30 January 2013

      OK. Someone with a far greater understanding of the cosmos (including L. Ron Hubbard and Donald Trump)…and the extraordinary coincidences that seems to define the weirdness of our lives…has to explain to me how a nail could puncture the sidewall of one of my car tires. I can undestand a nail sticking up from the roadway and puncturing a tire’s tread. But a nail sticking out, horizontally, from the curb like a rotating blade on Ben Hur’s chariot is too much for me to accept. And it brings me to the inevitable conclusion  that a playful, hand-on-a-hammer prankster was involved. After all, what’s more knee-slapping fun than driving a nail into the sidewall of a tire?

      Of course, said nail driving displayed itself on a rainy, just-above-freezing January afternoon, as I was trying to get to UPS before closing. There was a sudden “I-can’t-believe-I’m-getting-a-flat-tire” sound and then the plea that, “God, I’ll be a better person, if You just let me get to UPS on time”. He must have listened, because I got there with an inch of air to spare in the tire.

      What followed was the usual script…a call to AAA (I’m no longer so macho that I have to change a tire, when it’s 34 degrees and raining/snowing). Then there was the waiting for an hour for roadside assistance to come.  And then there was driving with slight embarrassment on a donut tire.. A couple of days later I delivered the flat to a tire dealer for the inevitable news that “this tire can’t be fixed.”  How’d I know?

      How can this happen, I asked.

      I don’t know, he replied, but we get a good five or six of these a day. Sure is coincidental.

      Yeah, I said, if coincidental is part of the penal code.