The Flat Tire

An Ordinary Day, an Ordinary Accident, a Lucky Coincidence

4 min read by max zhiltsov. Published in Essays, Stories.

Mom, Papa and son are about to go for a picnic by the sea. Unfortunately, they find their car with a flat tire at the parking lot.

There is no spare. No tools to repair. It’s Sunday, which means that all the shops are likely to be closed throughout the city.

Daddy calls the insurance hotline who then send a tow truck. Free, anytime, anywhere in Cyprus — as stated in the booklet.

The truck arrives. The driver loads the car and indifferently says:

I don’t think we’ll find anything today. It is Sunday, my friend. I will likely bring you back here. Or you can drop it near to a service centre and go there tomorrow.

The truck rides through the city, passing a dozen closed tire shops.

“You see? I told you it’s Sunday. I told you…” — the driver repeats each time he sees another closed door.

There’s almost no hope left by the time the truck reaches the port area on the opposite side of the city. But an open door under a huge “Bridgestone” sign changes the course of the day.

An old man meets the truck. He came to his workshop on this particular Sunday morning by accident, as he was walking his dog.

He looks tired from the heat, unhappy about an unexpected client and not very friendly.

The man slowly lights his cigarette, not saying a single word. He reluctantly agrees to help.

The wheel with the flat tire is removed from the vehicle for examination. It doesn’t take much time to find the reason for the day’s mishap. A sharp piece of metal stuck in the rubber, making a big hole for the air to escape.

His skilful hands do the entire job in ten minutes, including a break to start another cigarette and fill up the dog’s bowl with fresh water.

The mechanic mounts the wheel back into its place without uttering a single word. Once done, he says “ten euro” with a modest smile on his face.

The day is saved.

Not much time is lost and the family goes for a picnic by the sea.