205-60-R15

Went for a roadtrip with Nam (GF) and Merin (little sis) to Shikoku over the weekend, kitten in tow. I will post some photos later, after I get a chance to edit. The point of this post is to tell you that there may be a god. In return for saving Yoda the kitten, god may have allowed us to live and not become road butter.
Basically, I drove for the whole trip the way I usually do – fast. Life is too short for Japanese speed limits (Sometimes 80 KPH max. on the highway, but usually 60. 1 mile = approximately 1.6 kilometers, but only in the northern hemisphere, after which it rotates clockwise or something. You do the math.). Anyway. Driving down a curvy mountain road parallel to the Yoshino River, past Oboke gorge, I notice a funny sound from the left side of the car. And on the next curve, I almost slide into the guardrail with my heavier-than-usual load in the car. Oh. That doesn’t feel right.
I pull over on the opposite side of the road where there is a wide space and get out to find that the left rear tire is flatter than hell, and hot to the touch. Damn. It’s the hottest day of the year so far, so in the twenty minutes it takes to get the spare out of the overloaded trunk and switch it with the flat, I am soaked in sweat. Beads of it run down my face and into the corners of my mouth. And I take a closer look at the flat tire and I break out in a different kind of sweat.
You see, my car (Nissan Silvia) is getting very old by Japanese standards. It is a favorite among drifters who race mountain roads because of its superb chain-driven engine, highly customizable configuration, and rear wheel drive. It kicks ass and takes names of more expensive cars all day. However, it is old (I continue to drive it because a good friend gave it to me before he died of cancer a few years back. Also, I would never bend to the Japanese tradition of junking a car just because it’s old. My veteran Silvia will take your new bimbobox’s lunch money and make it cry all day, every day). The car has settled in such a way that the wheels developed a negative camber. Don’t ask me to elaborate on the technical details, cause I don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about and I’ll make shit up. Practically, his means that the tires wear out faster on the inside edge tha they do on the outside edge. Meaning, unless you specifically inspect the inside edges, they look perfectly fine. I hadn’t inspected the inside edges for a year, and was just thinking about getting new tires (I like the shine of new tires anyway). When I saw the inside edge of the tire after I took it off, I broke out in a cold sweat. There was much steel beltage showing through. Thinking of all the 180s on asphalt, donuts in parking lots, and high-speed driving I’ve done in the past year (a lot less than I used to , but still…), I realized that a harmless flat that caused zero damage was one of the best possible ends to this scenario.
I drove slowly to the nearest Autobacs on the spare. It was 60 kilos away. Replaced the worn tires with the new Diazza series from Dunlop as they were out of the cheapie Autobacs brand. It was Dunlops or Yokohamas, but I find low- to mid-end Yokos to be overrated, and the Diazzas just came out last year. If I wanted to put serious money into the car, I’d go for Toyos, but I’m not into all that. If I get serious about it, I’ll jinx my good luck with Silvia, and it would break my heart to see this daily reminder of my good friend on a junk heap.
Could someone good at math proof this formula for me, please:
Kindness to kitten/N =/> Good car mojo(x+20r)

2 Replies to “205-60-R15”

  1. Yes, the Law of Positive Attraction states that you get mirrored back, that which you “put out there” and by creating lots of good mojo for Yoda, you’ve created it for all of you. Congrats on surviving this scary incident and for allowing us to continue reading the further adventures of Lucky Yoda and his pride of humans! You are a Leo, right? In the Year of the Tiger, no less. I suspect that even as you say you are not a cat person, that he’s claimed you body and soul!

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