‘Norman. Come here. I have a crisis. Quickly.’

‘What’s up ?’

‘I have a flat tyre.’

It is dark. Mainly because it is 7.30 at night. I sigh inwardly and get a torch.

‘Hmm. You’re right. That tyre really is flat. Didn’t you notice the car pulling to the right ?’

‘No. The car was driving fine. Norman Junior did say that the car was leaning and he kept falling over though.’


‘Look. I really need the car for work tomorrow. Shall we just re-inflate it ?’

‘No. It will just be completely flat again by morning. Just drive round to the tyre place first thing and get it replaced.

‘I’m not driving on that tyre. It’s on the rims and might make things worse’

‘Don’t worry. The tyre place is only 800 yards away. I’ve driven with a flat tyre on the rims before. Just drive slowly.’

‘No. Let’s put the spare on.’

So we get a Swiss army penknife out of the boot. The multi-purpose device includes a red warning triangle, a first aid kit, a car jack, several spanners and a foldaway picnic table. After several hours, after inadvertently firing two distress flares, we work out how to assemble the jack and extract the spare tyre.

‘What does that yellow sticker say ?’

‘It’s a temporary tyre. You’re not supposed to drive long distances using it.’

‘What does that massive ‘80’ mean ?’ ‘You’re not supposed to drive over 80 miles per hour but that won’t be a problem for you tomorrow morning.’

We locate the jacking point and replace the tyre.

‘Why is this tyre so small ? Look at it compared with that one !’

‘It’s an emergency tyre designed just to get you to a garage. It will be fine for work in the morning and then you can get it changed later.’

‘Oh. I don’t know. I’m not happy driving on this. I think I will just drive round to the tyre place first thing and get it changed.’

‘OK. So we just changed this tyre in the dark and rain for no reason.’