Thursday, June 6, 2013

Mr. Fix It

I have always been an independent sort.  I prefer to figure things out on my own, and when I was a kid I often  'fixed' items in my efforts to make them more efficient, usually without any help from books or adults.  I was sort of like that guy who spent the night at a Holiday Inn Express.  Of course, my attempts at tinkering often did not work out very well, but that never stopped me.  Shenanigans were often the result.  I am sure that my parents despaired of ever having nice things, but once they started telling me which things I could experiment with and which things were off limits, we reached an uneasy truce, which lasted through my teen years. If I had a problem, I tried to solve it.  Yo.

Except for cars.  Cars are alien creatures to me.  When I open the hood of a car and look inside, what I see looks like...a random blob of stuff.  When I see that random blob, I freeze.  I am afraid to even look at it, because I am sure I'll break something.  People can do that, right?   It is completely irrational and probably borderline crazy.  I understand that, and yet, I would rather eat a cockroach than try to figure out what is wrong with my car. 

It's a thing. 

I've had people point stuff out to me, such as where to check the oil, which thingamahosie is the battery, etc. I nod and smile, hoping that they don't notice that I have no clue.  I can check the tire pressure independently, but that's about it.  The one time I got a flat tire on my way to work, I had the manual out and was going through the motions before some random gentleman had pity on me and pulled over.  He was very kind; he only snickered a little when he pointed out that I had the manual upside down. 

When the battery died on my first car, I was flummoxed. What the heck was wrong with my car?  I called my brother, who was in town.  It's your battery, he said.  Driving the car was supposed to charge the battery, so it should never die, I said.  My brother laughed for a long time. Okay, it's the battery, I finally agreed.  What was I supposed to do?--I couldn't drive the car to Sears, and I didn't want to pay for a tow truck.  My brother agreed, with just a smidgeon of condescension, to help me. 

Jim picked me up, we went to Sears and picked out a battery(A Die Hard, because I'm a big Bruce Willis fan!) and came back to my apartment.  My brother broke out his tools and set about unscrewing this and lifting that, until the old battery came out.  Then he put the new battery in, and began securing it in place.  The entire time, my baby brother lectured me on taking better care of my car and not letting it get to the point where the battery was dead or the gas tank was empty, and what the heck was I thinking when I made my career choice, why I needed to call home more often, and how mutual funds are a good investment.  There was probably a lot of other topics discussed, but I tuned him out.  His tone of voice, that sibling-patronizing voice, was annoying me, but he was doing me a favor, so I was determined to play nice.  Finally, my brother was finished.  I started to thank him.  Jim put the tools down, straightened up, and slammed the hood down like he was the coolest brother in the entire world and parts of Mississippi.  

And one of the screws put a hole right. Through. The. Hood.

We stared at the offending object.  My brother's face was red with embarrassment, his jaw dropped almost to his chest.  Finally, he turned to me.

"I am so sorry!"  Jim said.  He winced, prepared for a punch at the very least. 

My response was to laugh.   Because really, what else can you do in such circumstances?  If Jim hadn't been trying to be so sanctimonious, he would have noticed that he was using the wrong screw.  The joke was on him, as far as I was concerned, and I laughed right down to my toes, until my breath was coming in great gasps. I still grin just picturing the look on his face!

Mama’s Losin’ It

3.) Share a story about a sibling that still makes you smile.


  1. I love this story! That cockiness will always come back around to bite you...too funny. And I'm glad that even though it was your car he ruined, you can still get a laugh out of it :)

    Stopping by from Mama Kat's.

  2. I also used to take things apart and put them back together. They always were missing a few screws and/or parts when I did and they never quite worked exactly right afterwards.

  3. Ooops! Poor guy, he was probably only trying to feel important ;)

  4. HAhahaha!! There's nothing quite so satisfying as having a moment of sibling one-upmanship!!!!


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