It’s Possible to be Overdressed for the Occasion

Never fails. Anytime I’ve changed a tire, or attempted to, I’ve been overdressed for the occasion.

The first time: a tire blowout on the way home from Thanksgiving dinner. It was over a decade ago. I was in my Navy service dress blue uniform. There I was, changing a tire on a busy road somewhere near Trenton, NJ. Ahh, good times. Well, at least I wasn’t wearing my dress white uniform.

Fast forward to a few hours ago. I was enjoying the balmy 14 degree temperatures while fueling up my wife’s vehicle. I also happened to be on my way back from a meeting, so I was in shirt, tie, dress pants, and nice shiny shoes. That’s when I noticed a young driver staring with concern at a tire that looked more like a pancake than a doughnut.

So, I offered to help. Turns out the poor girl had just moved up from Florida. And I thought it was cold outside.

But before you give me too much credit, tonight ended up being an attempted tire change. We got the car jacked up and the lug nuts removed. But we couldn’t get the blasted tire off. Her boyfriend showed up a few minutes later. Neither of us could figure out what the tire was hung up on. So, we put the lug nuts back on, tightened ’em up. They decided to put air in the tire, (we were at a gas station), and drive it the mile or so back to their place.

I guess when it’s only 14 degrees, it’s easier to put it off until tomorrow.

I hope they made it home okay. I just wish that I’d been more helpful.

Murphy and his infamous law were in fine form tonight.

Leave a comment


  1. Lee Abbott

     /  February 1, 2011

    A knight in shining armor (actually, just plain work clothes) changed the tire on our old pick-up on my commute home. A few weeks later, a kid flagged me down just a couple miles from the site of the flat tire (his car was in the driveway, so I couldn’t see that it was a problem)– his battery was dead. I had jumper cables 🙂 I trust he passed on the good deed too.


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