Murphy’s Law no match for friend

By Baxter Black: PNT columnist

When we talk about someone being “over-prepared,” we think of a person who is very thorough and able to handle all possible contingencies. It is a good habit to have especially if you are someone who regularly messes up and therefore must be ready to respond when you over-mess up.

A case in point: My friend Robin qualifies as this particular trip illustrates.

He left the Coachella Valley headed west on California Highway 91 in his newly acquired 20-year-old pickup. It was pulling a slightly older 16-foot C&W stocktrailer missing two rails with one new tire and two horses on board.

Traffic was heavy. A motorist passed him on the left and pointed behind. Robin looked in the side mirror to see black smoke boiling from beneath his trailer’s left wheel well.

As he watched, the tire exploded. Pieces of tread and sidewall filled the air as if he had hit a land mine.

“No sweat,” he thought, taking full control. “I’ve been here before. I’ve got a spare.”

It took him another 100 yards to maneuver the limping rig onto the narrow shoulder and stop. Walking sideways against the whizzing traffic, he examined the naked rim.

Out of his emergency supply box he extracted a Jiffy Jack and pulled the trailer up on it. “So far, so good!” he thought, smiling.

Next he popped off the hubcap and proceeded to unscrew the lug nuts with his star wrench, which wasn’t so easy since the rim