Thursday, August 29, 2013

Tire Wars

Flat tire.

I've seen this more than once at the recreation area where I volunteer as a Park Host.

Boating on Lake Hartwell is very popular so the boat ramps in this park and others stay pretty busy on a regular basis. Today some folks launched a pontoon houseboat. Hours later, they were hauling it back out of the water.

My workamping spot is on a hill with a view of the park entrance and most of the park area including the boat ramps and parking lots.

Harley dog and I were outside in the early evening. We heard yelling, but it's impossible to actually hear what someone is saying, just the fact they are yelling about something.  I looked over the park from our view on the hill,  noticing the same houseboat was hauling back out of the water and that's where the yelling was coming from.

Next I heard the loud thump thump thump of a flat tire on the trailer as they came rapidly up the steep boat ramp to the parking lot. They stopped to secure the boat and presumably change or fix the flat tire. There is a Fix-A-Flat in a can that will fix tires that have a hole but not a rip.  I've used it often throughout the Caribbean in various owned and rented vehicles, and occasionally in America. Many times I've donated my can to someone in need.  It is a true lifesaver.

But these folks finished securing the boat, ignored the flat tire, then drove rapidly (more than double or triple our posted speed limit of 15mph) out of the park while the tire on the boat trailer made this huge racket of WOMP WOMP WOMP.  As they rounded the corner to exit the park, the rim was almost on the pavement with the destroyed tire ripping off hunks of rubber. They gunned their engine to go up the hill.

I tried to yell "FLAT TIRE!" as they departed at great speed with all their pickup truck windows firmly closed. I was so far away at the time, maybe 800 feet or more, they probably never heard me. I've noticed that sounds do carry in the park, but you can't tell what people are saying.

Does driving as fast a one can on a flat tire magically fix it?

I've seen this similar scenario several times before. People leave the park towing a boat on a trailer with a flat tire.

Is it possible to be towing and never notice the loud noise or weird handling?

I could understand if your life was in danger, you would do anything to escape to safety, including destroying your tire and rim.  But I think of tires and rims as being expensive and not something disposable like the evening newspaper.

One man I know of, thinks of his spare tire and rim as a trophy. Read below for that strange tale.

The parking lot for vehicles and boat trailers is shown below, down a steep hill from my rustic park office.


One day while walking Harley dog through the park, I ran across a young man with a truck and trailer (no boat) with a flat tire. Another pickup truck was parked beside it with the stereo playing.

We had a short chat which turned into a longer chat.

His mother had driven the boat and trailer to the park alone. She launched the boat, docked it at the temporary dock, parked the truck and trailer, noticed the trailer tire was losing air but she took off in the boat alone.

She was rendezvousing with his step-father somewhere else on the lake. Given that this lake has a 980 mile shoreline, this is not as unusual as it sounds.

At some point, she called her son by cell phone to ask him to go fix the deflating tire on the boat trailer.

He showed up in his truck,  with his spare tire and rim, which didn't fit the trailer at all. He was thinking out loud that he might be able to somehow file the holes in the rim to make it fit the trailer. I said something like, that will never work, he'd be here for days trying to file new holes by hand. It was a late Sunday evening, still daylight, but probably not enough time to remove the rim and go find an open tire store.

I politely suggested that most trailers came with a spare tire or at least a spare rim.  I also commented on how luxurious the trailer rims were. These weren't your ordinary rims, but expensive ones suitable for a very fancy car. I had offered him my Fix-A-Flat can stored in my motorhome but once we looked over the tire, it had a tear in it. What was needed was a new tire.

He agreed that yes, the trailer had a matching spare tire on a rim, but that his father had it at his home. I offered up my cell phone, here, call your father.

He explained the following in all seriousness but it came out quite comically.  I did my best to keep a straight face.

His mother and father had gone through a really strange divorce. The father had taken off with the boat and trailer, even though the mother was awarded both in the final property settlement. When forced to surrender the boat back to the ex-wife, he tried stripping out the boat and just giving her the hull minus the trailer, engine and other boat accouterments.

Back and forth they went to and from court, while the courts rewrote the order that the boat included the engine, the trailer and a long list of parts he had removed from the boat.

He said they had gone back and forth to court so many times over this boat and other matters,  that the judge said he never wanted to see or hear another word from either of them or about this boat and trailer ever again.

So when all was said and done, the courts specified the trailer, the fancy rims, the tires and so on, but forgot to specifically mention the spare tire and rim for the trailer. Finally the mother more or less got her boat and trailer back.

The father it seems, according to the son, saw the spare tire and rim as his own personal trophy.

He even had it mounted on a wall in his home. He would never in a million years willingly surrender it without another court order and that was out of the question.

So that's how she ended up with the boat and trailer, he ended up with the spare tire rim and the hapless son was left to deal with the flat.

Life is goof!

1 comment:

  1. Very cute story. I hope the news in the link below is not near to where you are staying. Hope you are feeling better.


Life is goof!