The White Lily Blog


Check the Oil, Check the Tires, Dollar Gas

Barack! I tried! You told me to increase my tire pressure to 32 pounds per square inch and by damn, I tried. I drove into the first gas station I saw and I pulled up to the air pump. There was a guy ahead of me. I asked him if I could borrow the tool he was using to check his air pressure. He said okay. Actually he said está bien. It looked a little like a meat thermometer but I had watched him, and I knew where to stick it.

Son frias, o son calentitas, he asked me.

My tires? I said stupidly. Are they cold, or warm? Does it matter? I said. I put my hand on one like a baby with the croup. It felt like rubber.

Si, he said, but I don’ know which one is right, he said. ‘Cause if you take it cold and then fill ‘er up way high, and then you start drivin’ and it’s August and hotter’n el Diablo, your tires gonna explotar.

True, true, I said. Explode.

Are you going drivin’ in los montañas? he asked me. ‘Cause it’s different there, in los montañas, he said. Más presión.

I don’t know. I might, I said. Quíen sabe. I’m going uptown. I think it’s lower, actually.

His wife got out of the car to see what was going on. She grasped the problem immediately. I think it’s like a bra, she said. If the tire she is wearing more in the middle than on the edges, you got to let some out, and if it’s wearing more on the edges than the middle, you got to put some in.

I eyed her chest warily. I didn’t know they made blow-up bras, but it was useful information and I told her so.

We all stood gazing at our tires. We sighed. And then we drove away.

We’d like to do our part! But Barack! You left out a couple essentials!

Because clearly there’s a some things we the people don’t know about tires! If you’re gonna go there. Like, do you really need those little thingys that screw on the tire nipple? Cause I’m missing two of them. Is air leaking out, and I’m causing the oil crisis right there?

And did you know that 32 pounds per square inch is not what my owner’s manual says? They said the front tires should be different than the back tires and they said to not listen to anybody, not even the tire manufacturers, not even presidential candidates, but Please Follow the Instructions Printed Inside the Driver’s Side Door. Except they’ve worn a little thin, in my case, on my door. Pretty much like my wallet.

Barack, you wouldn’t sacrifice my personal finances to pay for lower gas prices for your limo, would you? Because it’s entirely possible that the boingy ride I could get from 32 pounds per square put in a cold tire on an August morning could, by mid-afternoon, shake my rusty motor mounts all the way loose, and I’m pretty sure that costs a bundle to fix. Unless it’s opposite, unless you meant 32 pounds in a cold tire would be just fine. But even a little higher pressure, isn’t it a tad hard on the tires? Unless it’s the opposite! You didn’t say! So, I save two or three percent, I won’t say no to it, but then I have to buy new tires? Does it take a lot of oil to manufacture a tire? Does it take more oil to manufacture a tire than what I’d save on gas along with getting my back fillings shaken out? You didn’t say!

We’re used to better. Oprah would say. Oprah would grasp the details. She would know some of us are driving trucks and some of us are driving minis, some of us live in the mountains and some by the sea, and some of us never checked our tire pressure in our lives. She would tell us if the little tire nipple thingys matter or not. She would have a tire expert wearing a blow up bra instruct us in both technologies, and then we’d eat. This is what we’re used to when people make helpful suggestions. Depth, unintended consequences, that kind of thing.

So if you’re gonna be president, you gotta do better than this. I mean, what if you declare an embargo on Iran or something like that, without checking the little details? ‘Cause, see, this isn’t a university job where you’ve got tenure and the little buggers can’t complain and it’s all theoretical anyway. Tires are the real deal, fer shure, but the Middle East could really blow up.


1 Comment so far
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And with McCain/Palin in there, it is sure to blow up! They are the original loose cannons.

Comment by mslark




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