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A Flat Tire Saves the Day!

The Puzzler


RAY: This is from my employer/employee relations series and the idea for this was sent in by Jim Robson.

Here it is:

Tony was always late for work. Of course, he always had some excuse but the boss didn't care anymore, he was fed up! Out of sheer frustration the boss confronted Tony one day and laid down the law. 'If you come in late again with one of your bogus excuses, you're fired. No ifs, ands, or buts!'

Well, the very next day, Tony wheels into the parking lot late for work and naturally the boss is there waiting for him. What does he say? 'You're fired!'

Tony says, 'No, no, wait! I got a story to tell you and it's the absolute truth. I got a flat tire during the night. I don't have a spare, but luckily I had just enough air left in it to get to the neighborhood tire shop. They found a nail in it. They fixed it up and got me back on the road as fast as they could.'

'Oh yeah?' said the boss. 'And maybe you wouldn't mind answering a few questions. Did they plug it or patch it?'

'Oh,' Tony thought for a second. 'Uh, uh, uh . . . they patched it.'

The boss asks, 'Did they take the wheel off the car to patch it?'

'Yeah, yeah, yeah, they did,' Tony said nervously.

'Did they then take the tire off the wheel to apply the patch?'

Tony was beginning to sweat. If he gave the wrong answer, he knew he was fired. 'Yes, they did,' he stammered.

'Last question,' said the boss. 'Which tire did they fix?'

'That one,' said Tony, pointing.

'I believe you,' said the boss. 'Your job is safe. For now!'

The question is, what did the boss see that suggested Tony's story was true?

Now here are a list of disclaimers, hints and preconditions:

The boss didn't see a receipt on the dashboard from the aforementioned tire shop. Nor did he see a can of 'Fix a Flat' on the seat. He didn't see the donut or any spare tire. It was the same tire and it matched all the others. He didn't see any clean lug nuts and besides the hubcap kept them out of sight. And no, it was not flat again!

So what did the boss see that spared Tony the axe?

Think you know? Drop Ray a note!

[ Car Talk Puzzler ]

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