flat tire

“Don’t drive on a flat!” Two days ago, I heard a distant echo coming from my dad and brother, Dan: “Don’t drive on a flat…don’t drive on a flat!”

That warning from decades ago reverberated in the recesses of my mind. Yet on Tuesday, I had to make a decision in the now. When I backed out of my garage, I noticed the tire warning symbol on the dash. A few seconds later I heard a crunchy-crunch sound coming from the right rear of my CRV. Is that what a flat tire sounds like?

Enter flashpoint dilemma: Should I miss my dog’s eye specialist checkup and wait weeks to reschedule or just drive slowly the mile to the appointment? I was already running tight on time with the rest of my afternoon meticulously planned. Dealing with a deflated tire was not on my iCalendar.

Choosing Not to Wait

In my get ‘er done state, I chose not to wait for AAA help or search for a friend who could give me a ride. Maisie needed new eye drops and my collie puppy roughhoused around Maisie’s eye recently and I wanted to be sure Maisie’s vision was okay.

So I kept driving. Crunchy-crunch. And driving. Crunchy-crunch.

I called my tire place on the way to the eye vet and Mike warned me, “Well, if you drive on it, you may kill the tire.” Kill the tire? What the heck does that mean? It already looks pretty dead to me, I surmised.

So I kept driving. Crunchy-crunch. And driving. Crunchy-crunch.

Halfway to the eye doc, a couple pulled next to me at a light and rolled down their window. “Ma’am, your back tire is fl–.” “I know, I know,” I shot back with a nod not giving them a chance to finish their sentence. The light changed and I steadily eased my vehicle along in the slow lane.

That was nice of them, but seriously folks, I’ve got this, I mused to myself as I clutched the wheel and silently prayed that the ill tire would not suddenly cause my vehicle to lurch off the street. A bit embarrassed and still determined, I somewhat sheepishly stared straight ahead.

I kept driving. Crunchy-crunch. And driving. Crunchy-crunch.


Another Tire Fiasco

Here is the back story: The original “don’t drive on a flat” warning was issued to me when I was in my 20s and living in Southern California. I was literally driving to a tire place to get new tires when I had a blowout on the freeway.

Fortunately, I was already slowing down and approaching the off-ramp when the tire shredded. Unfortunately, there was a semi and other zooming traffic behind me, so I instantly chose to drive on the flat the half mile more to the tire store.

Crunchy-crunch. Wonky-wonk. Crunchy-crunch. Wonky-wonk.

That tire fiasco tore up the inside wheel well of my car (the wonky-wonk sound) and cost me an additional $300+ in damage. Thus, the telephone response from my dad and Dan back in Nebraska: “Don’t drive on a flat!”

Sigh. Will I ever learn that flat means freeze? Stop. Halt. Stand still. Do not pass Go. Do not go at all.


Life Lesson Learned

On Tuesday afternoon my destination was the eye vet. No. Matter. What. But I forgot the drive and what it would take to get me safely there without causing additional financial woes. Figuring I may just need to get a new tire at worst, I later learned that I had to replace ALL FOUR tires. Ca-ching. $$$$. Ca-ching. $$$$.

My destination-focused outing ruined the sidewalls on the back tire and it was beyond repair. Because my aging CRV is an all-wheel drive, the tires need to be fairly even in their traction tire depth. It would be unsafe to drive with a new tire and three with about 6,000 miles left on their tread. Ca-ching. $$$$. Ca-ching. $$$$.

Even the tire front desk guy pulled me aside and kindly asked, “Beth, do you have AAA? Well, if you do, next time if you get a flat, call them. Or, call us. I’ll come out and put on your spare to get your vehicle over here.”

Okay. Okay. Life lesson learned, everyone. I get it. Don’t drive on a flat means just that. Stop. Halt. Stand still. Do not pass Go. Do not go at all.

If you’re like me, sometimes we think our way is the best way, the only way, when in reality our way is the wrong way. Sometimes we get so focused on the Destination that we forget the Drive.

So how about we make a pact together so none of us have to face the crunchy-crunch. The wonky-wonk. Or the ca-ching. $$$$. Heeding the wise counsel of in-the-know others, including dads, brothers and tire professionals often really is for our own good.

The Drive is equally as important as the Destination. Life lesson learned.