Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Flat Tires

Me posing make believe like I'm changing our flat tire on Skyline Drive in Virginia the summer of 1965


No, I'm not talking about a 70 year old former stripper, I'm talking about getting a flat tire in one's vehicle.

Although said photo atop this blog would indicate that I am changing a flat tire on Bill's Chevy Corvair (remember that lemon?) sans 1965, I was actually only doing my "I'm not a doctor but I play one on TV" pose.  I am proud to admit that I've never changed a flat tire in my life.  NEVER.  Why do you think I joined AAA in 1982?  Of course I've never had a flat tire since then and my dues have gone from $25 a year to now $89 a year but you know, JUST IN CASE.  

I remember an instance when I was in the Army at Ft. Meade in Maryland.  A few of my friends and I were going to take a jaunt to nearby Baltimore.  All of my friends (all four of them) happened to be gay.  Yes, that's another whole story to be told at another time but I always thought it was ironic that before I went into the Army at age 18 I was the only "homosexual" in the world.  Hey, I was from a small town and the world "homosexual" was only furtively whispered with scowled faces.  But I digress.  

So here we were on that humid August night in 1962, five light in the combat boots, taking a gay expedition to Baltimore.  About halfway there, as we were crossing a bridge whose name I have forgotten, and we hear a "flap! flap! flap!" OMG!  Our driver Doug says "Hey guys I think we have a flat!"  The rest of us; me, my friend Ron H., Sal and (yes) another Ron P. all look at each other in askance.  The term "WTF?" wasn't even invented at that time but if it was we all would have said it unison.  As it were, we all just looked at each other saucer eyed.

Finally someone (me) said "I can't change a flat tire."  Someone else (Ron H.) said "I don't know how to change a flat tire either."  Sal said "Don't look at me, I don't know how to change one either." And yes, Ron P. expressed a similar response.  Hey folks, a carload of gay guys and NO ONE KNEW HOW TO CHANGE A TIRE.  
After a few moments of stunned silence (when we realize just how GAY we were), we started to laugh.  That's when I said "I like grease on a man's hands but not mine." Similar jocular one liners were made by the others.  It really was a joke folks.  A carload full of SOLDIERS and NONE OF US knew or wanted to change that flat tire.

So I guess you're all wondering what happened to us.  Yep, you guessed it.  A car came by with two women.  WACs.  Yep, they changed our flat tire.  Don't tell anybody. 

Wac's to the rescue

13 comments:

  1. Proving once again that the world is better off having a woman's touch....snort

    Sign me Sluggy, the woman who has changed many a flat tire...lolz

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    1. Denise,
      Just more proof if you want a job done get a woman. I concur!

      Ron

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  2. Ron,

    I have changed many a flat in my existence, both on my cars and on cars of others. It use to be relatively easy, but nowadays it isn't. Not so much that the technique has changed, but the strength required has. They put those lug nuts on with air wrenches and those things take a lot of torque to loosen and with my arthritic digits and limbs, I can do it anymore. Ihad a flat a couple years ago and almost couldn't get the lugs loose. I managed finally, but ever since have depended on AAA as my back up. A lot of things I am finding more difficult as each year passes.

    Lar

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    1. Lar,

      I respect anyone who can change a flat tire. Talk about tight lug nuts…..I have trouble opening my juice jars these days.

      Ron

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  3. "I like working with my hands, but don't like getting my fingernails dirty."

    - 80s ad for Computer Learning Center


    I just had a nail in my tire last week...I pulled it off the car and took it to Pep Boys in my truck to be fixed. I do this all the time (as I don't like using that dinky little spare tire!)

    :-)

    -Andy

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    1. Andy,

      I think they call that little spare tire a "donut tire." I would put one anyway because it wouldn't match the other tires. Playing my gay card again.

      Ron

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  4. OMB, too funny! "light in the combat boots"

    a corvair; unsafe at any speed, as ralph nadar used to say; I have never been in a corvair.

    AAA member since 1983 here.

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    Replies
    1. Anne Marie,

      The irony was that the NSA (where we worked at Ft. Meade) was so homophobic (witch hunts all the time) but that is where I met all my gay friends. Of course everyone behaved themselves (I did anyway). Yes, that Corvair. We were glad to get rid of it before it blew up on us.

      Ron

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  5. Hi Ron, I can change a tire and I've changed my crankcase oil too. So if you need anything like that done I'm you man, but since you're paying AAA $89 a year you might as well let them do it! A few years back I almost bought a Chevy Corvair, probably the safest Corvair ever, it wasn't running. Ended up taking a pass on it. Also your right about some of the jar lids! I've found some on so tight that even God himself couldn't get them off, as a friend of mine would say.

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    1. Randy,

      I guess I could change a tire if I really had too. But to me it is not only a dirty job but dangerous. I house sat for a woman some years ago who had lost her leg helping another motorist whose car had a flat. She was hit by a truck. I would prefer to let the professionals do a job like that but of course I realize that AAA isn't always the answer but that's the insurance I took out. By the way I like the term you use "I'm your man." I always like hearing that statement directed at me from another man. Just saying.

      Ron

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  6. I have a list "Things a gentleman needs to know" full of items a 'proper' man should know how to do. Change a tire is one of them.

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  7. I was so proud I recognized the car as a Corvair even before reading your comment. They were already declared "Unsafe At Any Speed" before I could drive but I thought they looked pretty snappy. One more reason for me not to be a fan of Ralph Nader. That, and him being significantly responsible for making George W president.

    I love the mental picture of all of you in the car. The tire goes flat and you all become Butterfly McQueen. Had I been passing by I would certainly have stopped to assist. I have changed a few. And for a car load of soldiers..... you bet.

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    1. Harper's Keeper,
      Yes, you remind me that that ego inflated bastard Ralph Nader WAS responsible for George Bush being elected president and we still haven't recovered from that mess. I often think of the irony that Nader brought about. He brought to the attention of the country that the automobile industry was covering up that the Corvair would explode and burn people to death. The irony is that Nader was indirectly responsible for Bush and the ensuing unnecessary war in Irag that burned and killed so many people. Every time I saw one of our hideously burned soldiers or Iraqi civilians I thought of Nader.

      The other irony is here is a car full of so-called "soldiers" and we're all atwitter because none of knew how to change a tire or WOULD even attempt to change a tire. But my friends sure did know how to put on a Broadway type show which they did at our service club several times, and yes I was involved even though I don't have the gay Broadway show tune card. And no, alcohol wasn't involved, we were just very….um….sensitive. You would never see any of us loosening a lug nut.

      Ron

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