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How Would I Feel About Me?

October 16, 2017

He was honest about it. I have to give him credit for that. It would have been hard not to be. The rim had a huge dent in it. The tire had blown out from the side when he hit the curb. It was only later I discovered that two other rims were bent and the driver’s side rear tire had a broken belt.

I was only going about 25. . .maybe 30, and there was this car that was parked too far out of the lane, and I went to go around it and then there was this other car and I just turned and I wasn’t even going that fast.

As accidents go, it wasn’t horrible. No one had been hurt. I suspected I wasn’t getting the entire story, but the damage was consistent with driving 25 MPH and hitting a curb at a 45 degree angle.

I had to decide what I was planning to do about it. He’d put on the spare tire. In fact, he seemed surprised at how convenient it was to have one.

Yeah, it was really lucky you had that tire. I mean, I was looking at it and I thought, ‘Well, maybe I can drive it home’ and this guy came up and he said, ‘Do you have a spare?’ And I hadn’t even thought of that and I opened the trunk and there’s a spare tire and a jack and a wrench to take off the lug nuts. And I thought, yeah, that makes sense, because Dad is always reminding us to take extra water on our hikes and I’m like, ‘I don’t want to carry and extra 5 lbs of water.’ But, later it’s totally saved me.

He may have been trying to appeal to my “good dad” side. Or, maybe he really has learned the extra 2 liters of water (which weighs slightly over 4 lbs) is worth the weight. In any case, his delight at finding a fully inflated spare tire was fun to watch.

However, I have a dilemma. Yesterday I spent a long lunch taking the car to get new tires ($175 used), and a new rim ($20 also used). And then to get the alignment checked ($60) and any damage repaired. (The suspension on the left side was pushed back about 6″ and needed to be pulled forward: $125)

It wasn’t the cost. He’s paying that out of his paycheck. Except for two of the tires which we were going to replace soon anyway.

When I was a young man of about 17. I had use of a 1979 4 door Subaru sedan. It was a reasonable kid’s car. And considering the year was 1982 the car was pretty new. And unlike my son, I had exclusive use of it and I also didn’t have a job.

One day I was mad about something as 17 year old young men often are. I got in my car and headed to the mall. As I made the turn from College street in Lacey, WA toward the mall, I realized too late I was going too fast. The road was wet. Not an unusual circumstance in Western Washington. And the front tires lost traction and rather than whipping around the turn as I had envisioned, I headed straight for the curb. The right front tire was turned 90 degrees to the left and smacked the curb straight on. I was probably going 25 or maybe 30 at the time.

I think I managed to limp the car home and I told my dad. And here’s where my problem arises. I don’t remember what he said. I do remember the car got fixed. And since I didn’t have a job, it wasn’t me paying for the parts and labor. I don’t remember any serious restrictions being placed on my car usage.

So, I’m trying to decide what needs to happen with this Honda. This is not the first time I’ve wished my dad were still around.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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