September 1992 Sincerely Sire Newsletter




They say that opposites attract, and when it comes to Rosemarie (Roe) and

me, never have truer words been spoken. She likes romantic movies, I

like men-dealing-with-death movies. I wished I was during "Far and

Away," and I still am for making her sit through Clint's latest,

"Unforgiven." She likes expensive things that look pretty. I like cheap

things that last. She likes to spend money. I like to save it.


For the past several months she's been lobbying for new chrome wheels for

our old '84 Mercedes. I've been lobbying against them. "They're too much

money. We don't need them. Someone will just steal them. The brakes

will fail." etc. And then, just about the time I had her convinced not

to buy them, her good buddy, Ronna, from the office, told her she could

get her a "deal" on the wheels. Seems Ronna had a friend who

manufactured chrome wheels and could get them for her at cost. "Honey,

all four hubcaps (she keeps calling them hubcaps) will only cost $323.

This is a deal we just can't pass up!"


"OK," I said, "You win. Let's buy 'em."


Now, as is the case with everything Roe has ever bought during our nearly

18 years of marriage, it always cost me much more than I anticipate.

(Like the marriage itself.) She always suckers me in with the "low

introductory price offer." The wheel deal was no different. Turns out

our existing tires won't fit the new rims. So now I have to buy new

tires as well as the wheels . . . I start calling around to check on

prices. After giving the tire man the size of the wheels, he says, "Oh

you'll need special tires for those rims."


"Special, as in much-more-expensive special?" I asked.


"Oh yes!" the tire man replied gleefully. "Much more expensive."


At this point I jumped up from the desk and threw the phone into Roe's

lap. "You handle this. I can't stand it." I stomped out of the house

and got myself four chili-cheese-dogs with extra onions.


Roe takes the car down to get the new tires mounted on the chrome rims.

The tires, plus wheel alignment, cost $510. Undaunted, she brings the

car home and says, "Don't they look great?"


"Yeah, " I reply. "I guess so. Let me take it for a test drive." The

car pulls hard to the right, and as soon as I hit fifty miles an hour the

front end starts bouncing around like a covered wagon. I bounce back

home. "Roe, the tires are out of balance, and the car hasn't been

aligned properly. You've got to take it back."


She returns with the car several hours later and tells me that the wheels

are no good. They're out-of-round. "Great," I said. "Let's get our old

wheels back and get a refund on the new wheels."


"We can't, our old wheels are gone. Besides that, the new tires which

are now used tires wouldn't fit our old rims anyway."


The next day she calls the manufacturer of the new wheels and they tell

her that the tire shop used the wrong kind of lug nuts. She goes back to

the shop where they remount the wheels with special cone-shaped lug nuts.

"OK, the shop manager says, you're all set. Sorry about the problems."

She puts the car into reverse to back out, but the car won't budge. The

lug nuts are too long and are stuck on the brake pads. The shop owner

calls all over the county and finally locates some shorter, even more

special, cone-shaped lug nuts, at a cost to us of $3. each. Roe brings

the car home and relates the story of the lug nuts to me but tells me not

to worry, all has been fixed. I test drive the car again. It still

pulls to the right and still bounces violently at fifty miles an hour.


And that, as of the writing of this newsletter, is the status of our car,

if not our marriage. So next time you see an '84 Mercedes with pretty

chrome wheels come thumping down your street, veering uncontrollably

towards the curb, you'd better get off the sidewalk, because it's my

ex-wife (only kidding), Ramblin' Rose, just rolling along, enjoying her

new set of wheels.


E-Mail Me Back to Archives Back to Home Page