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Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

I don't know jack about flats

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I grew up reading comic books and watching super hero movies, dreaming of the day I would finally become a super hero myself.

Like Clark Kent I spend my day job as a reporter and even wear glasses while appearing clumsy and goofy a majority of the time. It is a good cover. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

But when help is needed I shed the reporter clothes and, well, I'm under court order not to strip down in public anymore so I make do in my reporter clothes.

Such was the case just the other day when a co-worker found herself in an extremely tense situation. She had a flat tire.

Now most people would think to themselves "that stinks for them" and continue looking busy playing on the Internet. But a super hero has an obligation to help the public. So off came my glasses and I was there for the rescue.

"Call and see if somebody can come and fix it."

A job well done as I put my glasses back on and proceeded to look busy. But some villains just aren't defeated after one fight.

After calling a few places that were unable to come and take care of the problem it was apparent that I would be needed again. Off went the glasses.

"Let's put on your spare."

It seemed like such a simple statement. It also seemed like I knew what I was talking about. While I may be a super hero, it doesn't mean I'm a mechanic. The last tire I changed was about 15 years ago, but I had experience and there was a damsel in distress. So I swooped into action and went out into the cold, rainy outdoors to save the day.

Everything started great. I quickly deduced that my co-worker did, in fact, have a flat tire. Then we found that she did, in fact, have a spare tire. Then we saw the jack. Everything was in line for a quick rescue and me getting back to looking busy.

It was about then I tried to get the jack out of the car and couldn't. I pulled with no luck. I pushed with no luck. I twisted, I jerked, I shook and yanked with no luck. Obviously there was a special way to get the jack out of her car that I was not smart enough to figure out. That or it was set in concrete. Either way it wasn't budging.

But have no fear. I decided to get my very own jack out of my car to use. After all, one jack is just as good as the other.

So I go to remove my jack and it won't budge. I pulled with no luck. I pushed with no luck. I twisted, I jerked, I shook and yanked with no luck. At this point I looked more like Wile E. Coyote than Superman. Who can't even get a jack out of the car?

No matter what the odds, and the odds weren't good that I would ever get a jack out of either car, a super hero doesn't give up. So I had another plan and I asked another co-worker for their jack. And jackpot! (pun intended)

Now I had a working jack only there were a lot of pieces to this particular jack. I myself am not a jack-of-all-trades (pun intended) so it took me a few minutes to figure out what went where. But minutes later I was cranking and cranking this jack, trying to get the car high enough to change the tire.

About an hour-and-a-half later I felt the car was high enough and began the process of removing the bad tire for the spare. Only my arms were burning from the thousands of cranks it took to get the stupid car high enough. But a super hero shows no weakness.

I grabbed the tire tool and went to unscrew the lug nuts. I went to take off the first one and it wouldn't budge. I tried another and it wouldn't budge either. It is tough being a super hero without super human strength or strength of any kind but the lug nuts were obviously put on by the Incredible Hulk.

Most good super heroes have sidekicks, so I had a co-worker come and be mine. I figured he stood a better chance undoing the lug nuts than I did since he is a foot taller. Of course that has nothing to do with strength but at that point I was wondering about my ability to save the day.

My sidekick gave a good tug on the lug nut and it didn't budge either. Then with all his might he tried again and nothing. Suddenly I felt better and not so weak. Then after the idea to press down on the brake while turning, the lug nuts began to twist off the tire.

Once my sidekick had them loosened I jumped back into action. Like a pit crew worker at a NASCAR race, I removed those lug nuts and off came the tire.

Then on went the spare. I let my sidekick tighten the lug nuts since I have a lack of strength. I would have hated for the tire to come off on the damsel's drive home.

After all was fixed, I looked like I had been in a battle royal. My pants were covered in oil, dirt and were wet to boot. My hands were black and I had black on my face as well. But together with my sidekick we bested the flat tire and back on went the glasses until the next time a super hero was needed.

So to all the damsels out there who have a flat tire and find themselves in dire need of a super hero, maybe call somebody who can at least get the darn jack out of the car. I'll just sit at my desk and look busy.



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David Jenkins
Sarcasm De Jour by David Jenkins