They are out there. Waiting. Lurking. Preparing for that moment when you are not paying attention. That moment when they will leap out and rip you to pieces.

Zombies? Not quite. I'm talking road-side curbs.

What?

Allow me to explain. As any parent of a newly-minted teen driver will tell you, driving for them is still a nerve-wracking experience. Those of us who have been driving for years don't give it a second thought. For a new driver the simplest thing can cause terror and anxiety.

Curbs for instance.

Which explains the panicked text I received last night (August 30) from my daughter, a senior at Lincoln High School and a new driver, who had headed out to marching band practice.

"Dad, I popped the car tire trying to park up against the curb. It's bad. Completely flat."

Now, being a father I immediately thought my daughter was over-reacting. I've brushed up against curbs plenty of times. I've never had one "pop" a car tire.

Still, being the ever-dutiful father, I hopped in our back-up car and drove over to the school fully expecting to see nothing more than a scratched rim or maybe a slightly deflated tire.

Wrong!

There it was, sitting beside the curb. A totally deflated car tire with a huge gash in the sidewall. "WTF" I thought.

Then I saw the culprit. The aforementioned curb. Turns out the cement structure in question had, at some point, cracked and chipped away. Leaving one jagged piece of cement protruding from the open wound that was the curb.

In a case of the exact wrong place at the exact wrong time, it was that spot my daughter had decided to brush up against the curb, causing the cement to dig into the sidewall. When she realized she was hitting the curb, she quickly turn away (as we would all do), causing the cement to rip a gash in the tire. In essence, popping it like a balloon.

Upon meeting up with my daughter I assured her it was no big deal. It was, in truth, just an accident. Since I have run up against many a curb in my day I couldn't fault her for doing the same. It was just an unfortunate... accident.

Of course, like all things in a child's life, it became a learning experience. Learning to be careful when pulling up to a curb. And learning how to put on a spare!

For everyone else out there: it serves as a warning. Beware. They are out there. Curbs! And they are hungry for YOUR tires too!