By Diane Ako
For what feels like two months, Claus' car dashboard had the low tire pressure light up. I would get in it at least twice a week for jujitsu practice, and see it. At first, I suggested we stop at a gas station and fill up the tire. I do that every month to make sure my own tires are properly inflated.
"I did that, but the light is still up," he said. "I guess I should take it into the shop to see what's wrong."
After a month had passed, I quizzed him about it again. He mentioned he doesn't have a tire gauge, but he once more put a little air in it and it still doesn't make the light turn off. He was sure it was something with the dashboard computer, not the actual tire.
Last week, the topic came up a third time. He told me he was going to borrow my tire gauge and get to the bottom of this. Later that week when I jumped into his car, I noticed the light was finally off and the dashboard was back to normal. "What happened? Was the electronic dashboard broken?"
He looked a little sheepish then revealed that he had been routinely putting the air spigot up to the tire nozzle and giving it a squirt of air... or so he thought. On his last attempt, when he took my tire gauge, he decided to get a psi reading to see what the heck was happening. He noticed he was actually deflating the pressure.
"Then I looked at the air compressor stand and saw that white button and thought, 'Hmm, what happens if I push this?'" he said. He pushed the button. The air compressor turned on. He filled up the tire with air. Finally.
I laughed at him. "So the light never went off because you never pushed the button!" I said, meaning the dashboard light.
He pointed to his head. "Yes, the light never went off so I didn't push the button!"
There came a point in my life when I decided it would be interesting to learn more about the construction trade, like shadowing a carpenter or something. I would like to be more handy about my own home repairs.
My cousin, Chris, is a finish carpenter, so when he remodeled extensive portions of my house, I tried to help. I haven't lost this desire, but it's been dimmed by the reality that I probably don't have enough time to understudy someone like that. That's OK. I try to remember little things he teaches me here and there.
The other day, I was describing something that is supposed to be smooth to Claus, and grabbed on a sandpaper simile. "...it was like 220 grit sandpaper!" I recalled, and waited for the appropriate response, which should be shock.
He stared at me then asked, "Do you know what 220 grit sandpaper is?"
I furrowed my brow back. "Yes. Do you know what it is?"
He chuckled. "No."
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