June 15, 2009
When we talk about someone being ‘over-prepared,’ we think of a person who is very thorough and able to handle all possible contingencies. It is a good habit to have especially if you are someone who regularly messes up and therefore must be ready to respond when you over-mess up!
A case in point; my friend Robin qualifies as this particular trip illustrates.
He left the Coachella Valley headed west on California Hwy 91 in his newly acquired twenty-year-old pickup. It was pulling a slightly older 16 ft. C&W stocktrailer missing two rails with one new tire and two horses on board.
Traffic was heavy. A motorist passed him on the left and pointed behind.
Robin looked in the side mirror to see black smoke boiling from beneath his trailer’s left wheel well! As he watched, the tire exploded! Pieces of tread and sidewall filled the air as if he had hit a land mine!
“No sweat!” he thought taking full control. “I’ve been here before. I’ve got a spare!”
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It took him another hundred yards to maneuver the limping rig onto the narrow shoulder and stop. Walking sideways against the whizzing traffic he examined the naked rim. Out of his emergency supply box he extracted a Jiffy Jack and pulled the trailer up on it. ‘So far, so good!’ he thought, smiling. Next he popped off the hubcap and proceeded to unscrew the lug nuts with his star wrench, which wasn’t so easy since the rim now spun freely.
Placing the lug nuts in the hubcap behind him, he removed the rim and attempted to put on the spare tire. It was 1 1/2 inches too tall to fit!
NO PROBLEMA! He had another jack!
Once the bottle jack was in position on the frame he raised the trailer high enough to allow the spare. Holding it in place he reached behind him, accidentally kicked the hubcap and scattered lug nuts into oncoming traffic! But Murphy’s Law was no match for our cowboy! Risking the fate of possum and jack rabbit, he ducked and skittered into and out of passing vehicles, recovering 5 of the 8 lug nuts which he attached the spare. In relief he lowered the jack only to discover the spare was flat! OH NO!, you say, but… never fear! He had a pressurized can of Flat Fixer!
It aired up the tire to a pitiful 15 psi.
As Robin told me this string of pitfalls and mishaps I realized I was truly in the presence of World Class Mess Up, who had learned to compensate.
“So,” I asked, “Did the 15 psi spare cause any problems, specially with that load?”
“No, ” he explained, “It pulled really good. You see,” he said tapping his head with his finger indicating the wisdom of one who has learned to over-prepare, “It was just right. It matched the other three!”