tire hammer

Nothing flattens your mood like a flat tire.

I had that unfortunate experience Sunday afternoon. Sometime after parking my 1998 Pontiac Sunfire (what I’ve taken to calling the Purple People Eater) at the Emporia Country Club for my participation in KVOE’s annual Brewers and Broadcasters Classic and ending my shift, one of the car tires went completely flat.

Because I was parked on a rather nasty incline for changing the tire on site, I rolled and grumbled south three blocks over cobblestones to park the car. Then I worked on changing the tire. The first part — removing the lug nuts — went just fine. It was taking the tire off that turned out to be the problem. The tire simply would not come off.

Frustrated, I packed everything back in the car and decided to try Monday.

After my work shift, we dutifully shoveled the kids into the minivan and drove to the incident site. I got the car jacked up and pulled again. Nothing — again.

Ginny’s brother Nevik, who had experience at a car shop, said he sometimes had to give a good hard kick to get tires freed. So I tried that to no avail. I used my tire iron to beat on the rim, hoping to get the thing freed. No use.

After calling Nev, who agreed to slide over to help, Shawn Honea of IM Design drove by and offered to help. He used my approach (crowbar and a few kicks)…and got my result.

Robert Bennett then strolled up and offered my choice of an air compressor to inflate the offending tire or a big hammer to see if that would set the tire free. I chose the tire. As he headed back home, Nev drove over. Kicks didn’t work. Lubricant didn’t work.

Finally, Bennett’s ball-peen hammer — and a big one at that — appeared. Whack whack whack and that was that for that.

If nothing deflates your mood like a flat tire, nothing lifts your spirits like knowing people will help you without your asking.

Thanks, guys.

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