Friday, July 27, 2007
A troubling tack...
I have had tire troubles. Again. Just to clarify, by tire troubles, I am referring to a tire on my wheelchair. People often say that tire troubles are comparable to car troubles. I don't share this view. When some one's car breaks down or is not operating in top form, the driver can take the bus or hitch a ride with a friend - maybe even walk. For a wheelchair user, these options don't really exist, especially walking of course. A wheelchair is equivalent to a body part like a pair of legs and serves as a vehicle to move about the world and be functional; it's how those who can't move conventionally stay active and important. Without a wheelchair or a working pair of legs, it's hard to get far.
Last night I noticed my newly-replaced tire looking suspiciously squishy. At first glance, I sensed trouble and tried to convince myself I was being silly. It was a brand-spanking new tire, so why would it be low???????? After a few minutes of staring at the wheel and doubting my own set of peepers, I decided it was better to be safe than sorry. The thought of being stranded somewhere or missing the chance to see the Observer today wasn't worth risking. I held my breath and called my trusty repairman, leaving a slightly nervous sounding message asking for assistance as soon as possible. The thought of the company's dispatcher listening to my message and thinking, "It's her again!" didn't sit well with me. I had just had a repair done. Thinking more logically, I realized that maybe I was solving a small problem before it got bigger, but again, maybe it was nothing.
I was awake most of the night worrying - worrying about the cause of the tire trouble, worrying about the reaction of the wheelchair technician, worrying about missing out on seeing the Observer and worrying about everything else I could think of.
I woke up promptly at 8 a.m. and called my repair crew. "My tire is going flat," I said. "Yes. We KNOW. We got your message and a technician will be out to you as soon as possible." I said, "Thank you," and meant it.
The technician was the same guy I always deal with. He's reliable and he cares. I was embarrassed that he had to come back to me so soon. He was worried that he made a mistake replacing my tire.
Once the tire was taken apart, he saw that a tiny tack was stuck in the tubing causing a teeny hole and slow release of air. We were both relieved. It was no one's fault; just a random little tack.
I bet tacks don't flatter car tires.