The Restoration Of Roundness
by Ignatius F. Makarevich
On the roads of our world, dangers lurk round every corner, at every intersection. These dangers appear in many forms, potholes, bumps, debris. The chances of you hitting one are increasing every day at an ever-escalating rate. Therefore, I present to you the definitive treatise on -
How to change a tire: Assemble the following tools – a tire wrench, a tire iron or large screwdriver, a jack, a hammer, a can of fix-a-flat, a cell phone.
Begin the process by parking the car on a level spot, as far to the side of the road as possible. Make sure the parking brake is applied properly and if the car has an automatic transmission make sure the selector is in the Park position. Consider operating the flashers or setting flares if in a busy area. Exit the vehicle and in as dignified a manner as possible, retire to the rear end and open the trunk. Remove the contents of the trunk and place them in a neat pile on the ground. Now that the spare tire can be seen, undo the nut that holds it fast and lift the tire out. Now rest for a few moments, holding onto the car, to recover from the lower back pain. Next, retrieve the jack, wrench and tire iron from their spot in the spare tire well.
Ready? Now you can move on to the nitty-gritty. First, using the tire iron or large screwdriver, pry the hubcap from the wheel. Depending on the design, the cap may pop off easily or may require some work around the edges until it flies off and hits you. Knock the black dust from your clothes. Second, use the wrench; usually a large x-shaped implement, or more recently a somewhat conventional-looking tool with a hexagonal socket on the business end; to just loosen the nuts or bolts that are holding the wheel to the axle. This operation requires much physical effort, as it is the unfortunate custom to over-tighten them, despite the damage such a practice causes. Try to appear nonchalant as you jump up and down on the end of the tool. Be prepared for the cracking noise and your sudden contact with the ground as each fastener loosens. It is most important that you do not remove the nuts or bolts at this point. Should they be removed, the vibrations in the ground would cause the wheel to separate from the car, causing much stress as the car falls to the ground! If you have just become aware of the phenomena, use your cell phone to call for assistance. Third, place the jack under the car. If of modern design, the jack will need to be placed under the lip of the car’s body, either just behind a front wheel or just in front of a rear wheel. See the manual if the jack is of ancient design. Operate the jack until the wheel has lifted clear of the ground.
Undo the nuts or bolts and lift the tire away. The assembly’s weight will assist you in this action. If the wheel is stuck fast, hit it vigorously round the edges with the hammer until it falls on you. Do not worry about your clothes at this point. Roll the flat tire to the back of the car and place it on the ground. Place the spare tire onto the axle and attach the nuts or bolts. Tighten them all as best as you can. Breathe a large sigh of relief. Operate the jack in the reverse direction and lower the car to the ground. Apply the wrench to the nuts or bolts and jump up and down on the opposite end to tighten them fully. Observe, after a few moments, with as much dignity as possible, that the spare tire has also gone flat. A trembling of the upper lip is allowed at this time. Install the can of fix-a-flat into the spare tire’s nozzle. Reload the trunk in reverse order, and drive to the nearest gas station to top off the air in the spare. If the fix-a-flat has failed due to the condition of the spare tire, use your cell phone to call for assistance.
As you drive away in your newly-healed vehicle, revel in the extra-visceral sense of accomplishment that most people do not experience. Bask in the glory of knowing your steed that much more intimately. Thank whichever deity you hold on high that you are not a mechanic as you wash the dirt and toxic materials off of your hands and clothing. Should you find yourself riding in a tow truck, make a mental note to keep an eye on things like this in future. And above all else, consider yourself experienced.