December 09, 2014

The Wait

The Wait
By John R. Greenwood

It's a day off from work and I'm at a car dealership. I have a slow leak in a brand new tire they installed just weeks ago. I check my watch as I hand the tech my keys. How long could it possibly take to repair? I should know better than to ask that question. It will take as long as humanly possible. It will take one minute more than my patience or man-mind will permit.
 It will cost fifty dollars more than I've allowed for. 

That's the way my world works.

I sit down in the lobby among the shiny new 2015's as they tease me with that 'look at me' smirk on their grills. I ignore them and continue to type this piece. I wait for that unnerving voice to say "Mr. Greenwood, we have some bad news." The minute I complete the thought, I hear footsteps approaching with the clarity of a surgeon. 

Here it comes. 

"Mr. Greenwood, can I talk to you? We found the problem. It's not the tire, your tire is healthy and full of life. Your wheel needs a 'Fit Kit'".

And all this time I thought my wheels were fit as a fiddle.  

The story goes that the wheels of today with all their knowledge and ability to sensor low air pressure depend on one tiny robust 'O' ring to keep them fit. Therein lies the problem. My wheel's low air sensor 'O' ring was dry and in disrepair. It would require a ten-spot and another thirty minutes of patience. 

We'll see, we"ll see...

My gut is rarely outsmarted. Today was an exception. We'll call it a draw. In the end my wait was less than an hour---kids stuff in the auto repair stratosphere. The bill was less than fifty bucks. The repair is simple but the tire has to be removed and remounted. It's in a man's DNA to mistrust anyone but a blood relative when it comes to a car repair. We want a dirt cheap price with blue ribbon service. 
I guess when all was said and done it was a reasonable deal.

We take for granted the freedom todays vehicles provide us. They are moving apartments with all the same comforts: dual temperature zones, Dolby Surround Sound, electronic lumbar support. A few decades ago I was peddling milk in a vintage GMC stepvan who's heating system was a kerosene heater glowing like a nuclear reactor on the passenger side floor. Talk about "Driving Miss Crazy". 

In the end the visit to the dealership was speed bump and not a Pike's Peak Hill Climb. My heart and my tires were full and ready to tackle the days next challenge; finishing  the Christmas lights. 

Maybe I should have waited and had them change the oil?