All automobiles consist of thousands of intricate and outrageously-priced parts that must all work in conjunction with one another, and any one of which could spell certain disaster should one fail during the course of a daily commute. Typically things work out, but when they don’t you might find yourself planning, or being the recipient of, an unnecessary funeral.
On most days these car parts perform properly and danger is averted, both to one’s own well-being and to his or her pocketbook. A majority of the time this invisible and impeccable act of physics occurs as we entrust our lives to mechanized momentum as we blissfully traverse the intricate complexities of life.
And then there was last Wednesday.
Last Wednesday wasn’t like your average Wednesday. In fact, it wasn’t even a Wednesday at all. It was a Thursday. But this more-than-average Thursday was different because I live in Ohio and more than one inch of snow was on the ground. Even though it is more than customary for it to snow in Ohio during the months of November through March, I immediately started doing the one thing every Ohioan does when it snows.
I immediately freaked out!
What is this stuff? Why have I not witnessed this epic weather event before now? Will tailgaiting the guy in front of my black Chevrolet S-10 get me to my location any quicker? Will driving fast in this white stuff make me drive better in it?
It has been my observation in life that days such as these are great opportunities for any one of those thousands of car pieces that I spoke of earlier to suddenly, violently and without provocation set into motion a series of events that could result in decapitation.
Not feeling obliged to believe me? I assure you the last thing anyone wants to have happen to them while they are traveling 45 mph in a foot of snow is to suddenly have a wheel bearing break on their front right tire. Or any wheel bearing or tire actually, because whatever the case it causes said wheel to freeze up and, amid blizzard-like conditions, transforms an automobile into nothing more than an uncontrollable hockey puck at the mercy of Mother Nature.
After I came to a complete stop, I inspected my truck and nothing seemed that terribly amiss. However, I am not an automobile guy and was only basing that observation on the fact that all four tires were still firmly attached to my under carriage.
I was faced with two choices.
Either call a tow truck with my non-existent cell phone and pay $75 for a two-mile tow. Or drive two miles up the road to the home of my mechanic and uncle, Don Beam, and hope to cause no more additional harm to my wallet, ride, and my own body, but in that order.
It seemed like a simple decision to me. I hopped in, fired up my truck and experienced the bumpiest, slowest, slickest and oddest two miles of driving ever conducted. After I puttered into Don Beam’s driveway and he put my truck on his jack evidence began to mount about just how lucky I was.
My front right tire was barely bolted to the drive shaft. The culprit was an ornery outer wheel bearing, which is a relatively inexpensive part to replace — if you actually live long enough to replace one, and thankfully I was.
Afterward I felt like I dodged a bullet, had a new lease on life, underwent a near-death experience and other metaphors I am too lazy to think of. At the end of the day, I survived what could have been a very tragic, bloody and decapitation-filled collision.
And when I really stop and think about it I feel lucky everything worked out as a result of that nerve-racking experience. Because let me tell you for awhile there it really did feel like I was about to lose my bearings.
To contact Will E Sanders email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.