A Wrench in the Works

Each day, I get up intending to have a “normal” day.  I think, “I will have breakfast, get ready, and go to work.  I’ll have lunch, finish my work and come home.  I’ll do some housework, eat dinner, enjoy some leisure time, and sleep… and then I’ll get up and do it again.”  But somehow, I always seem to find a wrench in the works. 

Today began as a “normal” day. I woke early, chatted online with friends, talked with my Mom on the phone. But that’s where the “normalcy” ended.  Not feeling particularly well, I set out to pick up some breakfast.  Making a turn, I heard a metallic clanging as an object kicked up into the wheel well, and, after a moment, there was the familiar “thump, thump, thump…” of a tire likely going flat.

It had just begun to rain, and my first thought was, “Of course… it’s raining…” I got out of the car, and immediately I could see what had happened.  An allen wrench, about 3″ in length, was the culprit.  The shorter end was puncturing the tire, and the longer handle was lying perfectly within the tread of my tire.  As far as I could tell, air was not leaking, but the situation was clearly not safe for driving.

Pondering this surprising turn of events, I scanned my surroundings for capable men, of which there are usually many in this neck of the woods. But this morning, there was not a soul in sight. I debated attempting the job myself, but the rain and my muddled head convinced me to think of other alternatives. Ultimately I decided to drive slowly to the town auto body shop.

There I found the garage bays full, but I was assisted by a pleasant young tattooed gentleman, who was clearly hesitant about coming out into the rain.  After pulling off the tire, he shook his head at the wrench, marveling at the odds against an item like that being lodged in a tire so perfectly.  I commented, “Welcome to my life!”  and he looked up at me, grinning, with his face dripping wet, and said, “You should go play the Lottery today!”

There is much more to this story, but even this brief encounter teaches me a lot.  Every day for the past several months, I inevitably discover a “wrench in the works.”  It may be a flat tire, or flat hair, or flat soda.  It may be a tight waistband or a tight parking space.  It may be my poor wallet or my already-poor and ever-poorer memory.  And every day, my first thought is, “Of course… it’s raining…”  But today this young man taught me a lot about looking at the rain.  God bless him.

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