 10 months after the Driver's Ed lesson. So, I would be extremely rusty on the finer points of tire changing, to put it delicately, and probably wind up sitting on the side of whatever road the tire died upon, poring over the manual and freaking out. There is a great chance that me changing a tire would be similar to Ralphie in A Christmas Story - the "eff dash dash dash" word could very likely be uttered...

Not good, considering that the kiddo would definitely be in the car with me at that point.

Now, I have witnessed the tire being changed on the minivan - I had a bad flat at work one day, in the winter, in a parking lot full of slush, mud and ice. That day, I implored a couple of the guys in my department to change it for me, which they ever-so-graciously did. I had no problem taking them out to lunch as a thank-you, and I felt terrible about the whole "being on the ground in the slush, mud and ice" part so I stayed outside and tried to help as best I could without, you know, actually helping. I like to think that I provided help with moral support and cheerleading...

Here's the thing, though: while I probably could manage to get the tire changed, I know that I wouldn't feel comfortable or safe driving around after I'd done so. That is the biggest thing. I'd be more inclined to try it if I were going to be the only passenger, but I wouldn't want to risk having the kiddo in a vehicle with my handiwork between her and the road. Yes, I have visions of the tire suddenly flying off and the van careening into a tractor trailer loaded with highly flammable liquids or gases, or off the road, over the bank and into the canal (or something equally horrific), quite possibly including a movie-special-effects-worthy fireball that Hubby might be able to see from his office building across town...

So, I 'fessed up on this count to Hubby. He seemed rather disappointed in my wimpiness - I guess he's thought all these years he was married to a woman who can change a tire. (And like I said, technically, that is true, or was, anyhow...) I guess he figured that having my coworkers change the tire for me that time was more an act of chivalry on their part than simply me being a wimpy girl. With a furrowed brow, he asked me what I intend to do today, then, just not go out?

Yep. That's exactly my plan. I intend to not drive anywhere until he is done with work, at which point I'll take the van over to the dealership and he will pick us up. The professional mechanic type folks will then ascertain which tire(s?) has an issue and fix the problem, along with doing the oil change and inspection (the van is due for both) and we can pick it up, all safe with four solid tires, tomorrow.

I think perhaps today the kiddo and I will have jammy day, or at least jammy morning. It will be relaxing to spend the day at home, where I know the only thing exploding will be a water balloon, and not a tire on the expressway at 60mph.

(By the by, we do not have AAA. If we did, this entire post would be a moot point...)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good luck with the van!

Our check engine light has been on for awhile but it came came on after I was driving with gas cap partially open. Waiting to see if it goes out on its own.
We don't have AAA either but we do have roadside assistance through our insurance. Came in handy when Sose managed to lock both sets of car keys in the car in New Jersey last summer!