Burned by rubber and a lais·sez-faire attitude

Sometimes the bullets you dodge wiz so closely past your cheek that you have to catch your breath when you duck.

That’s how I felt yesterday afternoon when my car tire blew out as I drove to the polls.

I gasped when I saw the thing — shredded, sagging and smelling of burnt rubber.

Flat tires happen. I get that.

But this one happened just after my sweet 16-year old daughter, who has had her license for just two months, drove the car. In fact, in the past several weeks she’d borrowed the car often.

Last Friday night she drove out through the countryside to a town she’d never been for a Halloween party. Her 15-year old friend rode shot gun. Imagine, as I am this very minute, what would have happened had the tire blown then, on a lonely country rode with a probationary driver behind the wheel.

Driver’s Ed taught her to negotiate a round-about, park with her tires pointed in toward the curb on a downhill slope, and signal before changing lanes. Her instructor warned her against texting while driving, speeding and following too closely.

But those lessons didn’t insure for her the safety of the vehicle she drives.

That was my job.

I’m grateful for another shot.

I’ll be picking my car up later today, after it enjoys a full auto-spa treatment (alignment adjustment, four new tires, brakes and fluid levels tested).

Here’s my advice for any of my fellow mellows: Don’t procrastinate!

Get the mole checked, the tires rotated, the yearly physical booked, the furnace cleaned, the batteries changed, the mammogram, the dental exam, the radon level tested.

Life’s short enough, for Pete’s sake, check off your to-do list and then get out and enjoy it!

Flat tire
The horror on a crossing guard’s face tipped me off to the extent of the tire damage as I put putted along to the service station, which, thankfully, is less than one mile from my house. This tire isn’t just flat, it sort of blew up.
Flat tire 2
As luck would have it, the nearest service station was just across the street from my polling place, so I was able to cast my vote anyway. Woo hoo for American convenience!
Molly getting gas
I taught her to put gas in the car, look over her shoulder when she’s backing up, sit up straight and obey all posted traffic signs. Before any of that, I should have made sure the car I loaned her was safe to drive. Lesson learned, thankfully at only a financial cost.

2 thoughts on “Burned by rubber and a lais·sez-faire attitude

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.