Jack/Off


Some situations are impossible.  I was in one with my ex-wife, but not the one you're thinking right now.  Specifically, one day when I was in college, I went out to my car on the edge of my dorm's parking lot and found I had a flat tire.  The car was parked on enough of an incline that it wasn't the safest place to change it.  I figured I'd just move it onto a level surface, but when I went to start it, it wouldn't.  The battery was dead.

This is what's called a Catch 22, a situation defined by the presence of two conditions that contradict one another such that and action is impossible.  That's just what I had here.  I needed to move the car up an incline in order to get it to a spot where I could change the tire, but I couldn't do that because the battery was dead.  I couldn't jump the car because, like I said, I was at the edge of the parking lot, so I was boxed in on three sides (two by cars and one by trees).  Pushing it out of the space meant going up an incline with a flat tire, and that was impossible.

My ex (then-girlfriend, I guess I should say) was with me, and against better judgment (and out of desperation), I went ahead and jacked up the car.  I was parked with the front of the car pointing downward, so there was no doubt as to which way the car was going to lean.  My ex asked if leaning against it in the opposite direction would help.  Actually, it did.  She stayed up on the curb out of the way in case it came down, and her weight (no jokes, please) counterbalanced it on the jack.

I managed to get the flat tire off, rushing of course since I didn't consider this safe, and nor should I.  Before I could even get the spare into place, my ex announced, "I don't think I'm doing any good," and promptly stood up, taking her weight off the car.  I screamed, "No!" but it's always too late when you have to scream it, and the car tilted forward off the jack and smashed down onto the front bumper.

Hindsight is always 20:20, and after any break-up, you can always look back and find moments where you should have said, "I want to see other people."  I have about 4,000 of these, almost all of which involve my ex.  This is one of them.

The bumper spared the wheel from being damaged, and in the end I managed to get the car jacked up again using not just my jack, but a second one from my ex's car (since it was too low to even get the jack in the correct position at that point; the second one was to get it up to the height where the other one could be brought into play).  With the spare on (finally!), we were able to push the car out into the lot and jump it so that I could get it to the service garage at the Walmart just down the street.

The garage patched the tire and replaced the battery (as it was old already and was corroded; which looked like it might have been the cause of the failure in the first place).  A couple hours later, I drove it back home and didn't think any more about it.  Then, the next day when I went to drive it, the same tire was flat (the patch didn't hold) and the battery was dead (because a bad alternator was shorting it).  Back to Square One or in this case, Catch 22.



Copyright 2007 Alexplorer.
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