OLD SCHOOL

Some people call it “Old School”. Some dub the actions “Old Fashioned”. Still, others use adjectives like “Stupid” to describe things like I did a couple weeks back.

I’m no stranger to the dreaded sound and feel of flapping and lifeless rubber. I’ve had my share of flats and blowouts. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why it always seems to happen in the summertime.

Being out of water and starvin’ like Marvin, I had one continuous thought in my head before my tire gave up the ghost, “I can’t wait to get home”. Isn’t that just how it goes?

I limped my truck backward into a parking space to assess the damage. The big ole chrome rim was resting on the asphalt with only the rubber between the two. I shook my head and grimaced. The tires were almost brand new… and they don’t offer any blue light specials on those tires.

Did I mention that I was hot, tired, and thirsty? I had to make a decision; call someone to come out and slap my spare tire on, which could take awhile. Or, get my hands dirty and do it myself.

I’m not sure if it was my thirst and hunger that drove my thought process or it was my cynical worldview that knows when someone says, “They’ll be right there”, can mean two hours.

What I know for sure is that people forget things. We lose perspective about the details in our memory.

I didn’t give a thought to still being affected by a back surgery gone south earlier this year. It didn’t take long to remember just how cumbersome it is to change a tire. Starting with playing hide and seek with the pieces bolted all over the vehicle. I didn’t use the answer book called “The Owners’ Manual” to locate the jack, the lug wrench, accessories, including the special adapter key sockets for the custom lug nuts and locking nut to keep bad folks honest.

after the ordeal

Why is it smart engineers can’t figure out how to keep all the pieces in one place? Or why Google videos are wrong? Or why I can’t stand to see a dirty Owners’ Manual?

With sweat blinding me and dropping like rain on the August Arizona asphalt, I asked myself in silence, “Who really needs a rim this wide or a tire this tall?”

By the time I finally had the truck jacked up, had wrestled the gargantuan tire out of the way, hoisted the spare off the back and was grunting to get it up onto the lugs, all the time fighting the sweat and pain in my back, I had regret.

A millennium later, after I had put all the pieces back in their random hiding places, it came time to deadlift and sling the bulky two hundred pound tire up into the back of the truck. I confirmed with myself that I wasn’t old school. I was stupid.

Generally speaking, God gives people wisdom with age. In some instances, “Old School” is a fancy way of saying that a person either doesn’t use that wisdom or doesn’t have it…