For those among us who are more mechanically inclined than I am, here is a list of things that I would like to see invented:
1) Air hoses at gas stations that you can stop and start like a gas pump so that while you're using the tire pressure gauge to make sure you haven't overfilled your tire to the point of impending explosion, the air hose is not sitting next to you hissing away like a lame snake, and wasting what is left of your precious fifty cents (speaking of which, why do we tolerate being charged money for air? Is tire air different from regular, old in-through-the-nose-out-through-the-mouth air
...or, barring invention #1...
2) air hoses with a built-in tire pressure gauge so that you can actually see what your tire's pressure is while you are filling it with air.
These seem like common sense inventions to me. So why don't we have them? And if we do, why are they not in use in gas stations? At least, not in South Jersey. I know that the kind-hearted man at the gas station who told me a few months ago that my tire was low was able to eyeball the pressure when he filled it with air, but I lack that capability. I consider myself to be a pretty capable chick. I figured out how to use my tire pressure gauge today (and felt really stupid that I couldn't figure it out before). I know how to hang stuff. I have changed my own headlight bulbs. From my five some odd years working part time in a lumber yard, I know all about plywood, sheetrock, deck screws, pressure treated wood, stud finders, levels...but I can't eyeball the pressure on a tire. So if someone could please invent something to make putting air in your tires easier for a pale faced blonde chick who is squatting on the asphalt in a skirt in 90 degree heat trying not to get grease on her dress clothes, that would totally rule. (Although I don't really mind getting grease on my hands. It makes me feel bad ass.)
I think I have a complete aversion to all things tire-related subsequent to a traumatic incident whereby I rode over a nail doing homecare in Camden, went to Pep Boys and had it patched only to find it practically flat the next morning, and then returned to Pep Boys and spent the next five hours in their filthy, overcrowded waiting area with the television blaring some daytime talk show trash of the Jerry Springer variety above my head while two employees whom I can only assume were the missing links in the evolution chain went back and forth deciding what to do about my car. The end result was two new tires, a really big bill, and a vow never to go back to Pep Boys in Cinnaminson, NJ.
Since then, I don't pay much attention to my tire pressure. I don't want to know. I figure if it's flat, I'll notice; otherwise, I can still drive. That's not the greatest logic, and that is why today, I'm grateful for the man in front of me on Route 130 on my way to work this morning who scared the hell out of me by rolling down his window and yelling at me. It took almost the whole red light for me to realize he wasn't some crazy man with road rage; he was trying to tell me that my tire was low. Isn't it sad that we live in a society where if strangers talk to us, we automatically assume their intentions are bad? So thanks to that guy, who took time out of his busy commute to help a girl in tire denial. Sir, you may have saved me a blow out on I-295. You probably won't ever read this, but I'm sending you good thoughts, and I believe they will reach you in some form or another.
I'm also grateful for my mom, who called Firestone for me to find out what my tire warranty is, because I was too busy at work to do it myself.
I was beginning to feel like the universe was giving me a big, old emotional bitch slap today in the form of the hassles of low tire pressure and a patient's parent who made some pretty nasty complaints about me, none of which were true. But I choose to see the positive. It's always there. Sometimes you just have to look a little harder for it, but there is always some positive to balance out the negatives. Balance in all things. Including tires.