If you cannot convince them, confuse them. — Harry S Truman
klisk…klisk…klisk, klisk, klisk-klisk-kliskkliskkliskkliskkliskKLISKKLISKKLISK
No, that is not the sound of a snake getting sexually aroused (what kind of sick-o are you?), but the sound my car started making after seven hours of driving to visit my brother for Labor Day weekend.
Not exactly the welcoming I was hoping to receive. And at 3:30pm on a Saturday, every auto shop in town was closed until Tuesday.
I needed to be back in Columbus on Monday.
However, through some back pocket good-karma, my brother miraculously managed to diagnose the issue (I drove slowly down the block while he crouch-ran beside me listening for the noise). And after sweet talking a mechanic into staying late, I was able to get my car fixed.
Still, as lucky as I turned out to be, it only served to remind me how little I know about automobiles.
I know that lever-thingys near my feet make it go and stop. I know a pizza-shaped device in front of me helps guide where I want to move. And I know there’s some kind of engine that requires horse blood to run. But other than that, if the warning light on the dashboard comes on, my only course of action comes from computer troubleshooting:
Turn the sucker off and hope that when I turn it back on the problem will be corrected.
It used to be a mark of the male ego to be competent with automobiles. Now, us men get one smudge of oil on our hands and proclaim the issue unsolvable.
My grandpa, my dad, men who were born with real Y chromosomes are able to open the hood of a car and actually discern things. Me? Let me provide a life encounter to illustrate my understanding:
I was in the parking lot of a grocery store last week, when a woman stopped me and asked if I knew anything about cars.
Being a man, my immediate response was to squint, nod, and in a gravelly voice say, “Let me take a look.” Of course, this “looking” only consisted of more squinting and nodding, as well as poking things that didn’t look like they would burn me and making up words that sounded car-ish.
“Well it seems like your rotator-gas line might be crossed with your hyper-pump fan belt. You should probably have someone check it out. You know, other than the doofus here mumbling nonsense while trying to avoid getting that messy black stuff on his hands.”
However, since my dad is still a phone call away, the internet only a button click, and my ability to lie undiminished, I don’t foresee an improvement in my automobile knowledge anytime soon.
Here’s to hoping I never lose my triple A card!