Oh sure, I know what you're thinking. "Why changing a tire is as easy as pie! If those dirty mechanics can do it, surely I can as well!" And you're right...you can! But here is a cautionary tale, just in case you're getting a little too big for your britches.
My very first automobile was a 1972 Chevrolet pickup. Rust-colored. Not originally; I think she was brown first but gradually rust sort of became the overall color-scheme by the time she came my way in the early Eighties. Her name was Angel and she had a wooden bed. A bed made of wood! Gee, the Seventies were a long time ago, weren't they? Anyway, Angel was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and let me just say...nothing good ever came out of Tuscaloosa, Alabama and I have seen the list of things that have come out of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. So Dad and his friend Charlie went down to buy Angel for me - she cost ninety dollars - and hmmm, my mom or someone (this part's fuzzy) followed them back while they drank fifty six-packs of beer (it was the 80s!) and suddenly she noticed something...empty beer cans were falling from underneath Angel as Dad drove her back! No, Angel wasn't some sort of beer-can-laying magical hen - I wish! - no, she just had holes in her floorboards and the empties were falling out through them. The good thing was if Mom fell too far behind in the second car, she could just follow the beer cans.
So Angel was mine. We had many adventures together: I rear-ended an Indian family (dot variety, not woo-woo) on the way to a rock concert at the Armory. Once my friend Julie and I stole some blinking road signs and put them in the back of Angel and then we shoved them all under our other friend Greg's car so that when he started his car and put it in reverse, he'd tear his muffler off, which he totally did along with busting his gas tank. Oh ha ha ha ha, those were the carefree days of innocence, were they not?
But here's the story I am supposed to be telling: Angel once had a flat tire and since she was the sort of car held together with eight pieces of masking tape and a rubber band, it was easy enough to change the tire myself...twirl twirl, flap flap, switch. My parents were in the process of moving to another house, so after I changed my tire, I loaded up Angel and carried some stuff over to the new house and then on the way back, (cue dramatic music!) the front left tire just flew off and sped across two lanes of oncoming traffic! Sparks from the disc-y wheel-y thing flew into the open drivers' window as I slammed on the brakes and veered into the center turning lane. I hopped out and had absolutely no idea what to do - the tire had rolled off into a field, lost forever, and a good inch or two of that metal disc had gotten worn down. And having been schooled in the nighttime soap opera intrigue of Falcon Crest and Dynasty, there could only be one explanation for this latest turn of events: someone was trying to kill me. So I sprang into inaction and left Angel there in the suicide lane and walked home, where I fixed a lovely glass of strawberry Quik and settled down to watch a very compelling episode of Knots Landing, where an eerily similar plot was unfolding, when one Miss Jill Bennett committed suicide by tying herself up and gagging herself and putting herself in someone's trunk, where she died, thus framing the owner of the car for her murder. (Which might possibly have happened later in the run of Knot's Landing, but this is how I remember it).
Mom and Dad were quite surprised to see Angel in the middle of the street when they followed me home an hour or so later. Dad says he remembers cop cars there; Mom says he's exaggerating (which is a family trait, so....) but the end result was that Angel got towed home and I got in trouble (no one bought my murder plot explanation) and I also didn't get to watch the rest of that episode of Knot's Landing... so if someone could please tell me what ultimately happened with regards to the Jill Bennett plotline, that'd be great. And it was all because I didn't put the lug-nuts back on when I changed the tire. Hehehe. I said "lug-nuts."