My Lousy World

The gift that keeps on giving

By Doug Blough
Posted 9/2/21

“Changing my steering pump; what a lovely way of saying how much you love me. Lying with a wet rump; what a lovely way to say you’re thinking of me …”

It’s a little …

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My Lousy World

The gift that keeps on giving

Posted

“Changing my steering pump; what a lovely way of saying how much you love me. Lying with a wet rump; what a lovely way to say you’re thinking of me …”

It’s a little weird singing a love song to a mechanic I just met, but this is the 21st century, after all.

Most young’uns have never heard Paul Anka’s beautiful ’70s song, “Having my Baby,” which equated his gal giving him a baby to the ultimate expression of love. Let’s face it, though: Babies come and go, but a good mechanic is much harder to produce and leaves you alone when you want to sleep. A trusted mechanic is pure gold.

If I might explain: I’m backing out of a roofing jobsite recently and it’s taking all my considerable strength just to straighten the wheels. The 5 miles to town felt like pushing a stalled tractor across a busy freeway and I was spent by the time I wrestled into my townhouse parking lot; I felt like I had just run a marathon into a strong headwind.

Everyone has an opinion when health or motor vehicle woes arise. One guy says, “Sounds like your struts.” Another says, “It’s probably your catalytic converter.” They even make things up, like, “You may have a broken torque rod.” What do I know? I can’t even open a resealable pack of baloney without gashing into it with scissors.

Consensus advice sounded like either the power steering pump or gear box, but I’ve been without a mechanic since my old guy left in a puff of exhaust smoke two years ago. Nephew Rusty, my Google lifeline, uncovered a local guy who just launched a mobile repair. I called, and the young Powell upstart had an ETA of two days. Heck, I can do two days with my eyes closed and I’m saving the cost of a tow-truck. Like a blind date, though, would the result be ugly?

Two days later on Aug. 5 — coincidentally my late sister Wanda’s birthday — a vehicle arrived sporting “Loera Mobile Mechanic” on the door. He seemed quite personable, we shook hands and I left him to his misery. I did peek out occasionally to see either a pair of legs protruding from my undercarriage or an elevated rear-end with elbows flying under the hood.

So this young Bryan fella ran into a problem, as any service provider — even a skilled roofer like myself — inevitably encounters. He had extricated the faulty pump, but the clutter under the hood of my ’97 F-150 was making it nearly impossible to remove a pesky power steering pressure hose that, despite every experimental attempt, just wouldn’t release.

Needing to return to Powell to relieve a babysitter, Bryan promised to return the next day. That Friday just happened to bring a frightful deluge that rivaled Bangladesh’s rainy season. In spite of the monsoon, Bryan dutifully returned, and I’m looking out the window thinking, “Should I take him some hot cocoa?”

I don’t stock cocoa, so I pretended not to notice his protruding feet slopping around in an inch of water. Since I recently had a similar experience trying to shingle around a satellite dish, I felt his pain. The song, “Blue eyes crying in the rain” came to mind.

Late afternoon, even though ever so close, he was forced to abandon and return a third time. It was only later I learned the reason: It had been he and his beloved, Cassie’s fifth wedding anniversary that he had all but missed. Obviously a devoted, understanding woman, there was no quarrel necessitating a marriage mechanic. Wow, what a lovely way of saying how much she loves him.

He arrived Saturday with a look of determination and a short time later rang my bell and said, “You’re good to go, finally.” I wanted to hug the man, but being an elderly, single man, didn’t want to give the wrong impression. Obviously feeling guilty for the unforeseen time issue, he presented me with an embarrassingly low fee, which I fortified with a well-deserved tip.

Happy late anniversary, Cassie. As stated in your vows, “What God has joined together, let no faulty pump put asunder.”

My Lousy World

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