Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Circle of Life

Last week my battery died on my motorcycle, and I have to thank my co-worker Rhett and a random stranger in the parking lot for helping me to get it jump started so I could get home.  Rhett received a thank-you hug, although the stranger just got  a handshake.  Rhett seemed a little uncomortable with the hug.   I don't know if it's because I'm a guy, or if it's because I was gently rubbing small circles in his back the whole 30 seconds.  Perhaps it was a little of both.  Luckily, Rhett is a Mormon, so he's not allowed to punch me.  Or is that the Amish?

Yesterday I got to repay the favor when another co-worker, Tory, also known in our office as "Pretty Tory", came to work with a flat tire.  Now I know you may be tempted to think that I only offered my assistance because she is "Pretty Tory", but I try to be nice to those around me, and I like to believe I would have offered to help even if she was "Lazy-eye Tory", or "Man-hands Tory" or even "Whoah, what do you mean she's not pregnant? Tory".  In any case it was a golden opportunity to "pay it forward", hopefully without me ending up in the parking lot with a fatal stab wound.  I figured as long as I didn't see Kevin Spacey I was safe.

Unfortunately Mondays are the worst possible day to get a flat at work, as they are the one day we are required to wear "business dress".  Short of replacing an air filter or windshield wipers, changing a tire is about as simple an operation that one can perform on their car (and in addition to changing the oil makes a complete list of maintenance activities I am qualified to perform), but doing so in slacks, a dress shirt and dress shoes is uncomfortable to say the least.  The fact that the wind was blowing 50 miles an hour did not make the task any easier, and as an aside, I learned that even a dry leaf, when travelling at those speeds, will hurt if it strikes you in the face.  By the time we were done Tory's shirt and arms looked like she had received a hug from a grease monkey.  I fared better, with only my hands getting greasy, since I never actually crawled under the car, nor did I hug the greasy monkey that ambled by.

Sadly Tory's bad luck only started with getting a flat tire on a Monday.  When I arrived she had already expended a can of "Fix-a-flat", which had decidedly not fixed her flat.  It would have been more aptly called "Leave a pool of white stuff on the ground", as this is all it accomplished.  Tory had already placed the jack under the car, and after cross-referencing the handy "where to place the jack" diagram on the bumper, right next to the "you can take my gun when you peel it out of my cold dead hands" bumper sticker, I lifted the car with one hand and the miraculous power of hydraulics, removed the tire, and replaced it with the spare.

Once I lowered the car we discovered that the spare apparently felt sorry for the tire it was replacing, as it was also flat.  Unfortunately, Tory did not have a can of "Fix-a-flat-spare" to use, so we were out of options.  Tory called her husband, also known as "the guy who smartly decided to marry Pretty Tory rather than become a priest", and he came out to take her and her two flat tires to the tire store to get them replaced.  My stint as a good but sadly useless Samaritan came to an end, and I made my way through the wind and back to work.  I would have liked to have gotten a hug, but Rhett was in no mood to give me one.