"Knock, knock," came the sound on my passenger window at the grocery store parking lot. An elderly man with a cane was standing there, motioning. I rolled down the window with 68% certainty this wasn't a clever new snatch-and-grab ploy for car-jacking or, oh, for stealing the thrifted Oasis CD off my passenger seat.
(I can just see it now, as they sit around the retirement home common area with a stack of their lifted CD booty: "Is he saying 'wonderwall'? What in dadgum tarnation is a 'wonderwall', Elsie?"... And no, I don't know, either. It is catchy, but it confounds my days.)
(Then again, I don't know where Tarnation is. I think it might be out west near Perfection and Desperation.)
But I digress. A lot. Because, see, the nice man who was the complete opposite of a carjacker or CD thief in his do-gooderness had simply stopped to inform me that my right front tire was almost flat.
This was not unlike the situation two months ago where kind-hearted guys in a sports car waved at me at a red light to tell me that... my right front tire was almost flat.
Or my awesomely cool coworker, two months before that, who called me in my office to tell me that... yes, you guessed it. My tire was of the non-airfilled variety.
Three things we learn from this:
1.) People in Pittsburgh are caring and wonderful to strangers in a way that is almost mind-blowing. (Thank you, Pittsburgh!)
2.) I am too lazy and distracted to make time for regular car maintenance.
And 3.) This stupid tire had a breathing problem and I needed to have it examined.
Because this tire-- this brand new frigging tire-- had been slowly losing air week by week from the time I bought it. I would pump up, but then it would deflate again and just need more attention.
So it was more like a big name film star, than a tire, really. Or Meryl Streep's character in The Devil Wears Prada. You could never attend to it enough. Just when you'd think it had everything it needed, it would deflate, demand, and you'd have to blow air into its ego once more.
Thankfully, since we're in Pittsburgh, we have the solution to driving divas like this. Places like Duke's Tire, one of those old timey mom-and-pop (mostly pop) places which almost don't exist anymore, where the service is quick, efficient and, most importantly, they don't take guff from uppity rubber spheres with a need for regular adulation.
I was expecting them to find a nail, a tack, or water buffalo, or like the one time I had tire issues, the better part of a metal file. But it turns out there was a leak around the gasket. And in minutes, the good ol' Duke boys replaced it and sealed it for $15-- and a look of apology as if they feared they charged too much.
It warms the cockles of the heart, I tell you. All of them, those cockles. Not that I know what cockles are.
I imagine you pick them up on the way to the wonderwall in Tarnation.