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Friday, April 16, 2010  

Deflated

We have one of those jogging strollers that can be converted into a kid-trailer to tow behind your bicycle. Since M. Edium is too old for his stroller and too young to do all his own walking on the mutli-mile walks Trash and I have taken up since the indignity of my last weigh-in, we push that one along.

Until a few weeks ago, it was still in Chao's garage, where we've been stashing most of the bigger stuff we had to clean out of ours for M. Edium's Halloween Birthday Party Haunted House Carnivalâ„¢. But then I stopped by, stuck it in the back of my station wagon (where the back hatch failed to close over its bulk), and drove home. We took it for a walk that very day.

Trash always insists on pushing the stroller, whichever one we use, whenever M. Edium is in it. When he's not, I'm the empty-stroller-bitch. Right around the corner from our house is a steep uphill grade. Trash insisted on Sisyphusing that thing all the way up there with fifty pounds of squirming human in it, except we skipped the part where it rolled back down and she had to do it again for all eternity. By the time she reached the top her ass felt like she'd done 30 minutes with Jillian Michaels. And then a workout.

She'd also noticed that the alignment was off a little. The weight is borne by an axle running between one wheel on each side, and the stroller was clearly listing to port. Fortunately we were on our way to the gas station, where "FREE AIR" is available. Better still, they also have a hose you can use to inflate a low tire. I quickly topped up both wheels on the axle, and the difference was amazing. With a full cushion of air beneath it, that stroller handled like it was on repulsorlifts, a hover-pram straight out of The Jetsons. She found it so invigorating that she pushed that thing around the neighborhood for another three hours that day. M. Edium even came along for part of it. And then when one of the innertubes developed a lateral gas a couple of weeks later. We had to get a new one that very same day, along with a spare.

Meanwhile, the back left tire on my car has a slow leak. One day I went outside to see the rubber pooled out around the sides of the wheel. I went and got some "FREE AIR," and it was fine for a couple of weeks. But I still have to make periodic stops at the gas station for "FREE AIR," sometimes when I'm already buying gas, sometimes not. It depends.

Maybe there's some deeper meaning in the fact that we're spending more money on stroller maintenance than on auto maintenance. Could I draw some parallels between increasingly green habits at our house and at the country in general? Could I muse upon how we're walking more than we're driving? How both of us working from home has reduced our dependence on our cars, to the point where we've seriously considered whether we need to continue to be a two-car household indefinitely?

Maybe. Or I could just admit that I'm half-hoping to get a flat somewhere and have an excuse to be late for something. Hey, as long as I'm staying off the freeway, I'm not hurting anyone.

posted by M. Giant 10:28 AM 2 comments

2 Comments:

Do not make fun of the "FREE AIR." Gas stations in California charge. FOR AIR. It's maddening.

By Anonymous Heidi, at April 16, 2010 at 11:44 AM  

Heidi's right. I used to mock the "FREE AIR" - until I moved to California.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 18, 2010 at 10:58 PM  

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