The Christmas Present We Didn’t Relish Giving

For Christmas, we gave each other  a joint present– four new tires, because our former tires were each dry-rotted!

So, when the dashboard informed me a tire was leaky, I was surprised— and annoyed. 

For, I was headed to a fun lunch with an old friend on a beautiful May morning, with no time to spare. 

But, we filled the tire up with air, and the warning light went off. So I started off, thinking maybe the change in weather was the culprit for pressure loss. 

However, as I arrived at the restaurant the dashboard warning repeated itself — tire leaking.  

Noting a tire dealership just up the street, I shrugged off the message — I’ll get it checked after lunch.

Returning later to the car, I saw the tire was flat as a pancake — eliminating the possibility of driving to the tire store.

Then began an adventure of asking for help from AAA— making a phone call which connected me with their AI.

It was not an easy communication — the AI kept asking questions, refusing my answers, with no hope of a time-out with a personal mediator. AAA’s AI was not creative, whimsical, or sympathetic. 


Thank you Dallas Morning News Editorial

 Yes, I did  yell at my phone . . . Why do I do that? 

Eventually after three tries, I connected with a human who was nowhere near Maryland — had not Idea where I was. However, she connected me with a Marylander — who kept tell me I was fine.  

Maybe she heard the . . . tension . . . in my tone? 

Almost an hour later, a human arrived, who proficiently repaired the tire—patching what was most probably a puncture and probably not covered by the warranty.

WAIT! What?


Whoa . . . 

You mean, I drove unaware, on a punctured on a rear tire— across a major bridge? 

That choice  could have had such a different ending. (Google “accidents from blow-outs.”)

I thought this blog was going to be a snarky piece on  AI — but as I have described my adventure, I see [again]  God’s kind providence in all my times— even with the blow-ups with AI. 


The Real Gift was not having a blow-out on this bridge!*

Thanking Him I am, that  there was no blow-out on the Severn River Bridge, or anywhere else. 

Francis Bacon was right — we don’t really understand our point until we develop it in writing.  


Writing is a Gift — a tool of to tighten up saggy thoughts

That’s why I recommend writing — journalling — using the wonderful words we have — while I still remember them. (Of course to write well- reading is fundamental — but that’s another topic!)


With [old age] staring me in the face, I have developed inflammation of the sentence structure and a definite hardening of the paragraphs. ~James Thurber, 1954

*Severn River Bridge Photo source 

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