So, I should be dead.
There I was on the 401 outside Woodstock, driving back to TO in the fastest lane. The highway was clear and smooth. No potholes or anything like that.
The Jeep was new, too, less than 10,000 km – and that’s even after driving to Maine and back. Brand-new Goodyears, came with the vehicle.
Heard the sound first – always listen to your vehicle! – and then saw indicator showing rapid tire pressure loss. Driver side rear tire.
I can’t remember exactly how, but I got across three pretty busy lanes to the far side of the 401, and then up onto the grass.
My first feeling was irritation. Irritated with Toronto Dodge Chrysler (the dealer), Goodyear (the tire manufacturer), the roadside assistance outfits (both useless). Changed the tire myself without getting hit, and drove back home in the slow lane.
It was only when I got home, and was able to post a photo of the tire, that I started hearing from many, many folks. Messages I received many times: Warren, your tire shouldn’t have done that. A new tire shouldn’t ever do that.
And: Warren, you are lucky to be alive. You should be dead.
When I looked at that tire, I couldn’t really disagree: like, how did I get across three busy lanes of highway traffic after a blowout like that? Should I be pushing up, er, daisies?
I’ve always believed – actually known, but it’s a long story – that I wasn’t going to go out with a whimper. I’d be slipping this mortal coil with a bang. No hospital rooms for me, man.
When I was a punk rock teenager, I couldn’t picture getting to 20. Now that I’m a punk rock geriatric, I can’t believe I’m in my fifties. Feels like I’m running out of runway, you know? Losing Gordie this Spring brought all of that into pretty sharp focus.
Anyway. For now, still here. Still breathing. Still kicking. Sorry about that, haters.
Looking at that tire, my two-part piece of advice to all of you is this: one, live the cliché, and live each day like you don’t have any more days.
And, two: get good tires.