The deadliest, jelliest site ever. Brought to you by Niamh Shaw

On the way to collect Husband at Cork airport this morning, what should I get but a flat tyre. (After two weeks in Ireland, this pattern of speech is now second nature.)

When I say ‘flat’, it is probably more accurately described as ‘shredded all to cock’; and similarly, the word ‘tyre’ should be ‘stringy bits of rubber’.

There was a ‘bang!’, which at the time I assumed was caused by an invisible pothole – quite common in this part of the country. Thereafter, the car felt a bit sluggish, but it’s a 1998 Nissan Micra belonging to my mother, so I thought it was probably just a build-up of rust and/or moss. About 40km later, the car started shuddering. The onset of belated alarm was delayed by the texture of the tarmac. Evidently a particularly rugged stretch of road, I thought – again, hardly unusual for Irish thoroughfares.

It was only when the car started bouncing to a flapping sound effect that I stopped to check it out – by which stage, the rear wheel on the driver’s side was emitting a prolonged explosion of sparks.

Apart from all the above, a busted tyre was almost inevitable, since it was hammering rain and I was in the center of Macroom. The residents of Macroom have been lobbying for a bypass for as long as I can remember, because at one point the road through town is barely wide enough for two cars. Which is where I pulled over.

The last time I changed a tyre was probably over ten years ago. Since then, I’ve had a husband to sort out that kind of thing. I mean really, what would I be doing fiddling around with a set of nuts?

After a comprehensive search of the Nissan Micra – surprisingly roomy – I finally located the spare wheel and jack ingeniously concealed in a secret compartment in the boot. I have since been informed this is standard. Thankfully, the jack had instructions printed on the side, although for a while I thought the rod with the hook was for extracting mud from the treads.

Then I hung my arse out in the road while articulated lorries hissed by showering me with spray. I tried to project an air of gorgeous helpless feminine distress. While I had no problem communicating the helpless and distressed, the other two were trickier – but I can tell you it’s almost impossible to convey gorgeous femininity while jacking a car in driving rain.

The @/&%ing wheel had a @/&%ing hubcap, which no amount of levering or kicking or swearing at metal melting temperatures would shift. Eventually, it was eroded by the rain.

By the time a man pulled up, I had removed the bolts. I have no idea why he couldn’t have shown up ten minutes before; and while I’m being ungracious, he could have been better looking and ideally wearing a pair of overalls stripped to a waist bristling with greased-up abs.

“Need a hand?” he said, and I felt it would be unchivalrous to ask him to hold the umbrella.

Seriously, it was awfully kind of him – given the weather, you could almost call it pathologically kind. I was grateful.

The flight was delayed three quarters of an hour, so I was at the airport in time to clean the grease off my fingers and swipe a comb through the hair. It was fabulous seeing Husband again – although he would have been more useful an hour earlier . . .

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Comments on: "Pathologically kind" (5)

  1. Geeze Niamh

    What’s with your arse and motorways?

    Bloody perverts!!!!!!!!

  2. deadlyjelly said:

    Who, me or the motorists?!

  3. Good question….
    Had I not known you so well, I would have said the motorists 🙂

  4. Oh, a dinner or drinks would clearly be much fun with you guys.

    Did you know, I was all set to fly over and meet Niamh until … grouchy Belgian intervened with bad talk about money and 17 days in Italy and just home.

    I’m still working on him and can see it happening yet since the Irish deadline has been extended.

    And Niamh may have found me the grandmother figure I’ve been searching for. She lives in Rose Cottage. The downside of this is that she might just be the same age as me, since I’m a grandma and all …

  5. We are so good, that we often charge Andrew a door charge to here the witty repartee.

    I’m sure he saves all his pained expressions for moments like these – that would explain a lot 🙂

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