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Good, just not perfect

I’m grumpy, but I’m fighting it, baby, I’m fighting it.

First of all, I started writing this column in a notebook I bought for $1.50, on a sticky table, in a mall food court.

I approve of nothing in that previous sentence.

You should know, my life was saved by the invention of the typewriter. My handwriting has always been awful and hasn’t improved much in the past few decades. I seldom write anything other than my signature on a check and “signature” is a fairly loose interpretation. Writing on a notebook was necessary, because my laptop was in my briefcase, in my pickup, which was seven feet in the air at a Chevy dealership.

I ended up in a mall, since I had nothing else to do, and the table was sticky, because, well, food court table.

And everything started so well.

My wife and I had gone to the Twin Cities, because I’d been asked to give a TEDx talk. If you aren’t familiar with them, don’t worry – you just need to know I was really excited.

Everything went well and we headed for home - or at least halfway.

The next morning, I came out of the hotel and noticed my left front tire wasn’t nearly as round as I’d like. It still had air in it, but some significant divots were missing, which is a bad thing. It’s a worse thing when you’re a hundred miles from home.

I hate changing tires on a pickup.

Here’s the thing. The spare tire is sucked up under the box, right in the best spot for dust to settle into concrete. After you assemble the three-piece jack handle - actually, after you FIND the three-piece jack handle - you thread it through a tiny hole into a winch. Imagine threading a needle using a pair of chopsticks that are three feet long. Not as easy as it sounds.

Did I mention it was the coldest day of the year?

It didn’t work. Turns out the little hole leads to a little tube that guides the jack handle into the winch. Sadly, the little tube had come loose and was directing the jack handle into the space time continuum.

I made a noise that sounded a like a saggy balloon leaking helium and disappointment. I could think of literally no way to fix the problem with the tools I had access to, and truthfully, I wasn’t surprised.

But then, a thought.

This was no longer a bad tire. The little tube was in the wrong place, which made this a breakdown, and the pickup was still under warranty.

The Chevy dealer agreed with my theory and promised to fit the truck into the schedule - sometime. The courtesy car gave us a ride to the mall and I settled down to kill what I thought would be most of the day.

Twenty minutes later my phone rang. The pickup was fixed and we could get on the road again. No charge.

I pried the $1.50 notebook loose from the sweet and sour sauce, and we caught the courtesy car back to the dealership.

We had planned to stop for lunch at a nice little restaurant along the way. We got there at 2:00 p.m., one minute after it closed for the day.

Life is good. It’s just not perfect.

And that’s okay.

Copyright 2019 Brent Olson

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