A Flat Tire

The Tale of the Missing Tool

Saturday night our Ford Explorer came limping in on three tires. A rear tire was as flat as the world before Columbus. This is the third flat the old SUV has had in less than 12 months. Max was driving. . .just like the last two times. Coincidence? I think not. But that’s another story. 

I want to tell you the story about the two hours Max and I spent trying to cobble together a tool that would release the spare tire from its prison under the rear of the SUV because Max said the actual tool we needed had gone missing. And how when the home-made tool didn’t work, we decided to just jack up the Explorer and take the flat to get fixed, then put it back on. So we tried to use the jack from my truck, but the jack in my truck was stuck fast, and we couldn’t get it out of its compartment for love or money. And about how when we couldn’t get that jack out, Max walked down the street and asked a stranger who we noticed had a Ford Explorer parked in the street if he could borrow her jack. And the woman said she hadn’t paid the extra to get a jack and the tools because no one gets flats anymore. 

And I don’t want to forget to tell you about how we sat cross-legged in the driveway wracking our brains thinking of someone who might have a jack we could borrow on the Sunday morning of Thanksgiving weekend. And how we rushed over to my friend Jack’s house to borrow his jack, only it wasn’t quite right, so we just jacked the Explorer up and left it there until Mike got home from church to help us think through the rest of what we needed to do. 

And don’t let me forget to tell you how Mike said we should forget about getting the spare out from underneath the rear of the truck and just take the flat tire off and Max and his friend Greg could drive around until they found a gas station open that could plug the tire. Or how the boys ran out of time before they found a station open that could plug the tire, and Max had to go back to college on the bus so I had to get the tire fixed this morning. 

I don’t want to forget to tell you how it was pouring rain this morning and I took the flat to get plugged. And how when Mike went out in the dark and still-pouring rain tonight to put the plugged tire on, he came in the house and showed me the missing tool that Max overlooked at 10 am on Sunday morning. And how we could have avoided all of this if only Max had looked more carefully and found the tool that would have released the spare, and we could have put on the spare and relaxed until the rain stopped and got the flat fixed another day. That’s the story I want to tell you about. . .but I guess I just did.

No spare to spare.


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