June 7, 2010
So the other day God decided to have a good old laugh at my expense, and gave me a flat tyre. The reason this would be a funny scenario for him is due to the fact that I am of course incapable of changing a flat, and am normally left floundering hopelessly until someone feels sorry for me and helps me out.
I remember my dad trying to show me how to change a tyre many years back, but X-Men was about to start and I desperately needed to find out whether Professor X survived the waterfall jump he and Magneto attempted in an effort to get away from the talking Pterodactyl, who was rather determined in his attempts to kill them. (as talking Pterodactyls are known to do)
Sure, it sounds silly when I talk about it now, but back then, I had sleepless nights wondering about their fates, and whether Cyclops and Wolverine would be able to find them in time.
So to cut a long story short, I never did work out how to change a car tyre, and as mentioned, have been relying on the good will of others over the years. Even though it’s 2010 however, I am rather disappointed to note that there still seems to be some sort of stigma around men not being able to carry out this admittedly simple task.
This was quite evident when I called my insurance company to get someone to assist me. “I’m sorry, did you say you need someone to change your tyre?” the woman on the other end asked rather incredulously.
“Erm… yes, please,” I responded timidly.
“But… you do actually have a spare in your boot, you just need someone to change it… is that right?” she continued, methodically working me over with relentless jabs to my ego.
“That’s right, I am incapable of changing a tyre, and I need the assistance of another man to help me,” I replied, this time with a small lump starting to form in my throat, the way it usually does when I watch the final scenes in Armageddon, when Bruce Willis gives Ben Affleck permission to have sex with Liv Tyler.
Cue what sounded suspiciously like muffled laughter in the background (wait, was I on speakerphone?!?) and several text messages later, and I was soon joined by a burley, hairy, lumberjack of a man, a tow truck driver who looked as if he chopped down trees and fought crocodiles in his spare time.
After an awkward few minutes of introductions and explanations – I explained my dad’s poorly attended lesson, as well as the X-Men episode that I really couldn’t miss – he duly went and changed my tyre, whilst I sheepishly stood in the background, pretending to send text messages and tweets on Twitter.
Not realizing it was such an issue until now, I suddenly felt very self conscious, and silently berated myself, as my motorcycle-riding neighbor from across the street pulled out of his garage in his customized bakkie and looked on in puzzlement.
“I hurt my back during a Muay Thai fight, the doctor insisted I shouldn’t change tyres,” I mustered weakly, but I could see he wasn’t really buying it.
Eventually, after what felt like an eternity – or seven minutes, depending on who you asked – the whole debacle came to an end, and I was soon back on the road, listening to the smooth sounds of Phil Collins whilst silently drying my tears.
So in the interests of anyone else who may not know how to change a tyre, please have a look at the video below and learn from it, as I have.
Great stuff. So now we learnt something today.
Oakes signing off.
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