Slow Leak

Yes sports fans, it is once again, time to clean out the garage.

I don't know when, if, how, I'll have the time to do it, maybe if it fits somewhere between cycling and staring at the clock, but it must needs be done.


Well, cause it took me longer to find the tools to repair my wife's bike's tire, than it took to do the actual repairing. Which, you know, should feel like a shame, but really feels like a chore.

We're never sure how our garage turns in to Hell's Storage Unit, but it likely it has something to do with the giving holidays, of which there seems to be another on every few weeks or so.

Then things break. But are too big to fit in the bin, so we'll deal with them later.

Then one room gets reorganized, then another, then shoes.

Shoes everywhere.

Then music stuff. Cases, cords, stands, lights, PA's, assorted picks and coaxial cable.

Coaxial cable everywhere.

The longest it ever remained organized was way back when I had it sectioned off for a music studio, which became mostly my Netflix binging station. That was a nice space, if only it wasn't unusable from May until November due to the heat.

But I was really thinking about my wife's bicycle tire. Which has developed a slow leak.

One of those "You kind of hope it'll be just fine, but you're worried it will get you all the way across town and then die on you and you might actually have to walk the entire way home which would be a nightmare" kind of slow leak.

But our favorite local bike shop moved. And the drug store didn't have the right size tire. And there was no way I was going to go to Toy-R-Us on a Holiday Sunday, so I did something I hadn't done in a very long time, I bought a patch kit.

And I know this sounds really awful, but we've been cycling off and on for a few years now, and even though I am entirely capable of patching a bicycle tube, I just figured, why bother when I can get a whole new one?

See, to have the bike shop fix it would be, oh, $30. To replace the tube myself would be, oh, $15. To patch the tube would be, oh, $3 for a pack of 10. (That's thirty cents a tire, in case you didn't feel like getting your iPhone calculater whipped out)

Now here's the terrible terrible thing: The reason I didn't have the repair shop take care of it wasn't financial, it was ego.

I honestly don't like being out testosteroned.

Asking for a favor is one thing. Seeking professional guidence is one thing too. Admiting defeat and I might as well shear off my testicles with a bread knife and join a book club.

I'd rather sit down with my wife and talk about my feelings.

It was also about time.

Take it to the shop, wait for the reapir guy to have time. Drive back and forth for what is almost, but not quite, a seven minute job.

Unless you have to look for your tools.

And I have patched a thousand tires.

Easily, uh, thousand.

I've had tubes so patched that I had to patch the patches.

And now that I'm on a budget, it only makes sense to spend thirty cents and add five minutes to my home repair time, instead of $15 and forego a pastrami sandwich down the line. Answer is pretty simple.

But I only told you that story so I could tell you this one:

See, Joann's bike had a slow leak.

The kind of leak that you can't hear or feel when you inflate the tube up.

But as I said before, not fixing it, was not an option.

So I had to find the slow leak.

Which I know how to do. Cause I've done it almost, but not quite, uh thousand times.

So my question is, do you know how to find a slow leak? Cause it's not hard. In fact, once someone shows you how to do it, it seems ridiculously obvious, but if you haven't been shown, it might never cross your mind.

So I had a Daddy conundrum at that moment. The little one is eight, but that's not far from ten.

And from ten 'til your daddy gets you a car, you will be riding that bike just everywhere. And you will get a thousand flats. And a lot of those flats will be slow leaks. So do I drag him off YouTube Long enough to show him how to find and repair a slow leak?

The answer I came up with, was no.

Not yet.

In the grand scheme of the universe I have only minutes left where I am the indespenslible king of minor repairs and cardboard weapons manufacture.

And when I show him how to fill a salad bowl with water and then hold the tube under the water and search for bubbles, I want it to be a grand moment in father/son relations and not just me dragging him away from the place he wants to be, to show him something he doesn't need to know just yet.

I did however, leave the bowl on the counter and waited for my wife to ask what it was doing there, so I could at least tell someone how awesome I am.

The unobserved life is, of course, not worth living. Or something like that.

But for now, the hot air in my ego tube is leaking only slowly, for there are no patches to our children growing up, and if I'm lucky, I can stave off an eternity in an unkempt garage for a little longer.

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