Covert blow-outs, wet spots &?ant farming

Covert blow-outs, wet spots &?ant farming

Dear Rachel,

For as often as I see shredded tires on the side of the road (especially on 550 & 160), I never see a truck or car actually blow out a tire. When are all these blowouts happening? Just playing the odds, I ought to have seen at least one by now in my 45 years of driving. And where are all these vehicles crashing due to missing tires, like the movies have conditioned me to expect?

– Blown Off

Dear Over Inflated,

I’m pretty sure that semis have 18 traditional wheels for just this scenario. A trucker is driving along, minding their own business and possibly even protesting god knows what, when suddenly one of the back tires runs over a Prius. Now, a truck tire can handle a Prius. But this Prius has a box of nails in the back for a do-it-yourself home repair project. The nails go everywhere. Most get picked up. But once in a while, like a phantom, one remaining nail will puncture the tire of someone on a unicycle, which is why you never see the cars shredding tires. You need to watch the unicycles more carefully.

– Never above 35 psi, Rachel


Dear Rachel,

Please, can you tell me (perhaps in an Interesting Fact) why coasters are called coasters? You know, the little flat things you put on coffee tables to keep water glasses and soda cans from leaving rings on the wood. I’m also curious why most people don’t seem to have coasters on their dining tables. I thought it was due to the presence of placemats, but this seems to be the case regardless of table settings.

– Coasting

Dear General Coaster,

If I answer your question in the Interesting Fact, that leaves precious little for a letter response. So I dodged it! But now I’m here to reveal to you what 15 seconds well-spent on Wikipedia could have revealed to you, too: the first coasters were trays meant to hold wine bottles or decanters for easy sliding around the table. The edge of the table is like the coastline of a continent, so that’s probably most definitely not why they are called “coasters.”

– Believe it or not, Rachel


Dear Rachel,

I have little sugar ants coming into my house. This has never happened to me before. I know ants are clever, but this feels like a moral failing on my part. You know, cleanliness next to godliness and all that. Is killing the ants the righteous thing to do, to restore balance to my blemished soul? Or is the upstanding act to do something less harmful to coexist with them in my home?

– Antie Em

Dear Bugout,

I see a middle road: lure the ants to your neighbor’s house instead. How? Fill some water balloons with sugar water. In the middle of the night, throw those balloons against your neighbor’s house. If anyone hears you, they’ll just assume that’s the quiet pop of an exploding tire way off in the distance.

– Bugger, Rachel

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