We were cleaning up after an autocross in Stockton, and it was time to put Lucy’s street tires back on.
“Oh, let me do it,” said Gumbo Lambrusco (not his name), reaching for the jack. He changed all four tires, but he torqued the tires down while the wheels were still in the air.
I said, “Hey, shouldn’t you torque when the car’s on the ground? Won’t the wheels-”
“Katie,” my mother, the race car driver and couples counselor said. “Let him do it.”
Gumbo finished the job, and kissed me good bye before setting off for home in his own car, taking the torque wrench with him.
“You’ve got to stop bossing him around,” my mom said. “Let him be a man.”
I was next in a pay phone, after dark, in Castro Valley, calling AAA. The vibrating was too much.
“Crikey, all four wheels were falling off,” said the AAA man. “You’re lucky to be alive.”
I tried to explain to redeem myself, but he stopped me.
“Next time, lady, let a man do it.”