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Roadside afflictions

Saturday night, 13 and I attended the very funny Redding Improv Players comedy show at Old City Hall.

Afterward, we intended to take a nighttime stroll on the Sundial Bridge. We pulled away from the curb only to pull right back in.

Dead tire.

No biggie, says I to him, we've got a spare and we've got a jack. Thanks to my practical dad, who taught me how to change a flat before I ever owned a car, I know how to use 'em.

But first, we've got a gift can of magical miracle air that promises to inflate and revive the tire that's already on and get us back in business zippy-quick. Let's try it.

You go, Mom, says he to me.

Shake can. Locate valve stem, line up with can nozzle. Nozzle won't nuzzle, much less mate. But it can spew! Foam everywhere except inside the tire. Looks like canned whip cream, stinks like a Detroit chop shop.

But faster than you can say "this-Fix-a-Flat-ain't-worth-a-flip," a kind soul pulls over and offers help. He gallantly disregards my "We've got it, thanks." Clearly we do not have it. This quick-change artist has us back on the road in no time.

Thank you, Michael Medley, not only for changing the tire, which was above and beyond the call, but also for being walking, talking proof of the kindness of strangers to a 13-year-old boy.

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