Monday, March 27, 2006

I've Got Issues

This last weekend, when I picked up Mister from his mom's and was driving Lamb over to her grandparents, my left turn signal died on me. The turn signal sound cranked up in speed and I figured that must be the sign of bulb failure. Pretty good for not reading the manual, eh?

Pretty lucky to take place on a weekend actually when I have time to do something about it. But as I am firmly convinced, I'm a lucky guy in general.

So Mister and I roll over to the auto parts store and I get the bulb for my Ion. I dreaded the process after many headlight changing experiences with my old Mercury products. Don't get me wrong, I liked my old Mercury Tracer, but changing a bulb was a nightmare of poor access design.

So I pulled out the manual and checked out the procedure. Looked pretty easy, actually. I just had to rotate and pull out a couple retaining rods, pull out the light assembly, unscrew the cap, change the bulb, and reverse the process to assembly. It took me five minutes!

I was pretty pleased with my guy success. Really, I'm capable of looking at an engine with my arms crossed and making appreciative grunting. It's instinct and not knowledge of course, but I can do it. And heck, I actually did have some success in engine gazing some years ago when a mechanic pointed to an oily spot on my radiator that didn't look appreciably different from the rest of the oily radiator and explained that the particular spot was the reason he needed to pull the radiator and replace the whole thing.

Two other mechanics stood around looking at me as the first mechanic pointed out the flaw. I couldn't tell, but the demeanor of the crew screamed "scam." So I told them I had a regular guy for radiator issues and took my car with the existing radiator out of there. Turns out that garage went bankrupt weeks later. Turns out I had no radiator problem, too.

Anyway, I realized I should not be proud of my minor "guy" moment because this was literally the first time I'd personally opened my hood and even looked at my engine!

I've owned my car for 2-1/2 years and nearly 90,000 miles! But I haven't opened the hood. Oh the shame of it all!

That is not a record for a car guy to be proud of. I am clearly not a car guy. I don't deserve to own a Lamborghini, it is sadly clear to me.

Yes, I can point out I have replaced all sorts of fluids, changed an air filter or two, and even jumped a car battery, but still--I've never opened my hood until this last weekend. Never needed to, of course. But still, I've never even opened it up just to fold my arms and gaze at it in pretend knowledge. The shame of it all just envelops me.

And I've even performed preventive maintenance on actual Army Humvees. Really! The fan belts are prone to breaking because they vibrate against machinery. I know that! Isn't that enough?

Ok, fine. I have a car deficiency. I know little about them and care even less that I don't. I have AAA and that really has to suffice.

I have a power tool. That has to count for something. Doesn't it?