The flat tire story, or how I became a bad feminist.

20 May

Since I’ve written very little about my leave, I feel compelled to share with you, dear internet, the story of my first flat tire. 

First, in order to understand this story a little better, you need to understand that in the summer my tires are always too full.  It’s the heat.  It’s the air expanding thing.  I hate science and, since high school, have had most of my knowledge regarding it removed from my brain, so that’s about as much of an explanation as I can give you. 

So, for the first week that I was home my check tire light was on, and, as usual, I ignored it and hoped for the best.  While attempting to find the best friend’s, Jennifer’s, new house, I had to turn around.  While doing this whole turning around thing, my tire hit the curb ever so gently and popped my front passenger side tire.  Luckily, not being nearly the ditz I thought I was, I realized that my tire was flat and pulled over into a little parking lot thing.  Jennifer called in the middle of this catastrophe and told me that she knew where I was and that she would be there as quickly as her little legs could carry her.  Yes, I was within walking distance to my final destination. 

While waiting for her, I attempted to get the spare out.  I drive an adorable little Toyota RAV4 and taking the cover off the spare, since it’s a hard cover, is not easy.  I had the manual out and everything and it just said pull, but regardless of how hard I pulled I could only get it to slip just a little bit.  

After that pissed me off, I tried to get the jack out and that didn’t work very well either. It seems when it comes to anything regarding my car, about the only thing I can do is clean it, put gas in it, and check the oil.  Really, that’s about it. 

Finally, Jennifer showed up, and she said she’d gotten pretty good at the whole tire-changing thing since I had gone on the deployment. 

Using team work,  we were able to finally get the spare cover off.  We both just pulled and it came off.  While she was getting out the jack, I was removing the spare.  That was easy.  Luckily the nuts weren’t too tight and I was able to get those off with minimal effort. 

Then it was on to jacking the vehicle up, and that didn’t take much effort, but then it came to taking off the flat tire.  That ultimately proved to be beyond us, and no matter how hard we tried we could not get the nuts to even loosen a little bit.   We both tried.  We jumped up and down on the little nut loosener thing.  That didn’t work.  I put some muscle into it, but seeing as I only have some muscle in my arms, that didn’t work either. 

At this point, I got frustrated.  I told Jennifer that, and this is were my feminist stance faltered a little bit, if I just stood there and looked confused and cute, then someone stronger than me would surely come to my rescue.  Jennifer, said, yeah, sure, that would work if the view of us wasn’t blocked from oncoming traffic by a giant white van.  She had a good point, but just then we heard a motorcycle pull up on the other side of said giant white van. 

 So, me, at this point very determined to look like a helpless female, raised my voice and whined in the hopes that said man on motorcycle would hear us. 

He and his friends did hear us. They came around and asked we were having problems and I said that yes, yes we were having some difficulty getting the nuts loosened.  Mind you, by this point, we had lowered the vehicle down and were about to walk back to her house to wait for her father to get off work, so I’m sure it looked like we really had no idea what the hell was going on.  But honestly, I didn’t, so who cares. 

So Mr. Motorcycle Man comes over and shows us that you just have to grip and rip, or something like that.  All I know is that it rhymed.  From there he proceeded to loosen all the nuts like it was easiest thing he’s ever done.  Then we jacked the vehicle back up.  I was on hands and knees taking note of how all this was done, just in case I ever needed to know how to do it again.  He showed me the right spot to put the jack and everything. 

After the loosening of those god damn nuts, I told him that I could get it from there, since I really did need to know how to do things like that, but he said that this time I should just watch and learn. So, he lifted that flat tire off, put it aside, told me to jack the vehicle up a little bit, which I could do, then he put the spare on, tightened those damned nuts and then told me to tighten them some more, which I did. All through this process of tire changing we discussed me being in the Army, and him being in the Army. I think I just mentioned the Army thing so he wouldn’t think I was a complete and total pansy.  I’m not sure it worked though.  After the tire was changed, we put the flat on the back and put the cover back on.  It goes back on a lot easier then it comes off.  Imagine that. 

After all was said and done and all tools were put away, and my vehicle had a spare on it and it was back on the ground, I said thank you about a million times and then shook his hand and was pulled into a hug.  It was great.  He was so nice and so pleasant.  After that, he was off. 

I was pretty impressed, so say the least.  The kindness of strangers is something that never fails to amaze me, and while it took a while for someone to slow down and stop to help me, I’m very grateful to the man that did stop and help me change my tire. 

While I do now know the procedures for tire changing, the proper placement of the jack, and all that jazz, I don’t feel exactly confident that, if I were to get a flat tire in the middle of nowhere, I could change the tire myself.  Those fuckers are on there pretty good, which is great because you know, if they weren’t, they might roll off while driving and that would be horrible beyond words. 

The next day I went and got new tires, seeing as I no longer had a spare and that two of my other tires looked pretty damaged.  So now that I’m back in Kosovo, my cute little RAV4 has brand new tires and is surely much happier. 

So, what have I learned?  Check the tires before I decide to run into curbs. 

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One Response to “The flat tire story, or how I became a bad feminist.”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 2k7: The year in reviewiness « questionable rationale - December 31, 2007

    […] cruising down the highway felt unbelievably freeing. But then, getting my first flat tire was, er, upsetting. But, I did get an awesome haircut and that kinda, but not really, made up for […]

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