Bags packed and in the car. Full gas tank. GPS set. You behind the wheel with thoughts of a glorious well-deserved vacation. The engine roars to life and you are off to bask in the sun, listen to the waves, and relax.
Cruising along. No traffic. Radio accompanying off tune singing. A jolt! Swerving…side of the road. You stare in amazement at the trail of rubber on the highway.
Pop the trunk open. Curse the directions written in another country’s language. Throw the directions to the side. You pull out the spare, tire iron, and jack. Determined to figure it out yourself you get to work.
Put the jack together. Place it under the car. Crunch! Wrong placement. Try again. A new hole emerges in the passenger door. Reposition the jack and raise the car.
Retrieve the spare. Deep breaths after carrying the spare up the hill. Make a mental note not to throw the spare in frustration. Lug nuts. Lefty-loosey righty-tighty. Kick the tire iron. Try the other left. Give thanks for karate lessons. Lug nuts off.
Pull off remainder of tire. Set it carefully on the side of the road. Spare on. Lug nuts missing. You lie down on the scorching asphalt and spy them halfway under the car. Shimmying on your stomach while cursing your travel clothing choice you finally wrap your scraped hand around them. Shimmy out. Lug nuts and tire iron. Righty-tighty.
Lower the car. Raise the car. Wipe the tears from your face. A second mental note is added: be careful of foot placement when lowering car. Lower the car.
Take apart the jack. Place jack and tire iron in the trunk alongside the tire that used to be. Glance back at the directions for additional words of rebuke. Notice the directions have flipped over with all the movement.
Chipped nails and scraped fingers form a fist. Sweat runs down your side. Steam rises from your head. A slew of words any sailor would be proud of spew from your snarling lips. You glare at the side of the directions unnoticed before. The English side of the directions.
Back in the car. Back on the road. Leaving the rubber behind, you are once again headed toward that glorious destination.
***Moral of the story: Always look at both sides before determining a course of action. It will save time, sweat, stress, tears, and possibly your manicure.