Today, because we’re fed up with politics, pro football (but I repeat myself), bump stocks, insane people, all the amendments to the Constitution except the one repealing prohibition, and Harvey Weinstein, we decided to tell you about our car problems.
There are certain things you buy all the time: groceries, balloons, gasoline, beer, comic books, fungicide. Then there are things you buy once or twice in a lifetime, like a house or a bail bond. In between, among the things you buy every 5 to 10 years, is a car.
(We were just reminded that there are also seasonal things to buy. Like the gobblerito (1483 cal), for instance, which you would only buy around Thanksgiving, and the gym membership, which you would only buy after several of the aforementioned gobbleritos.) .
But back to cars: A fair number of people, mostly guys, it seems, but probably a few women, have mechanical aptitude. Those with mechanical aptitude can, for instance, operate a screwdriver, whether of the “slot” or “Phillips head” variety without the slightest possibility of impaling themselves to the wall or short-circuiting an electrical fixture. Not that that’s ever happened to us personally.
Of course most auto mechanics have mechanical aptitude as can be demonstrated by taking your car to one when it is making this BANG-thwack-HISSSSSS sound, whereupon it will stop making that sound and purr like a kitten. Unfortunately, mechanical aptitude is not something you can simply acquire, say, by hanging around with mechanics, although you may come away with a peculiar rash and maybe a drinking problem. But once you’re alone with your ride it’ll resume the noises only louder.
This is because A) you have no mechanical aptitude; and your car despises you for it; and, B) it also despises you for spilling all manner of noxious substances on its upholstery and ignoring its inner workings. Cars are tipped off to this latter point by the fact that their hood latch has rusted shut. Oddball theorists believe that mechanics emit a form of resonant energy much like that depicted on the History Channel program, “Ancient Aliens” in the installment explaining how the Easter island megaliths were levitated there from Hitler’s secret bunker in Paraguay.
With mechanics, their resonant energy convinces the pistons to, like, chill out, and the transmission to get all neutralized. So naturally when such a mechanic stands next to your car it runs better. It also starts imploring the mechanic to give it to a driver who will replace the air filter when the guy at the Pennzoil says he can’t show the current one because it disintegrated upon exposure to daylight.
It stand to reason that cars can be a real problem once they reach either the decade mark in age or the six figure mark in mileage. Sometimes you’ll get a car that runs happily along for 150,000, 200,000 and more miles. These usually belong to people who comply with basic maintenance rules and live in areas where there are few hills and little snow. The cars that last past the decade mark are more often the ones that spend the winters in the garage and belong to body and fender men. The doctor’s kid gets all his shots, right?
But what should you, the mechanically challenged motorist, know about your current or future vehicle? Here are some “FAQ’s” or, Fairly Average, uh somethings that will help you through the traumatic process of maintaining an old, or selecting a new vehicle:
Q. I need transportation but my credit is shot and I only have twenty bucks to my name. It would have to be something comfortable and easy to operate, but also be reliable enough to get me to work on time. What should I get?
A. A bus pass.
Q. On the one hand, I like the way the Porsche Boxter handles, but the Lexus LC is impressive with those 471 horses. Maybe I should just get them both? Help me out here, I-man.
A. Shut up.
Q. As a lifelong member of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, I’m a little embarrassed to be even asking this question, but it’s something that’s been bothering me for years. My car has this one lever on the steering column that, when you bump it, causes lights on the dashboard to flash. What’s the deal?
A. You probably got a newer model that comes with a feature known as a “turn signal”?
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