Maybe it’s time to set the keys aside. Tuesday morning, I heard a faint “BLAM” from the vicinity of the right-front tire — faint because I was blasting Golden Earring’s “Twilight Zone” in an effort to get myself more than 60 percent awake — and a succession of flappity-flap sounds I’d heard in that location before. I wondered just how much air I had in the spare as I coasted down the offramp and out of traffic.
“Are you hurt?” asked the patrolman. I shook my head: “I’m severely rattled, but then a flat tire will do that to me.”
“Um, you don’t have a flat tire.”
And I didn’t, either; the tire was a few pounds low, but nowhere near flat. He pointed under the bumper: “This piece of plastic was dragging the ground.” I tried my best not to look stupid, and didn’t come close to succeeding. He pushed it back into what he thought was its proper position.
“You’ll probably knock this loose again. Don’t let it scare you.”
I probably did not need this on the day when my insurance company, mindful of my advanced age and my recent less-than-sterling record after causing no grief for three decades, let me know that yes, they would continue my policy, but it would cost me about a third more than it used to. I’m still paying less than the average 16-year-old with a bitchin’ Camaro, but I never look forward to additional expense.