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#54 :: Road hazard

March 31, 2004

The guys at the tire store were amazed. They pulled this out of my wife’s radial one day when she came in with a flat. It is solid brass, about 5 inches long and 3/8ths of an inch thick, nicked and chiseled from being rolled, crushed and battered by countless passing cars until it found a way to bite into her tire and escape. It must have held fast, working its way through the steel belts to release the pungent cargo of rubber-tainted air in a fast rush punctuated by staccato clicking as its exposed end struck the pavement and pounded it home as surely as a carpenter’s hammer. Its once precise, now ragged splines say it must once have been part of a finely turned piece of machinery.

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