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©02 The Media Desk

     Number One Daughter had basketball practice this morning. No problem.
     She remembered about fifteen minutes before practice started. Again. No Problem.
     The Desk took its travel mug and wandered out to the Jeep and got it running. Number One Daughter comes out and off we go into the icy cold morning. No Problem.

     Three blocks from the gym... Problem.

     All of the sudden and without more than a minute of warning the Jeep produces some god-awful noise unusual even for the ten year old Jeep. The thing shook for a few seconds, then as the Desk turned the corner onto the street to the gym, "plop plop thud".
     The right rear tire had blown out.
     Not gone flat. Not slowly lost pressure.
     The tire was hanging limp off the rim like one of those pancakes from that "You want fries with that?" place.
     Daughter Number One said she'd walk the rest of the way to practice. We could see the field house from where we were sitting with other cars coming and going.

     Now the Desk was faced with an interesting question.
     Does it call Mrs. Desk to have her go out in the cold and come get it? Does it park the Jeep and walk home and sort it out later in the day?
     The Desk sucked it up and put the Jeep back in gear.
     "Thud. Thud. Thud. Plop. Thud. Thud. Thud. Plop."
     Averaging six miles an hour the Desk drove it home.
     "Thud. Thud. Thud. Plop."

     Now get this picture.

     Six fifteen in the morning.
     The State Street Causeway across Silver Lake. Two lanes each way of Alternate US Route 13.
     The back end of the Jeep Cherokee is actually hopping up and down as it limps along on what's left of the tire.
     The Desk has its old yellow bubble light left over from its maintenance man days going on the roof. Four way emergency flashers on. Crawling along at what the Desk found is the best possible speed to minimize the gut heaving dance the Jeep was going through and still keep the tire on the rim.

     There is NO TRAFFIC other than the occasional commuter, or a bread truck or something. The road was basically empty.
     The first guy that ran up behind the Jeep and sat there the Desk figured was talking on a cel phone or something. He followed along for a couple of minutes then passed the bobbing Jeep.
     But the Next Guy. He sat there behind the Jeep and flashed his brights at it.
     The Desk could see the reflection of the rotary light in his windshield. The flashers were still blinking. OK, this guy must be stupid or something. Finally he gets the idea that this contraption isn't going to go anywhere near the speed limit and passed it.
     When the third car ran up behind the Jeep and sat there, the Desk figured that maybe some people just aren't too with it at that hour. Finally the woman passed it while throwing her best dirty look at the Desk who waved and smiled back to her.

     Finally the Jeep reached the crossover for the highway. The Desk waved around a couple of four wheeled vehicles and waited for the right moment. Then it did a flatly illegal maneuver to cross the six lane highway and gets the Jeep safely into a parking lot across the road.
     Almost there.
     A few minutes later it is parked in the driveway and the Desk feels like it had just gotten off a roller coaster that lasted for twenty minutes.

     There was no obvious damage to the Jeep. The rim itself is probably garbage, but the brake drum and other essential hardware seemed to be intact.
     No Problem.

     Still a little shaky the Desk went in and gave the good news to Mrs. Desk.
     She took it in stride.
     After nearly eighteen years of marriage to the Desk... Nothing surprises her anymore.



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