I thought I’d been shot.
My wife came running and was startled to find me flat on my back, expecting the chalk police to arrive any second to outline my perimeter on the hot blacktop and wrap our house with yellow ‘crime scene’ tape.
“What happened”, she asked, with a bit of worry in her voice.
“I misread the ‘psi’ on the tire and over inflated the damn thing, it blew itself to smithereens”. Sometimes, I impress myself with how quickly I can answer her deposition-like questions, but she saw right through me this time, as I tried to misplace the blame on the tire, itself.
‘How could you be so careless (you nincompoop)’? Wow, that hurt more than the ‘shot’.
She didn’t actually call me a nincompoop, but after decades of marriage, a husband knows his better half’s thoughts. Her eyes spoke ‘Nincompoop’‘.
However, it seemed a good time to employ a favorite troubleshooting tool of quality control personnel, the ‘5 Why’. State the issue, then ask a series of ‘why’ questions that lead to the root cause. Let’s try it…
My wheelbarrow tire blew apart. Why?
I over inflated it. Why?
I misread the psi number on the sidewall. Why?
I didn’t look at it carefully. Why?
Because I’m an old guy with bony knees and if I get down on the ground to look closely, then I may not get up again. Why?
There, it works, doesn’t it. I seemed to have discovered the irrefutable and undeniable root cause of the tire explosion and deafening sound, Life, and I’m not sure there’s a ‘corrective action’. More ‘Whys’ might help, but Life is very challenging. Agree?
Fortunately, no injuries were sustained other than a momentary loss of senses, a temporary deafness and total embarrassment.
Have you ever crossed paths with ‘carelessness’? A friend cut a live electrical wire at home with nary a tickle. A brother-in-law used an electric hedge clipper to trim fingernails and only suffered 32 stitches. ‘Lady Luck’ was on their side this time. Or a Guardian Angel!
Unlike cats, we have 1 Life, so let’s be careful with it, not careless. And if you are the latter, try asking yourself, ‘Why?’. Ask it as many times as necessary to find the root cause of your ‘nincompoopness’. And, yes, while she may not say it, you’ll know she’s thinking it. Just look at her eyes…the ones that have been watching your faux pas for years.
To husbands, everywhere, but especially Steve P and Gary C for ‘giving’ me a story! Be careful!