So there I am, El Jefe Maximo, cruising down one of the main drags of Cuidad El Jefe at rush hour, listening to Robert Earl Keen; dodging idiots who can't drive (everybody but me naturally); and probably idly thinking about why Obama pulled his flag pin; whether I'm for Fred or John McCain; where Osama might be; who Mad Jad's tailor is; the Duke of Wellington; the Queen Elizabeth class battleships or something equally irrelevant. Hey, I wasn't talking on my cellaphone, okay ? In any case, my usual mother-of-all-run-on-thoughts was (were ?) abruptly interrupted by a loud roaring noise from the region of the front right wheel.
I pulled the royal coach off the road, and yes, of course, I had a flat. Spiffy. Maybe the flat had something to do with why the car had demonstrated a desire over the last couple of days to pull to the right ? Something to take under advisement.
I suppose I should be thankful the flat didn't appear while I was barrelling down the El Jefe Maximo Memorial Freeway or it wasn't a blowout, or whatever. But when, instead of rushing home to eat before getting the Heir to Boy Scouts -- you're in the parking lot of Bed, Bath and Beyond rummaging for the tire tools -- you're not usually in such a thankful mood. On the good side. . .there was a bookstore nearby. . .but I'm digressing, and SWMBO didn't read that.
The El Jefe royal coach is very German, and like all good Germans, she comes with a very complete tool kit. I felt mildly ludicrous hustling tire-tools and spare into position dressed in khaki trousers and loafers, but I felt even more absurd when I could not budge the lug nuts, even with my non-standard equipment T-wrench. So I called the auto club, hung my "I'm a Dummy Who Can't Change A Tire, Mug Me Please" sign around my neck, and waited. Fortunately, I had my book.
Auto club guy shows up -- and, after appropriate greetings, and removal of my "Mug Me Now" sign, introduces me to my next random item to throw in my trunk -- just a plain old garden-variety pipe to put on the end of my lug wrench. The pipe makes a nice lever, with which you can move machine-tightened lug nuts. (Insert appropriate intellectual-sounding comment about Archimedes and levers here). This got me back on the road, on to the tire place, so I could spend a nice evening in the waiting room comparing cell-phone ringers and watching re-runs of Oprah at the Opera, or some such thing.
Moral of this epistle: carry a pipe in your trunk; check your air pressure now and then; and take a book.