Stating the obvious

Southland dairy farmer Suzanne Hanning gets a flat tyre and is told which way is up.

In Milking Platform5 Minutes

My husband recently bought a new trailer. It’s pretty flash to be fair. Tandem axle, low profile tyres, receded tie downs, with a good solid chassis to be able to carry heavy loads. I was sent to town for my usual phonebook-length list of jobs which included picking up two tons of calf meal.

I carefully hooked up the trailer to the back of the Ranger, going through all the checks to make sure everything was working correctly and in order. After all, hubby was pretty happy with his new trailer and who was I to do something silly to it?

I went around all my stops towing the trailer without incident until I got to the feed supply place. Upon leaving with the calf meal, I glanced in the mirror to notice the trailer cutting the corner as I left the load out area. I made a mental note to take my turns wide so I wouldn’t catch the tyres on any curbs.

I checked the time and realised I needed to get a move on as I still had calves and my family to feed. As I pulled into my last stop, the supermarket, with probably more haste than speed, I heard the tell-tale sound that can only be a blown tyre.

A lip reader would have blushed at the movements my mouth made, I gingerly parked out of the way and proceeded to call my dear husband with the news.

Similar words escaped his mouth and we agreed I would have to call the tyre shop as the little jack I had in the truck would not have a hope of doing the job. I then rang thetyre shop and they sent a technician with the appropriate jack.

While I waited, I got out of the truck and confirmed what I already knew. The left rear tyre of the trailer had caught on the curb and pinched the rubber. With the added weight of the calf meal, it had acted like scissors and sliced the side of the tyre open.

As I was leaning on the side of the trailer waiting for the tyre technician to turn up, a guy pulled into the space next to me.

He wandered over and said “You’ve got a flat tyre there.”

“Yup” I slowly nodded.

“Looks like the tyre’s buggered,” he added

“Yup, I’ve got a guy coming with a jack.”

He wandered into the supermarket.

Less than a minute later, another gentleman proceeded to hold almost exactly the same conversation with me.

In the 10 minutes it took for me to hang up the phone from the tyre shop and the technician to arrive with the heavy jack, four men had helpfully informed me that I had a flat tyre and it was indeed, buggered.

If it wasn’t so funny, I think I would have cried. Here I was, in the carpark of a supermarket, dressed in a work shirt, jeans, work boots, a face like thunder, arms folded across my chest, leaning against a trailer full of calf meal with a shredded tyre about 18 inches from my feet.

The comments by the passers-by took mansplaining to a whole new level. I’m not sure if they were trying to be helpful or what their purpose exactly was, but I did observe that no women cared to inform me of what was already painfully obvious.

When the technician did arrive, we quickly changed the tyre and he took the ‘buggered’ one with him so he could order a new one.

I carried on into the supermarket and as I passed by one of the gentlemen who had pointed out to me that I had a flat tyre, I wondered if I should point out to them which were the vegetables. I decided not to as, surely, he would realise.