“You brought me Play-doh?”
“As a matter of fact, I did,” I said as I stood by the counter and opened the small yellow plastic container.
He just watched.
He could have started laughing at me. After all, he was the counter guy at a tire store. They sell tires and rims and not much else. And they certainly don’t sell toys.
I dumped out a lump of white dough, marked with a bit of dirt. It had a hole in it.
“My son’s car has tire rims from this store. The brakes are too bad to drive, but the nuts holding on the tires won’t come off without a special wrench. I can’t bring the car, so I used Play-doh to make a mold. Will this work?”
He picked it up. He looked closely. “Are all the nuts the same on the rims?”
“Yes,” I said.
“Let me check.” He headed through the door to the service area.
One of the service techs, in washing his hands, watched the other guy go. He smiled at me: “I used to make stuff with Play-doh all the time.”
“Ever make molds of lugnuts?” I asked.
“Can’t say that I did.” he said. “Can I look?”
He picked up the mold and looked closely: “Six spline, right?”
“Yep,” I said.
“Pretty bad that I can recognize it that easily,” he said.
“I think it’s pretty good,” I said.
My counter guy walked back in with a chrome nut and a black tube. He picked up the mold, fitted the nut into it, and said, “That’s it. It’s good it is this kind. One of our other kinds of nuts takes our equipment. You would have to bring it in.”
I had been afraid that they wouldn’t help me at all. After all, the reason that these tire rims use special nuts is to keep people from stealing them. But there must be something about a middle-aged man carrying Play-doh that seemed trustworthy.
Or maybe they just care about customers.
By the way. I bought two of the wrenches. I didn’t want to have to do this again.
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