Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Big Brother's Always Watching

Ever since I was little, I was always the one who found hair in food. To this day, no matter where I eat, I'm the one. It pops out at me like a zit on the end of a nose. Oh yes, I've had them, too. For some strange reason, certain things just find themselves attracted to me. Hairrowing!

Last spring, the air conditioner stopped working in my car. I asked a friend, actually a good acquaintance who worked for an auto AC business, to take a look at it. I went to his house and he determined I needed a new evaporator. To make a long story short, we replaced it and it worked for a month or so. I went back and he replaced the o-rings sealing the high and low pressure lines to the compressor. It worked for about a month. I'd had enough of that, so I talked to my brother, Sam. He said, "Bring it over on Saturday and I'll take a look at it." Not only did he look at it, he fixed it by replacing all of the o-rings throughout the system. It's been working ever since. Mind you, the other guy said if it fails again, he'd have to replace the compressor. Also, Sam is not an AC guy. How come a trained professional couldn't figure out what my brother did?

Yesterday, Sam and his wife, Lindsay, had a delicious prime rib dinner for our father (and mother) in honor of Father's Day. When the folks left to go home, my father told Lindsay to tell me my right rear tire was very low. I went out to take a look and, sure enough, it was going flat. I looked around the tire and saw what I thought was a nail stuck in the tread. Going back inside, I told Sam. He said, "Hang on a minute or so and I'll take a look at it."

I told him, "I always carry one of those cans of fix-a-flat. I can just use that. Should I pull the nail out first?"

"I said, hang on a minute. I've got a tire repair kit in the garage." You know, one of those ones where you stick that needle thing into the tire with a strand of sticky stuff that looks like an unsalted pretzel stick hooked into it?

He took a look at the tire and found the nail and we walked back to his garage to gather up the necessary gear. He's got about everything out there. Welders, saws, tools out the yazoo. Tire repair kits? Air compressors? Which ones do we want to use? He got down on the ground and pulled out the offending nail. Hey, wait a minute. It's a screw! He fixed it and said, "Guess what? It's not the only one." A few inches away, another screw was embedded in the tire. Like I said, some things are attracted to me like hair on a plate. Nails and screws stuck in my tires. This wasn't the first time. He patched that one and filled my tire up with air. All better.

Today, at least here in Florida, garages and mechanics cannot repair your tires that way any longer. I think it has something to do with tire safety and liability, like it might blow out. As many times as I've had tires fixed that way, it's never happened to me. Now, they have to remove the tire and fix it from the inside. That would have cost me a chunk of change and I probably would have had to deal with a flat tire this morning.

"Sam, how can I thank you?"

"Don't worry about it. That's what brothers are for."

Brother Sam? You never cease to amaze me and guess what? I didn't find any hairs in my prime rib.