April 2, 2007

Wrenched But Lucky? Maybe.



You may remember my saga about trying to get my tires replaced and being sent home wanting. You only got the short version, which is good because the long version was boring. The endeavor took over an hour because the folks at BJ’s took all my tires off and sent me on my way before checking to see if the tires they had were really the tires that fit on my Jeep.

In any case, I’ve been looking to buy new tires since then, and I finally found the set I want on Tire Rack. But I know some people who work at Town Fair Tire, and it’s conveniently close to work, so I’ll be going there.

The bad news is, I got a flat and had to change it this weekend.

The experience reminded me of the story of the Warrior and the Stallion. I don’t know where the story comes from, but at some point it was told on the TV show Northern Exposure.

My uncle once told me about a warrior who had a fine stallion.
Everybody said how lucky he was to have such a horse.
Maybe, he said.
One day the stallion ran off. The people said the warrior was unlucky.
Maybe, he said.
The next day, the stallion returned, leading a string of fine ponies.
The people said it was very lucky.
Maybe, the warrior said.
Later, the warrior’s son was thrown from one of the ponies and broke his leg.
The people said it was unlucky.
Maybe, the warrior said.
The next week, the chief led a war party against another tribe. Many young men were killed.
But, because of his broken leg, the warrior’s son was left behind, and so was spared.

When I saw I had the flat tire, I thought “damn, this sucks.” But I’ve had many flats before, so on Sunday I went out to change it.

And that’s when I ran into trouble. My spare was flat. But I was in my driveway and so I just inflated the flat with my little air compressor. It took a while, but it works.

Things got worse when I tried to get the lug nuts off. Three came off with unusually difficult effort, and the other two wouldn’t budge at all. I pulled with all my strength and weight, eventually tearing the OEM Jeep wrench apart (see picture). Yikes!

I ended up using a steel pole to increase the leverage of one of my nicer wrenches. This effort began to rip apart the lug nuts (I’m not kidding, it nearly ripped the cap off one of them) until cousin Bob came over and helped me to hammer the socket all the way over the nut and wrench the thing off the stud.

By the way, thank you, B.J.’s, for tightening them so much. (One was cross-threaded, but not bad enough to ruin the threads on the stud).

However, I was really glad that all this happened in my driveway. If I’d had the flat away from home, I’d have been sitting there with a broken wrench and a flat spare. So, it was lucky! Maybe…

Luck is in how you look at things, not an inherent quality of anything. This is what people mean when they say “look on the bright side.” Everything is connected. Not in a mystical sense. I mean that the cause and effect sequence of events means that one thing leads to another. And, like it or not, the bad things in our lives often eventually lead us to good things as well. It’s not magic, it’s just the way things are.

Posted by James at April 2, 2007 9:35 AM
Create Social Bookmark Links

Lucky for me three men were in my driveway so they could move the swingset. :-P

Posted by: Maggie at April 2, 2007 11:13 AM

Sorry about your tires, James. Sounds like it was a pain to deal with. I loved the little story you posted. I'm going to remember that one.

Posted by: Chuck S. at April 2, 2007 12:57 PM

For whatever it's worth, I really like Town Fair Tire. And I don't often say that about automotive service providers.

Posted by: Julie at April 2, 2007 2:29 PM

Copyright © 1999-2007 James P. Burke. All Rights Reserved