Friday morning I woke up to a flat tire. Not the way I wanted to start the day. It didn't help that I was already running a bit late to work. Additionally, my father had left two hours earlier to go camping with the Boy Scouts and wouldn't be back until Saturday evening. I managed to get him on his cell phone just long enough to find out where his air compressor was located but not long enough to find out how the tire attachment went on. And from then on he was out of the coverage area. Well, after spending 40 minutes fighting with the air compressor and getting nowhere, and another twenty minutes finding my mini air compressor that runs out of the cigarette lighter and realizing it was in no way up to the job, I decided to just put on the spare and go to Les Schwab. After getting everything I needed from my trunk, I went to work. I didn't get very far because the lug nuts had apparently been screwed on by a Titan. I stood on the wrench and couldn't get the lug nuts to move one little bit. At this point I indulged in a minor temper tantrum that might have included any combination of the following: screams of rage, tears, jumping up and down on the air compressor's tubing, and generally behaving like Catherine Earnshaw-Linton. Also, every adolescent male in the neighborhood, having the day off from school, was not at home. Finally I had to call some friends of my parents and the wife tracked down her husband at work and he came over. While he magically made the air compressor and attachment work, we discovered that a hole had been ripped in the sidewall, so the tire wouldn't hold aire. Back to the tire-changing plan. He also could not get the lug nuts to move until he bounced on the wrench, reinforced with a steel pipe, for a few minutes. It is quite an image to see a middle-aged man in loafers balance on wrench. So finally we got the tire changed and I was on my way to Les Schwab. But not before checking the other tires and realizing all of them were in some state of near-baldness. Les Schwab confirmed that the tire could not be repaired. Also, they didn't have a tire that was the same size as mine, so I couldn't just buy one. I had to buy four new, slightly larger, tires. Which took up all of the money I was saving for my California shopping-spree in two weeks. I could be bitter, but I decided to just think of it as buying new shoes for my car. My car deserves new shoes, right?