Tuesday, August 25, 2009

We Don't Need No Stinkin' Triple A

Last week I was in Oregon for Dad's memorial service and to spend time with family. Sunday afternoon, I flew back to Chicago to return to work. The plan was that I would land about 11:30 and then drive the three hours to Lincoln so that I could be at work Monday morning. I landed, retrieved my suitcase and road the train to Economy Lot E where I walked to aisle B4 and jumped in my car, Tommy Tinbox.

About 150 yards later, I realized that something sounded funny. I quickly stopped and hopped out of the car. Sure enough, the back left tire was flat! The bad news: It's midnight, I'm at O'Hare with a three hour drive ahead and I haven't changed a tire in many, many years. I didn't think I wanted to try calling AAA at that time. It seemed like it would take longer and be more hassle than just taking care of it myself. The good news was that I could pull into a parking spot that was quite flat, there was room to maneuver, the weather was comfortable and I wasn't in any hurry.

The first challenge was to find the jack. I pulled the spare tire and some other parts out of the trunk but the jack was nowhere to be found. So I found the owner's manual and learned that the jack is stored under the driver's seat. But in the dark, I couldn't find the jack at first and then couldn't figure out how to remove it. Eventually, I figured it out, though. It took some doing to get the lug nuts off the wheel but by standing on the crowbar, I was finally able to loosen them and got the tire off.

Soon, I proudly finished getting the spare tire mounted:
Because the Scion's regular tires are so small, the spare really wasn't any different in size, though it was a little narrower. Once I got on the road, I found I was able to cruise along at full speed, which was a real blessing since I had so far to travel that night.

If you know me well, you'll understand what made me happiest about this little venture. Because this car had never had a flat tire before, the tools and spare tire had never been used, so I was able to complete the entire job without getting my hands dirty!

By 4:00 AM I was in my apartment and in bed at 4:30; up at 9:00 and at my desk by 10:00. Another travel adventure comes to a close.

No comments: