Monday, October 13, 2008
"Truth is such a rare thing, it is delightful to tell it."
Last week we took the car to an automotive centre, hoping to acquire just a little advice. Spouse has, for the last few months, been regularly checking the air pressure, and one wayward tyre seemed to routinely lose air after a week or so.
Our initial response- other than to cheerfully drive two thousand miles on a trip to Michigan- was to trundle weekly to a garage, pump some more air into the tyre, and hope for the best.
Fresh air, for reasons shrouded in the deepest mystery, is not free in our neighbourhood and quite apart from paying nearly a dollar every time it was not, anyhow, a long term solution.
So Spouse sought the suggestions of a professional mechanic, who examined our car tyres with an expression of supreme authority but one that, conversely, sheltered us from discerning his true thoughts.
We stood under a rain cloud and watched his hands trace their way over the tyres and we answered his various questions.
Then, mumbling something about wheel rot and tyre rot and changeable New England weather causing everything to rot, he made a daring attempt to sell us four brand new tyres right there and then. Under his breath he uttered the word "hundreds" as well, and that certainly sealed the deal.
Spouse was having none of it.
We refused the noble offer, took our rotting tyres, and went home completely deflated, in a manner of speaking.
We went this weekend to another garage where, we first ensured, they do not sell tyres and had nothing whatsoever to gain by claiming that ours ought to be put out to pasture.
"Look!" the mechanic called out after about thirty seconds of inspection had passed.
"You've got a nail!"
With all the delight of a doctor who has just discovered the evasive cure for an ailment, he extracted a long, rusted and vile looking strand of metal from the sorry wheel of our car; he sealed the gash with some magic solution, charged us ten dollars and bid us good day. Never a word he spoke about rot.
Novices we both might be when it comes to the intricate details of our well-worn car, but we were certain that something or other was rotting on that colourless, rain-drenched afternoon a week earlier.
Our impression had much to do, I suspect, with a mechanic who weighed, not the worth of the tyre, but the trust and naivety of his customers- and erred in judgement.
Posted by Phyllis Hunt McGowan at 11:24 AM