Wednesday, January 5, 2011

First Time For Everything

I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but we’ve had our Mazda for ten years and I’ve never changed the tire on it. In fact, I’ve never so much as touched the spare tire, which is not a good thing when you consider the possibility of getting flat and being stuck, especially when you live out in the middle of nowhere.

I had constantly been saying that I needed to familiarize myself with where the tire was and how to use the jack, but always put it off and opted to take a nap or go for a walk. The jack had sat unused for so long that it actually got all rusty and damaged, and I had to replace it. For the record, I do use the jack to change the oil because the car is so low to the ground I can’t get under it.

Anyway, we had a plan yesterday to hit the Dartmouth Skiway, but ran into a complication from the get go. The Mazda had a flat tire. R came in and told me, and when we looked at it, we could see a massive rock that had punctured the tread.

R took the Fit to work (glad we now have a second car) and I was going to have the car towed to Meunier to have them patch the hole. I called and they said they could squeeze me in. When I contacted AAA, however, they gave me a little guilt trip because it was not a roadside emergency, and they would prefer it if I could use the spare and drive it over. My first thought was, “You drive it over.” I didn’t want to get down in the snow and jack up the car and get my hands dirty, and as I tried to relay this to the guy on the other end of line, I realized how much I sounded like a big sissy.

Besides, as I mentioned, I’d never changed the tire. So, in true real-man (in training) fashion, I broke out that jack (which was generously given to me by RM at Meunier), lifted the car, took off the flat tire and put on the spare, which for the record, is hard to imagine being a functional piece of equipment. It's so darn small. I had some reservations about driving on ice and snow with the dinky little spare, but it wasn’t that bad.

I took the tire over to Meunier, but they were swamped, and had three cars up on the lifts. It dawned on me that I could always just leave the tire and come back, and JM said if I could just come back in an hour, it would be done.

Which I did, and it was. I felt better that I had finally changed the tire, and best of all, I got my hands dirty, like a real man should.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to eat some donuts with my dirty hands. Until then, thanks for reading.

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