Pressure guages and PSI

As of right now, my car has never had a flat tire. Clarification: at least two cars in which I've been a passenger have had flat tires (a certain freezing night circa February 2005 comes to mind), but my car has not. I've thus far dodged the bullet of changing my own tire.

I thought all that was going to change Wednesday morning when my tire pressure light came on and started beeping at me. I didn't even know it was my tire pressure light at first - the icon wasn't exactly intuitive (two half circles enclosing an exclamation point - that could mean anything!) A perusal of the car manual directed me toward the tires so I circled the car, hoping for an obvious leak. None of the tires looked dangerously low but the manual said in BOLD BLARING LETTERS to not drive on the freeway under any circumstances with the tire pressure light on. I was about 20 feet (literally) from the I-5 entrance so I did what most wives would do - I called Mark and asked for advice. He told me to get to the nearest gas station and put some air in the tires, measuring the PSI of course. He asked if the tires were low and I think I worried him when I replied, "Um... no?"

I drove to the gas station and took a look at the air hose - a combination device that included a pressure guage. I couldn't figure out how to work the pressure guage (although if i would've put the quarters in and started the machine then I probably would've figured it out but I didn't want to waste my quarters in case I couldn't), so I  walked into the gas station and asked if someone could please show me how the pressure guage worked. The gas attendant took pity and filled my tires for me.

Attendant: "What's the PSI for the rear tires?"
Me: "Umm... 140. Wait, no... 34?"

He just laughed, and rightfully so. Next time Mark has to put air in the tires, I'm asking if I can pinch hit so I can learn and not be a walking stereotype.

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