What an idiot

Today I had cause to remember an incident from a few years ago when I saw a woman driving across a Superstore parking lot with a completely flat tire that was so destroyed it was flapping loudly with each revolution. Meanwhile, she just drove, completely oblivious. At the time, I shook my head and thought: “What an idiot.”

Today I uprooted our utility trailer from the spot where it had been frozen to the ground since the fall, attached it to my car, tested the lights and headed for the Spruce Grove Home Depot for a couple sheets of plywood. Afterward, as I neared the outskirts of town, another motorist pulled alongside me. He was honking, waving, pointing back at my trailer and leaning out of his car wanting to tell me something. I didn’t lower my window as I figured I understood, so we exchanged thumbs ups and I pulled over to check my load.

Upon testing all the tie downs, I discovered that the load was still well secured. The trailer was also firmly attached to the hitch, the electrical connections were fine, and the chain was secure, so there didn’t appear to be a problem. Maybe the chain is dragging and creating a few sparks, I thought. If that was the case, I wasn’t concerned. I shook my head and thought: “What an idiot.” I drove home.

Back home in our driveway, as I untied the load, I noticed that one of the trailer wheels was nothing but a bare rim caked with a tattered tire carcass. I realized with an unpleasant jolt that I had just pulled the trailer several kilometres, completely oblivious to the fact that the tire was flat. As I thought about it some more, I remembered that the trailer had been unusually difficult to manoeuvre after I’d yanked it loose from its hibernation spot. That tire may very well have been flat from the moment I left home. I shook my head and thought: “What an idiot.”

(Epilogue: On the plus side, I did get the plywood we needed, which will allow me to continue working on an important home improvement project. If I had taken care of the tire properly, the project would have been delayed several days. So, really, who’s the idiot? People who refuse to drive on flat tires, that’s who!)