Flat Tire!

Paul Morrone |

If you have driven any type of vehicle for any number of years, you most likely have experienced the dreaded flat tire. There is never a good time for this unfortunate and unexpected event to occur. I never once was driving and thinking I will get a flat tire today. Usually the thoughts in my head are more about where I am going, where I just came from, what happened last night or a host of other thoughts. A chain reaction of events can occur at the dreaded moment starting with safety in controlling the vehicle to a secure stop and away from traffic. All the fearful thoughts start spinning in the head. Will I be late to wherever I was headed? Do I have a spare? Is there air in the spare? Do I have a jack? Do I know where the jack is? Who should I call? Do I have a cell phone to make that call? Or do you simply say now what?

The other day Barbara came into the office and the first thing she said was about having a flat tire on the way to work that morning. It threw her off in that it is never a good way to start the day. We shared some flat tire stories and she jokingly commented about writing a newsletter about it so thank you Barbara for the idea. 

Several years ago, Cathy had a flat tire on 91 right outside of New Haven. Cathy was driving and Kelly was with her. They could not have been in a worse location because it was a section of 91 where there was really no shoulder area to get off the highway. It was terrifying for them. Fortunately, no one was hurt and eventually an emergency vehicle stopped to provide some safety and a service vehicle came to assist with the flat tire situation. Again it was a scary experience but they were not hurt.

Though over the years I have endured several flat tire experiences but one will always be most memorable. I was a young buck right out of college and was driving from work to Hartford to take the CPA exam for the first time. Coming from work I was wearing a suit. It was an unusually warm day for the time of year and had the A/C on in the car. A million thoughts about the study material were flying through my head and then BANG ......a rear tire exploded. Fortunately, it was not a front tire because I was traveling at highway speed and potentially could have affected the steering. I pulled over to the shoulder and began to freak out. Thankfully my instincts kicked in from the days working at the family gas station in North Haven. I immediately took off my suit jacket and tie and through them in the backseat. I opened the trunk, took out the jack and spare tire and went to work. Traffic was flying by and would shake the car, especially the 18 wheelers. It took me a while but I successfully jacked up the car, took off the flat, put on the spare and put the flat in the trunk along with the jack. No problem. Well not really. After the shock wore off I realized that I was soaked in sweat and filthy dirty. Remember I was in a suit. I made it to the CPA exam location in Hartford and when I was checking in I was attracting some attention because I looked like something the cat dragged in. I was still sweating because I was actually later arriving then I would have liked so my nerves were on full alert. I then went to the restroom and cleaned up the best I could but I actually needed to shower but that was not happening. I survived the day and eventually passed the CPA exam and the rest is history.

These days when a flat occurs......I call AAA.

Until the Next Tom's Take....