Words from Dic(tionary)
Align: (v) 1. place or arrange in a straight line. 2. to give support to a person or cause
The technician was frustrated.
He could not for the life of him get my 1957 beat-up Chevy to align its wheels so that they were balanced and equal.
I had brought the car in for the process because it was bumpy and the tires were wearing out very quickly. Unfortunately, the uneven treat wear was on the inside of the tire, where I couldn’t see it so I always thought my tires looked like they had tread–right before they blew out.
But try as he might, he could not get the tires to align.
I’m sure he was curious why my car was in such bad shape. You see, I was a teenager who had inherited this piece of junk, and treated it as if it were a WWII surplus tank instead of a more fragile mobile.
Case in point: I’d heard about an unpaved road that ran alongside a local river, which was great fun to drive on, and also park with your girlfriend. So without doing any reconnaissance whatsoever, I picked up my lady and we drove down there in the dark, found the bumpy road, and before we realized it, came face-to-face with what appeared to be about three-and-a-half feet of water, which had come over the trail due to recent heavy rains.
Well, there was no way to go backward in the dark. After all, there was no actual road.
So pulling together all the elements of my immaturity, I drove through the huge puddle, rocking and spinning, until after about ten minutes, I freed myself to the other shore, only to discover there was an embankment that went straight up a gravel hillside, to meet up with a highway above.
The climb seemed impossible. Yet what was more unlikely was me calling my parents to tell them that my car was stuck on a non-road somewhere near a piece of over-run river.
So I gassed it up, climbed, and after about the fourth or fifth attempt, banging and crashing my car into the hillside, I made it to the top as my girlfriend cheered my mighty virility.
So even though the technician was baffled by his inability to get the car straightened out, it seemed completely logical to me. After a while, I just told him to do the best he could to align the wheels.
“Just try not to make it too bumpy, so I won’t kill too many tires.” He rolled his eyes but quietly went to perform the task.
Aligning things is tricky business. Especially if you’ve done your best to bust things up.