Recently I hit a pothole on the way to the gym.

Not a big deal, right?

I could hear that it had messed something up, but my tire felt kind of functional in that I wasn’t driving on a rim shooting sparks into the night sky, and since I was almost there, I just finished driving to the gym and parked.

I hopped out of the car hoping to see that everything was fine. But it was not fine. My tire was nearly flat and looked kind of like a squished black pancake.

 This is the opposite of what my tire looked like. 
(Can you tell I’m struggling to find pictures tonight?)

There are two things you should know about me:

1. I have no idea whatsoever how to change a tire.

2. When anything that requires car maintenance happens to my car, I freeze up like a deer in headlights that is afraid said headlights might make it have to do something masculine that the deer doesn’t know how to do, like change a tire, causing utter panic to course through its body.

Like any normal person, I started hyperventilating and wondered why life was worth living anyway. I sat in the driver’s seat, trying to assess the situation, in a state of shock. My internal dialogue went something like this:

“Is it really flat? (Gets out and checks for the third time) Oh gosh, it really is. But maybe I’m just seeing things. (Kicks the flat pancake tire) Oh yeah, it’s so flat. What do you do when you have a flat tire again? Do you take it off or something?  Should I say a prayer? Yes. (Prays) (Waits) Well, that didn’t work at all. It’s still all flat. And I still don’t know how to get home. Crap. Crapcrapcrapcrapcrapcrapcrapcrap. I can’t believe this is happening. (Buries face in hands) This is the most horrible thing that’s ever happened to me. Oh gosh, this is really happening. (Starts to hyperventilate) Should I call 911? Would that be okay? Wait no, they probably have more important things to do, like arresting robbers and chasing shoplifters down alleys. Who should I call then? Who can save me???”

Obviously, my next step was to call Wife. Because she’s really good with cars.

Me: Something really, really bad has happened…

Wife (roused from sleep): What?! What’s going on? Are you okay?

Me: I was getting to the gym and I hit a pothole. And now… now my tire’s almost flat.

Wife: Wait… what?

Me: My tire! It’s almost flat and I’m stranded at the gym. 

Wife: What do you mean it’s “almost” flat?

Me: Well, I mean that, like, it still has a little air in it, but most of the air is gone and it looks like a pancake.

Wife: Oh sweetie. That’s just called a flat tire. I’d head-pat you if you weren’t stranded at the gym because of a flat tire.

Me: What do I do??

Wife:  Well, if a tire is flat it either needs to filled back up or changed, so that it’s not flat anymore…

Me: So… how long until you get here?

Wife:  Um, sweetie, we have three children peacefully sleeping in their beds. And also, you are a 31 year old man. And you have a brain. And you’re at the gym so allegedly you have muscles. I think you can handle this…

Me: I’m sorry, what was that? I couldn’t hear you over my hyperventilating…

Wife: Fill up the tire. With air. Drive home. If it goes flat again, fill it up again. If it shreds, call me. Maybe we can find someone to change it for you.

Me: Thank you mommy. I mean Wife. Hopefully I’ll see you soon. Unless I die.

Wife: You won’t die. Unless you mess up.

So, I did what any reasonable person would do and worked out in the gym, the entire time trying to gear myself up for my grand return home. “You can do this, Weed. You’ve got this. See how you just benched 80? That means you can get home with a partially flat tire that you have to fill up. This is not a big deal. Happens to people all the time. I’m gonna die!!!”

However, it kind of worked because by the time I left the gym I was feeling pretty pumped up, like maybe I could make it home without somehow embarrassing myself horribly.

I was wrong.

First thing I did was get out my portable air pump. I attached it to the tire like a regular tire-expert, and filled that sucker up with air. And it worked, because after a while, the tire looked all full and plump and ready to go. Except, when I pulled the air pump off, I could hear this really horrible hissing sound. Ominous, yes. Prohibitive? No sir.

Off I went, onto the freeway with my emergency lights blazing, alerting all the other cars around me that hey, I’m a big deal. I have something going on. I imagined those lights as saying something really important, like “Listen, we have a crisis here. We have a driver with a punctured tire that he doesn’t know how to change by himself because he is ridiculous. Clearly this is an emergency situation so, BACK UP OFF HIM.” 

It was going great, and I was getting close to home. Then, right before my exit, I heard it. thwap thwap thwap thwap thwap.

I pulled off the side of the road and started filling up the tire again. It was dark. I could barely see. I was pretty sure I was going to get hit by a drunk driver and become an amputee in a wheelchair. And then I’d have to worry about flat tires on that thing too.

I was almost done when suddenly, another car pulled to the other side of the road. Out hopped a burly looking guy, assessing the situation, surely expecting to help a damsel in distress, or some dude who is daintily filling his tire up with air because he doesn’t know how to change his own tire. You know, either one of those two things.

Guy: What’s the problem?

Me: Well, I’m just filling up my tire. Because I don’t know how to change it. Because I’m an idiot.

Guy: Do you have a spare?

Me: A spare tire?

Guy (perplexed):  Yes. A spare tire. To, you know, put onto your car. So that you can drive it.

I wasn’t sure. I rifled around in my trunk until I found a magical compartment that, when I opened it, contained a tire! “Yeah I do,” I yelled.

At this point, the guy looked at his watch, seemed to consider his options and then said. “All right, I think I’ve got time to change it for you.” But then he explained that he had to be fast because he’s got to get home. Because he is on house arrest. 

Let me tell you something you probably don’t know. When you are on the side of a freeway at night and you are trying to fill up your tire so you can drive the rest of the three minutes home and get into bed with your lovely wife after a hard workout at the gym, and then some burly dude in a pick up pulls over, offers to change your tire for you, and then explains that he has to be fast in doing so because he’s on house arrest, the correct thing to say to him in response to “Do you want me to change your tire” is exactly what I said:

Me: Sure. Thanks.

No, “that’s all right, I’ve got this.” No “really sir, you probably should go home, being a criminal and all.” Just a quick assent to let him change your tire. Because he’s probably really good at that. Possibly because he frequently hijacks cars.

The truth is, the guy was incredibly cool and also really nice, and even though he tried to get that big screw thingie off the tire really hard but couldn’t, and didn’t end up being able to change my tire after all, I still drove away on my refilled punctured tire very grateful. Indeed, my faith in the goodness of humanity was confirmed. That guy was a good guy, willing to help someone else. Never mind that had I been a woman he might have tried to sexually assault me, or had I pissed him off he might have tried to murder me with that big complicated car-lifter-upper thing he was using from the trunk of my car.

He was a good Samaritan.

A good Samaritan wearing an ankle bracelet.

 Don’t judge a book by its cover. Or a man by his ankle bracelet. (Pretend that this is a picture of an ankle bracelet and not shackles, okay?)

And I? Well, I did make it the rest of the three minutes home. And then I crawled into bed exhausted at which point Wife rolled over and asked if I had changed the tire. And I said “no, but a murderer tried to do it for me and couldn’t because our tire is real, real broken.”

“That’s neat,” she said. And then she patted my head and rolled over to go back to sleep.

Just another day in the life of The Weed.

Image attribution here and here.


  1. You made me laugh so hard, tears came out of my eyes.

    This was so validating: "Like any normal person, I started hyperventilating and wondered why life was worth living anyway."



    1. Ha, I'm glad to hear I made you cry. That's awesome.

      Also, I'm glad that you felt validated. Who hasn't raised their fist to the sky in protest to something horrible happening in their life? Like a flat tire? Or a burned pancake? You know, life traumas and such… (My job here is to bring perspective.)

  2. ha! you never cease to amaze me with your astounding capacity for manliness. i'm glad you've got your wife to keep you soft and down to earth.
    i'm also glad you're not dead. then you wouldn't write anything else to make me laugh!

    1. Well, you know when you're a guy who can bench 80, EIGHTY, pounds, manliness comes pretty naturally. I just ooze testosterone, basically. So yeah, it's really helpful that Wife's around to soften me up around the edges. By watching horror flicks and crime shows, and performing basic car maintenance and being a total bad-a Wife who is afraid of nothing.

      Wait, I think something is backwards here?

  3. This. Is exactly why I'm glad I'm a girl. Twice I've had a flat tire and even though we learned in the singles ward Homemaking one time how to change tires I was more than happy to allow a nearby volunteer man to do it. I love this post. Thank you for having this scary experience and making it funny for us.

    1. No joke, I was walking down the street of my neighborhood the other day and I saw a mom in a mini-van get a flat tire. My first impulse was to cross the street and help her out, but then I was like "wait, I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO DO. I'd basically just stand there looking all horrified and baffled with her while some other guy came over and actually helped." So, instead I just kept walking, pretending I'd seen nothing.

      Does that make me a bad person???

      Wait, I answered my own question right here in this post. I'm worse than a common criminal with an ankle bracelet.


    2. Oh, well that explains the flat tire…

      And really do we have to burden ourselves with pesky details? I find my conscious to be much clearer when I am in denial about things like this.

  4. Didn't you read Great Expectations? The convict ends up being the hero- and giving Pip tons of money! If it was me (which it wouldn't be, because I know how to change a tire) I would be looking for some type of felon or convict or whatever to help me- so that I could inherit all of their money. Wait for it, I am sure he is thinking of you right now….

    1. Okay, first of all, this is me we're talking about. I haven't finished. So you just spoiled the ending, and now I never will. So, thanks for that. (Totally joking, I had already gotten to the big reveal, so you spoiled nothing at all. Buuuut I still might use this as an excuse not to finish because I'M BORED OUT OF MY MIND WITH IT.)

      Second, how did you learn how to change a tire? You're a girl. Girls can't do that.

      Third, I think in this arrangement since the convict was helping me and not the other way around, the convict is now waiting for me to give him Great Expectations. Which is why I made him famous in a blog post.

      Nobody can claim I'm not a giver.

    2. Changing tires is a woman's job, right? Ok, no, but when you are the only Mormon Girl who is not married by 25 you have to learn to fend for yourself… or flirt. (let's be honest, I would rather flirt- but I don't want to read the next post where you admit that you had to flirt with the escaped murderer to get him to fix the flat)

      And apparently that is why I failed my writing exam in high school about Great Expectations, all this time I thought the convict helped Pip:)

  5. I would try to talk Wife into just buying a new car. It would be easier to just buy a new one.

    (I don't know how to change a tire either. Well, I think I do, I just don't know where to put the "car lifter-upper thing". I hear that's pretty important)

    1. Ha! Why didn't I think of that? "Wife, we need a new car." "Why?" "Because the tire's flat. Also, can you send someone to airlift me back home?"

      This would have totally worked.

  6. Two thoughts:
    1. Maybe your criminal was on house arrest for a white collar crime? Lots of insider trading types get put on house arrest, so maybe he wasn't a murderer?


    2. I have three letters for you: AAA. Best $50 you'll ever spend. You call them up and they send out a truck with a usually non-sketchy, non-ankle-braceleted person who can change your tire for you, among many other wonderful things. (One time the AAA guy we called showed up in a "shag van", looked like Willie Nelson, and was most likely smoking pot before he got there, though. But still, better than a murderer, right?)

    1. Erin, he was a murderer, okay? I think they often let murderers live on house arrest so that they can go around helping stranded grown men on freeways. It's how government works.

      Also, I'm seriously doing to do #2. Shag van notwithstanding.

      That or learn how to change a tire?

      Nah. That would get my fingers all dirty and crap.

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  8. haha, I really like your texts here"I freeze up like a deer in headlights that is afraid said headlights might make it have to do something masculine that the deer doesn't know how to do", really funny 😀

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