Thursday, January 20, 2011

Chain, chain, chains

Yesterday my wife told me the harrowing tale our friends experienced on a Christmas trip to Mammoth Mountain. We used to venture there years ago but have recently found ski trips to be more trouble than they are worth. There's the shlepping. There's the overpriced lift tickets. And there's the Persians.

If you've ever been to Mammoth at the end of December you know about the Persians. They travel in packs of thousands. Speak in a higher decibel range than normal people. And they have no sense of personal space, which is a bit of a necessity when you're spending hours in lift lines or in crowded cafeterias. This knock against Persians doesn't come from me, it comes directly from the mouth of my Tehran-born friend Saam.

But enough about Persians, let's retreat to safer ethnic ground and talk about Jews. More specifically our friends who fought the weather and braved the trip up Route 395. Turns out the snow got so bad that they had to pull the 4-wheel drive Lexus GX 470 over and put on the tire chains.

More accurately, and more troubling, he had to pay someone to put on the tire chains. Adding more credence to the reputation of the Jewish man who is mechanically declined, unable and unwilling to perform any manual labor that might get dirt under his fingernails. As I sit here in my West Los Angeles home and drink coffee made from my Braun Gourmet espresso maker, I want to proudly claim I am not one of those Nancy-boy Jews.

It wasn't easy at first, but I persevered and taught myself the proper method to apply the chains. I learned the proper way to drape the chains over the tires, the important half roll of the wheel and the trick of turning the steering wheel to accommodate the inside fasteners.

I've gotten so adept at putting on tire chains that one time an older Japanese couple approached me and asked if I would help them. After several meaningless hand gestures to the English-challenged old man, I simply took over and put the chains on his Toyota. This was followed by much smiling. And much bowing.

While I have mastered the art of tire chain application, I will admit that removing the chains can prove to be quite difficult.

I usually pull over and pay someone to do that.

No comments: