This post was originally deleted after my in-laws read it and decided that it was just me trying to make myself look like the All-American Handyman SuperDad or whatever, and so I took it down. As you can see by reading the self-deprecating humour contained within, I was just trying to write about something that had happened to me that semed to contain ( at least to me) some innate humor. This humor, however, they did not see and instead chose to tell my dear wife that The Spawn Of Beelzebub (i.e. me) was trying to make himself look like the Dad and Husband Of The Century. How this is possible when the piece contains the phrases "one of the few 'manly' tasks I am able to do" and "I, being a born procrastinator", not to mention "I'm just too consarned lazy."
I have just performed one of the few 'manly' tasks I am able to do without too much aggravation, provided I have the right tools. I took off the flat front tire of our family car and put on the (hallelujah!) full-size spare. It was not without its moments, though. Let me back up and tell you the full story.
A few weeks ago the tire in question (I suppose I should say 'tyre' being an Englishman, but I've lived here so long...) started to need air on a fortnightly basis. One day I spotted the culprit... a large nail fully embedded in the tread. As it was still only needing air once in a while, I, being a born procrastinator, put it off. I knew eventually we'd need to replace it, but I'm just too consarned lazy.
Two days ago I came out the front door and noticed we were almost flat. So I shot down the road, carefully on the turns of course, to the local gas station for a fillup and some of that special air from the machine. It must be special because it costs 75 cents. Probably imported. "Air-vian", perhaps? (Pause for collective groan).
This morning the tyre was slack again. I had two choices... put some more air in, or just do some grunt work.
The jack, which is in a little compartment in the cargo area, had obviously never been used, which, for a ten-year-old car, is amazing. The reason I knew this is because the little nut & bolt combo used to secure it wouldn't budge. Neither would the one on the side of it that secures the jack handle to the jack. I had to employ the use of something to whack it and get it started, now let me see, what shall I use... I looked around and the first thing that came to hand was my heavy KitchenAid can-opener. Whack, whack, whack! Beautiful! Alton Brown, of Food Network's "Good Eats" is always talking about the joys of kitchen tools that are 'multitaskers'... well, Alton, there's another use for can openers.
The spare was, in addition to being full-size, in pristine condition. Nice deep tread. After a few minutes I was joined by the girls, curious as to what I was doing. They enjoyed watching me leaning on the jack handle as I tightened the lug nuts, asking lots of unanswerable questions, such as "Why are they called lug nuts?". I am afraid I was a little short with them in response.
"Did I invent the car?" I fumed. They just laughed as their sweaty father got more and more terse.
As I said at the beginning, I am able to change a wheel. I am also able to jumpstart a car, pump gas, and run it through the car wash. Beyond that, professionals have to be involved.
So, my day got off to a lovely start. But at least I won't be paying for any more of that imported air any time soon.