the Table61 blog

Tag: tires

The Best Idea Ever

by on Nov.02, 2006, under Rant

Road construction; we all hate it. Even the people who work on the roads probably hate going through the construction on their way to work. Of course, they probably get to drive in the closed lane. Which makes you think, if they can drive in it, why can’t everyone else? If you’ve driven much at all, you’ve probably driven next to a closed lane, and noticed that there were miles of road closed that were perfectly drivable? What the hell? I think that they don’t have a place to store all of the orange barrels, and so they leave them on the road until they need them someplace else. They could at least move them to the side of the road, but I suppose that might take a bit of effort, and we’re talking about government employees.

Tires; most drivers have suffered a flat. I’ve had many, and none of them were in nice warm weather. If you have a tire go flat during a warm sunny day, its not that big of a deal to spend fifteen minutes changing out tires, though you do have to pay to fix the tire later. For example, in the movie ‘The Transporter’, Frank has to change out a flat tire. He doesn’t get upset, because it’s beautiful weather. Then again, that’s just a movie. That’s not how it works if real life; tires go flat in the worst of weather, and only when you’re in a hurry (which for me, is always). I can think back through a number of flats, and none of them were during ‘nice’ weather. For all of them, the weather could have only been considered nice if you were a lightning bolt; you know, the kind of weather where lightning gets to come out and play in the rain. I have actually walked home so that I could go back the next day to replace the tire. Who in the hell thought of filling tires with air? It must have been some loser engineer who had never played basketball or football and noticed that eventually the tire would go flat. Still, you think his blow up doll would have leaked a bit of air at some point (I was going to use an air mattress for the joke, to keep it a bit cleaner, but I don’t think they existed when tires were created). Apparently that engineer had never had to use a condem either; otherwise he would have learned that the rubber occasionally breaks. Not only do these rubber tires go flat, but they wear out. I’ve gone through probably a dozen sets of tires; that adds up to a lot of money.

What if there was a solution though. If we are willing to suffer a few years of road construction and minor changes to our vehicles, I think we can eliminate almost all future road construction and the need to replace flats or worn out tires. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m talking about a huge project that will involve a lot of time and money. But it will forever change how we think about driving. We would be able to drive 160 MPH without worrying about tires blowing out. What if concrete roads wouldn’t crack and buckle with the freezing winters. What if you never again had to change out a tire in freezing rain after going out to look for your girlfriend because she didn’t call after she got home and wouldn’t answer her phone? What if you never had to call a friend to come pick you up so you can fix a flat because your spare was also flat, because your sister forgot to tell you that she already put the spare on? This is the only benefit to those little donuts; you can tell when they’ve been put on. I can prevent you from missing another concert, being late to work, or missing sleep ever again.

By the way, why do they call those little ass spares donuts? Now I realize that the Krispy Kreme type donuts don’t have much nutritional value, but I’m pretty sure that the rubber type has less. They also have all sorts of restrictions, like you can only drive 55 MPH for 50 miles. Seriously, if you’re running late for work because you had to change out tires, do you think you want to drive that slowly? Even while driving through the alley on the way into the parking lot you’d be driving that fast. I’ve tested them, and those donuts can go a lot farther than 50 miles and a lot faster than 55. In fact, I’m up to over 100 on both of these measurements. Why must they lie to us?

These donuts would not be necessary if the first engineer had chosen a little different when he came up with the idea of how to design tires. Even the Romans were better off when they had wooden tires; at least they never had flats. All we have to do is rebuild all of the roads and change our tires one last time. If we made roads of rubber, and tires of concrete, we’d be set for life. Tires would never go flat, and the roads would just bend when the winters came around. There would no longer be cracks in roads, and you could drive over nails without consequence. Even better, the tires wouldn’t wear out and have to be replaced ever again. Even better, dumping a motorcycle probably wouldn’t hurt as bad. So what I’m saying is that we have to convince our senators and representatives to raise taxes for a short while to fund replacement of all of the roads, after which time we can lower taxes even lower than before since we won’t have to maintain the roads. Granted, a lot of road construction employees will lose their jobs afterwards, but if we force them to work their asses off for a few years, we can afford to pay them a nice severance when they do get laid off.

If you’re willing to suffer a few years of intense road construction and buy your last set of tires, please contact your senators and representatives to voice your support of this plan.

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