I Am Car-Illiterate

You look like you can handle what’s under my hood

“That was fast. Did you fly here?”

This is the comment that greets me every single time I walk into our auto mechanic’s shop, despite the fact that Eric, our “car guy,” knows full well that I live right around the corner.

But we have to have the obligatory exchange: “Did you fly here?” “No, dude, I live right around the corner.” “But that was so fast! I just hung up the phone.” “Well, I live RIGHT around the corner.” (Hint: that’s why you’re our car guy. It’s not your prices or your expertise; it’s your proximity to my front door. It’s also not, by the way, your weirdly bleached hair.)

He looks up my info on his computer.

“Oh! You live right around the corner!”

I can never just pick up my car when it’s ready. Eric loves cars and he loves to talk. This is a horrible combination for someone like me, who isn’t so much into talking and really only appreciates the volume control of the stereo. When Eric calls to give me the news (what’s wrong, how much), he is incapable of sticking to the boring details. He’s determined to educate me, one part at a time, about all things automotive.

So, today. The phone call.

“At 60,000 miles, you should get your timing belt changed.”

“OK.”

“Do you know what a timing belt is?”

“Errrr . . . ”

A lengthy  lecture on the timing belt ensues, during which I answer a few e-mails, shave my legs, write an opera, and eat 4 pieces of toast.

“And THAT is what a timing belt does!”

“Great! Thank you.”

I guess I should be flattered that he thinks my womanly brain is large enough to store all this information. I really just could not care less. Does the car run? Fine. Does it make a funny noise? Turn up the music. Is the “Check Engine” light on? Wait a few days; it’ll go off.

I didn’t get married just so I could learn all about cars. That’s what Dave is for. HE knows what a timing belt is, how it works, and why we don’t need to spend $535 on one just now. After I listen to Eric, I call Dave to relay some of the terms I remember: fuel flush hose recalibrate diagnostics shaft. He takes over and finalizes everything, presumably without the timing belt lecture.

So, today, when I go to pick up my car (and, no, I didn’t FLY there), I am starving. To death. That toast? A mere drop in the ocean that is my stomach. I’d been waiting to hear that the car was ready before preparing my evening meal because I KNEW Eric would call as soon as I took my first bite and start ranting about coolant sealing hose treads.

So I am hungry and I want my damn car. But Eric brings up the dreaded timing belt.

“Are you glad I explained all that to you?”

“YES! It was so helpful.”

“So, if I were to give you a quiz on timing belts—”

“Oho! Don’t do that, please!”

I’ve paid and signed. Gimme the key. GIMME THE KEY! But no. He reaches for a horrifyingly dull-looking car catalog. It’s very thick and drab and dirty. It’s title?

TIMING BELTS

Yes, my children, it’s the story of freaking timing belts.

Eric knows I’m lying about understanding the timing belt lecture. He tells me that once I see a picture of the timing belt, I’ll know everything I need to know. I don’t tell him I already know everything I need to know on the subject of timing belts, which is nothing.

Oh, my god. Can this be happening? I’m looking at pictures of belts and gears while Eric—so nice, so helpful, so blonde—is going on and on about, UGH! I don’t even know anymore. It’s some kind of horrible nightmare. My car is RIGHT THERE! I can see it! I’m tempted to tell him to mail me my key and just run home.

Finally, but only after he tracks down the picture of my car’s timing belt and shows me EXACTLY how it works, I am given my key and allowed to go. As I leave, I hear him say to the woman who just came in.

“That was fast. Did you fly here?”

I throw her a sympathetic look and make a run for my car, where I crank the stereo for the 15-second ride home.

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61 Comments


61 Responses to “I Am Car-Illiterate”

  1. 1 MomZombie

    Whenever I drive away from the car shop I always feel like I’ve been felt up in a crowded elevator.

    MomZombie’s last blog post..Blogging killed dear diary

  2. 2 Kathy

    OMG! Hilarious!!!! I would suggest you find a new Eric, but man, if your guy can be “right around the corner,” you’ll just have to keep putting up with the pain.

    Whenever a mechanic tries to explain anything to me, I immediately zone out and think of cookies. I nod on occasion to indicate that I’m still plugged into the conversation, but really only listening enough to hear how much the visit will cost me.

    I flew here from Twitter to leave this comment.

    Kathy’s last blog post..Honey, Think Smaller Next Time

  3. 3 fragileheart

    Hahahaaha I agree with Kathy. That has to be the most hilarious tale about timing belts. My Dad’s a car mechanic but he’s also an all around handy man which means there are a lot of projects left unfinished all around the house.

    Combine that with my patience (or lack thereof) and that leaves me to learn how to do everything he knows how to do. Of course, learning about vechiles is one that is still unchecked on my to-do list but I also work in a Scooter manufacturer’s head quarters so I’ve learnt a thing or two about automotive insides.

    I see mechanics like chefs, sleezy and always up for a good ‘chat’ where they can stare at whatever part of your body is most prominent (or just closer to them). You’re lucky to get away with just a ‘chat’. lol

    fragileheart’s last blog post..Reflections of a fragile heart

  4. 4 cardiogirl

    Wow, that’s intense.

    As I read that I had the thought of my mother-in-law talking about her daughter (my SIL) after she said something weird, confusing and totally wrong.

    MIL: “She should really dye her hair blond, just to give people a warning.”

    At least he bleaches his hair.

  5. 5 Daisy the Curly Cat

    Cars are hard. And why do they only drive to the vet’s office? At least, that’s the only place my car ever takes me.

    Daisy the Curly Cat’s last blog post..Nightmares…

  6. 6 feefifoto

    Funny — if you were to replace every reference to timing belts with a reference to some accounting term, I’d think you were describing my dad.

    feefifoto’s last blog post..Thursday Thirteen: Thirteen Things I Thought I’d Never Do

  7. 7 Angi

    What car mechanics don’t seem to understand, (and it’s beyond me as to why) is that it’s not that we girls aren’t smart enough to understand all the inner workings of an automobile – we just don’t CARE.

    My problem is never with mechanics themselves, but with the haughty oil-changer-men at Jiffy Lube. I might be a girl, but I’m not stupid – I know my oil change costs 29.99, and I know I don’t need an engine flush or oil flush or whatevertheheckit’scalled EVERY TIME I go in there. If they had it their way I’d be spending $200 every time.

    And “no thank you” is never good enough, they want to lecture me on why I need this, that and the other thing. You’d think, by the way they describe it, that not getting an engine flush EVERY TIME will make my car spontaneously combust in the middle of the highway or something.

    *end rant* (heh heh)

  8. 8 Woody

    Hee hee. You said shaft. Hee hee.

    Woody’s last blog post..Happy Birthday, Vol Fan!

  9. 9 Babs - beetle

    Now this is when an iPod playing a talking book would come into it’s own!
    Every time he stops to draw breath, smile and nod, and listen to your book.

    I think it’s a choice between the ‘Timing Belt’ man or the one that assumes, as you are a mere woman, that you wouldn’t even understand what a flat Tyre was. Why should he even bother to tell you what’s wrong with your car – just make something up, make a few grunting noises and charge what I like, she won’t know!

    Babs – beetle’s last blog post..I am so MAD!

  10. 10 dcr

    So, when will your opera be on YouTube?

    dcr’s last blog post..Protected: Something Few People Have Ever Seen

  11. 11 Athena

    Oooh, I hate this!!! My dad does this to me, actually, about religion! I know! Smile and nod, thats the motto.

    Athena’s last blog post..The joys of suburbia

  12. 12 unfinishedrambler

    Music is the great equalizer, isn’t it? I just crank it up and suddenly…amazingly, there is no problem.

    I like Kathy’s idea of zoning out and thinking of cookies. I’ll have to try that.

    unfinishedrambler’s last blog post..WTF (Mostly) Wordless Wednesday #4: The band Santana with white guy on lead vocals?

  13. 13 stephanie barr

    Too late. I already don’t know anything about cars and plan to keep it that way.

    Which is odd. I’m an engineer/physicist, but I’ve never had the slightest urge to learn car repair. That’s what Lee is for and my idiot ex when I was married to him. I can fix anything in the house and can troubleshoot your new plans for a thermal control system for a space vehicle, but cars are greasy. No thank you!

    stephanie barr’s last blog post..The Fruitless Search for Graph Paper

  14. 14 Tiggy

    So JD… what is a timing belt?

    Tiggy’s last blog post..Tiggy Gets Tagged – Six Of The Best

  15. 15 Trade Show Guru

    hey JD, you crack me up! I love when you write:
    “Does the car run? Fine. Does it make a funny noise? Turn up the music. Is the “Check Engine” light on? Wait a few days; it’ll go off.”
    But it all seriousness, you should check your car manual and see when the manufacturer recommends changing the timing belt and then do it (it could be at 60K). If you don’t, eventually it will break, and the engine damage will cost a lot more to repair than putting on the new belt. Anyway, we can go back to being funny now… sorry for the seriousness.
    ~ Steve (aka the trade show guru, seriously)

    Trade Show Guru’s last blog post..Joy of Fatherhood

  16. 16 Karen, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry"

    This was hilarious! I couldn’t care less about knowing about a timing belt either. I’m glad my corner mechanic doesn’t ramble on and on trying to explain things to me. He takes out the broken or worn parts and shows them to me, tells me how much, I pay and I’m good to go!

    I’m with you, if it runs, it’s fine. Nice to the that check engine light goes out in a couple days!

    Karen, author of “My Funny Dad, Harry”‘s last blog post..Good Things About Funerals

  17. 17 Natural

    Funny JD, love your stories. LOL. a drop in the ocean of your stomach. ROFL.

    Yeah who cares about a timing belt, unless it’s a fashion accessory. That’s what men are for, cars and stuff.

    I’m tempted to tell him to mail me my key and just run home. LOL. This is why I keep a spare key, for a quick get aways…leave him talking

    $535? meet dial tone.

    Natural’s last blog post..Oh, Sense Less One

  18. 18 Natural

    btw, love the picture up top. too funny. shutupshutupshutupshutup

    Natural’s last blog post..Oh, Sense Less One

  19. 19 absepa

    Oh, stop…too much funny at once! Particularly “shave my legs, write an opera, and eat four pieces of toast.”

    I, too, have designated the Husband as the caretaker of all car issues (and bug-killer, but that’s another story entirely). He knows what he’s talking about, too–he’s very handy. The problem is that he always wants me to take the car to be worked on, and report back to him what the Car Guy says. So, I wrack my brain to remember all those annoying car words, so that the Husband can yell his head off and tell me that we didn’t need all that stuff. The last time the car needed work, I dutifully drove to the repair shop. Once I got there and the Car Guy started on his spiel, I whipped out my cell phone, called the Husband, and handed the phone to Car Guy so they could argue it out, without me to serve as middleman. Problem solved, and I don’t have to listen to the Car Guy anymore.

    absepa’s last blog post..Um…Am I Supposed to be Doing Something?

  20. 20 JD

    MomZombie: HA! Good analogy. Too much contact! Too much!

    Kathy: I’ll definitely try the “cookies” method next time I’m subjected to a car lesson. Eric is actually pretty nice and means well, and we have no reason to believe he cheats us any more than all the other mechanics.

    fragileheart: Wow, I’m so glad I could make timing belts entertaining! Maybe I should write a new edition of Timing Belts. Interesting comparison: chefs and mechanics. If Eric wanted to stare at my most prominent body part, he would’ve had to deliver his lecture standing behind me.

    cardiogirl: HAW. Yeah, I guess none of this should surprise me, what with the bleached hair. It’s such an incongruous look, too. This bleached blond guy in an auto shop.

    Daisy the Curly Cat: Cars ARE hard. If you wanted to come for a visit, I would drive you over to visit Gus and Pru’s cousins. They get driven to the vet, but they also get to visit Rudy, Noel, and Marjorie.

    feefifoto: Ugh! Accounting terms are probably even more boring. And just as hard to understand, at least for me.

    Angi: RIGHT! We. do. not. care. Oh, maybe some do, but I certainly don’t. I hope you feel better after that rant. Oh, and “haughty oil-changer-men at Jiffy Lube” is hilarious.

    Woody: Hey! I did, didn’t I? And I didn’t even make an off-color joke. I’m losing my touch!

    Babs – beetle: I think I’d almost prefer the jerk who assumes I won’t know what he’s talking about—because he’s right! And I’ve made a mental note about the iPod. I don’t even really have to listen to anything—just have the headphones on and make a motion like, “Can’t hear you!”

    dcr: Um . . . as with my car, it needs a little fine-tuning. I’ll be sure to send out a bit TWEET when it’s online.

    Athena: Smile and nod, smile and nod. Yup. That’s the drill. I hate to be rude, but I also hate wasting my (and his) time.

    unfinishedrambler: Yeah, cookies or, in my case, donuts will usually transport me away from any unpleasant situation. And thank god for loud music!

    stephanie barr: You amaze me with your smartitude! Seriously, who needs to worry about stupid greasy cars when they even KNOW what a thermal control system is? For a space vehicle???!!!

    Tiggy: Uhhhh . . . let’s see, if I recall correctly, it’s a belt that relates to the timing of certain . . . parts. YES! That’s it! Now you don’t need to read the book.

    Trade Show Guru: Oh, thank you. And you’re absolutely right. That’s one thing that did penetrate my bored brain, the fact that the timing belt can break and cause lots of damage. Luckily, my car guy was wrong about my mileage (which, of course, I didn’t pick up on!) so I didn’t need to replace it. Yet.

    Karen, author of “My Funny Dad, Harry”: I love your corner mechanic. Fix it, tell me what and how much, and take my money. The end. And . . . you probably shouldn’t take my advice about the “check engine” light. Just sayin’.

    Natural: HA HA! “$535? Meet dial tone.” Yeah, that’s what I was thinking. And that spare key idea is brilliant. That way I can avoid being trapped and bored to death. (That shutupshutupshutup was exactly what was going thru my head the whole time.)

    absepa: Oh, I am laughing. Your husband sounds exactly like mine. I, too, always have to take the car in and act as the middleman, trying to explain stuff I couldn’t be bothered to understand and am therefore highly unlikely to remember. I love your solution. I’m doing that next time, for sure.

  21. 21 The Hawg!

    Hey! That gives me an idea — what say I start “The Hawg’s Terrific Timing Belt Corner” on my blog? Yes, I’ll have post after post about timing belts.

    Want to submit one? You’ve had that timing belt education now and I know (in spite of your protests) you’re just dying to talk all about it.

    The Hawg!’s last blog post..The Hawg shares Eric Cartman’s dream

  22. 22 Tim

    I have this great way to fix engine lights. I just take a small piece of black tape and cover the spot where the light is, and Bam! no light. It works every time.
    You gotta watch out for that timing belt tho – like Trade Show Steve says, it can darn near finish your car engine off for good if it breaks, in some models anyways. You also should make sure you get your hose treads rebalanced at least once a year :)

    Tim’s last blog post..Quiting Smoking, Second Hand Gum and Non-Chewing Sections

  23. 23 Fancy

    I’m with ya! Fix it and shut up about it already. I know how to drive the damn thing and that’s all I need to know.

    Fancy’s last blog post..Migration

  24. 24 Juliet

    When I was younger and …insane, I decided to take an auto technician course because I thought it would be wise for a single gal like myself to learn such things.

    Five minutes in and I was bored out of my mind. Thankfully, I have some lovely family members who are of the same moral irreverance as myself and basically passed the course for me.

    Although looking back, I barely passed that course so maybe they weren’t as kind as I thought.

    Juliet’s last blog post..Human Rights

  25. 25 Puglette

    I am so happy that hubby takes care of the car stuff…and he likes it too! If I had my way, a check engine light or heaven forbid, a breakdown would be my greenlight for new car shopping. Take that you old car! I will just fire your ass!
    ;o)

    Puglette’s last blog post..Quick Post

  26. 26 Jay

    Hey – I know what a timing belt does! I know this because my beloved Saab 99 started making noises like a handful of pebbles in a tin can and that’s what it was … only the Saab had a timing chain not a belt. I also know that if the timing chain goes on a Saab 99 you are looking at a MAJOR job, which involves lifting the engine out so they can get to the damn thing.

    I’d never heard of one before and I’ve never needed to know about one since. And let’s face it, if it goes, your car won’t. And then you’ll take it in to the garage and the nice men will fix it for you in return for wads of cash. :D

    Jay’s last blog post..A little of what you fancy …

  27. 27 JD

    The Hawg! Oh, no. What have I started? Here is what I would submit, based on how much of that lecture leaked into my resistant brain: Timing belts are expensive. They are belts. With gears. In your car. They . . . turn, maybe. They can break and cause lots of damage. The End. I can’t say I’m too excited about this new feature of yours.

    Tim: writes down “hose retreads balanced . . .” Wait, what? Seriously, yes, I do understand about the danger of the timing belt. But again: THAT’S WHY I HAVE DAVE! Please let me be blissfully unaware of this alternately boring/life-threatening stuff?

    Fancy: YES! Thank you, my sistah. I can call AAA if I need a tow or a jack. I can call 911 if I have to pull over on a deserted highway. I can sit in my car and sob if I’m lost. These things I can do—I need do no more!

    Juliet: Very funny comment. Five minutes, eh? You lasted longer than I would’ve. As for your helpful family members, they probably didn’t want to make it seem too suspicious by getting a high grade. Um . . . right?

    Puglette! YEAH! That’s the spirit. So what if that damn timing belt breaks. I get me a new set of wheels! Tho in reality, I have a feeling it wouldn’t work quite that way.

    Jay: Oh, I do hate the sound of wads of cash. Why can’t they just invent cars that work? Was your Saab OK?

  28. 28 Meg

    I think you need to change the subject quickly with something like, “I’d love to know more about this but I’ve got these really bad menstrual cramps right now and my flow is extra heavy and …..”

    Meg’s last blog post..Women Drivers (Ed Teachers)!!

  29. 29 chat blanc

    Eric is evil!! I sooooo don’t want to know anything about the mechanical workings of my car. Ever. :)

    chat blanc’s last blog post..Idiotic wonderments

  30. 30 Lola

    JD, I SOOOOO feel your pain. Only my current pain is not a car mechanic, it’s a furnace technician.

    Tomorrow will be day 6 of my saga. Sunday my partner’s best friend’s husband came over to check on our furnace because the heat didn’t come on when we tried it Saturday. He found out the ignitor was ok and HAD to show it to me, explain what it does and what it would look like IF it were bad (as if I knew what one even looked like). He then diagnosed the problem as a bad circuit board. All day Monday I spent driving him around to all the wholesale parts places in the area (his wife had their only car). He then determined that no one locally had the part. I got on the internet and found the part. He literally went on for hours to myself and my partner about how smart I was because I found the correct part online. I ordered it, it came yesterday. Yesterday he installed it, but found out all the sensors were shot. He then told us that the cost of all the sensors would be more than a new furnace.

    I’m giving you the VERY abbreviated version here. BELIEVE ME WHEN I TELL YOU THIS! Even though I didn’t see him Tuesday or today, he called me on the phone and told me even more things that I don’t care to know about furnaces. Today he called to quote me the price and tomorrow I have to pick him up and drive an hour each away to go get the new furnace. If I have to listen to more furnace minutiae I swear I will blow my brains out! And sadly, I know that tomorrow may not be the end of this. We can’t start out until late morning, an hour drive to and from the wholesaler, then removing the old and installing the new. I know it’s not going to get done on Friday.

    I am in furnace HELLLLL!!!

    And why am I subjecting myself to this? Because this guy is like family and he’s doing the job for almost nothing. We’ve had this guy service our furnace and a/c at this house, and the boiler at my previous house. We know he does good work. I keep chanting this mantra:

    “He’s saving us thousands of dollars we don’t have”
    “He’s saving us thousands of dollars we don’t have”
    “He’s saving us thousands of dollars we don’t have”

    I swear if I didn’t have to drive him back to his house after he finishes for the night tomorrow, I’d start drinking the moment I got home with the new furnace.

    Lola’s last blog post..Bait and Switch Bailout?

  31. 31 grace

    Hi, I wonder what you can do to me that I don’t have to… he-he-he… :) nice blog.

    grace’s last blog post..“I love Roy G. Biv”

  32. 32 Elle

    Well, now you are prepared for the day you are kidnapped by gypsies who will only let you go if you have something intelligent to say about timing belts… And just Wednesday, the freaking check engine thing went on in my car. Have to take it to the dealer for a $150 extraction. Gee, I hope they don’t mention timing belts.

    Elle’s last blog post..Digging With A Heart-Shaped Spade

  33. 33 Regan

    “Hey, did you fly here?” Guess not considering I’m comment 33 or something like that.

    Timing belts? I didn’t even know that existed. I still don’t know what it is and there is no way I’m googling it.

    Is it like a seat belt, but it unbelts at the timed time?

  34. 34 JD

    Elle: Now I’m gonna have nightmares about Timing Belt Gypsies. Do you think they really exist? As for that check engine light, you do know it’ll go off in a few days, right?

    Regan: I think your definition of timing belts is way more accurate and easy to understand than the one I was given. For god’s sake, don’t google it. You’ll die of boredom.

    grace: Oh, my! Well, what did you have in mind?

    Meg: Ahhh, yes! The ol’ womanly curse topic switcheroo. I think the word “flow” alone is enough to make even the strongest man run in the opposite direction.

    chat blanc: I know! Eric is evil, cars are evil, automotive shops are evil. I’m buying a Segway!

    Lola: OMG! Wow. I hope you’re writing your own post about this! What a nightmare. FURNACE HELLLLLLLL! I would definitely say your experience trumps mine in every way. Not only are you forced to spend a lot of time with this guy, but . . . UGH! Furnaces? At least with cars, you get to drive them afterward. Sure, furnaces give you much-needed heat, but they’re soooo boring. I remember when we had to buy a new furnace. That was when I truly felt the burden of being a homeowner. All that money for a stupid . . . appliance!

    Lola, I feel your pain. I hope the rest of your furnace adventure goes quickly and smoothly. Please come back and tell us how it all turned out.

  35. 35 brooke

    Wow….. that is all I’m going to say.

  36. 36 AngieSS

    LOL This is why I never take my car to the shop. I just let the hubs deal with it. I can’t imagine anything more boring! You poor, poor woman. :)

    AngieSS’s last blog post..10 Reasons I Hate My Trips To Wal-Mart.

  37. 37 Maureen

    Ahahahahahaha!!!! Priceless JD! I hate visiting doctors, dentists and mechanics…. they are all a pain.

    Maureen’s last blog post..I Took A Day Off For This?

  38. 38 Lola

    I did write about it in my blog post “Random Thoughts from Hell…I would like to thank…”, but I was more than kind about it, since he is like family and his wife might see my blog.

    I thank you for the opportunity to vent. (oh looky there, furnace humor. Help!!!)

    I am still in hell. It is almost 6pm CST and he is not yet done. I picked him up at 10am! We ran into a problem at the wholesaler, they wouldn’t take a personal credit card (only business cards) so I had to find a branch location for my bank to cash a check. That was almost an hour detour. Arghhhhh, it’s like I can’t catch a break.

    We still have to go to Lowes to pick up some pvc pipe, electrical outlet, light switch (please make it stop! My brain hurts!), so I know the end is not in sight any time soon.

    Lola’s last blog post..Random Thoughts from Hell…I would like to thank…

  39. 39 Neena

    So funny! We don’t have an Eric around here – and my dealer is just the opposite – need to know only. Sometimes I need to know more than they are ready to tell. ‘Tis a fine balance!

    Neena’s last blog post..Timberland Boots Coupon Codes

  40. 40 Elle

    Yeah, I know, I just have to pray that my husband The Conformist and Fellow Car-Illiterate doesn’t get into the vehicle before it goes off again. Then I’d be on the way to the dealership post haste.

    Oh, and re: bleached blonde mechanic hair — maybe it’s really brake fluid leakage on his head… this would explain a great many things…

    Elle’s last blog post..Media mixup, or my latest career move.

  41. 41 Rika Susan's Outdoor Lighting News

    What an entertaining post! You sure can write. This is priceless. Will have to share it with the rest of the family. One of the best about mechanics and timing belts I have ever seen… Your blog is very original. I will have to come back to spend some time here. Lots of good stuff to read.

  42. 42 ann of thejunkdrawerblogfamily

    I take my car to the dealer. It’s expensive, but it’s like the repair Nazi. Get in line to sign the bill, receive key, NEXT!

  43. 43 JD

    brooke: You’ve said a mouthful, my friend.

    AngieSS: I AM a poor, poor woman! But I’m the one who works from home, so I’m the designated car bringer-in. Luckily for me, Dave does most of the brain work. I just do the physical part.

    Maureen: Which is worse, tho? I’d have to say mechanics. At least with drs and dentists I care about what they’re talking about (my body, my teeth). With mechanics . . . WHO CARES?!

    Neena: You’re right, it IS a fine balance. I’d be suspicious there was something they weren’t telling me. On the other hand, I’d get in and out and off the phone a lot quicker.

    Elle: I have to try to hide the “check engine” light from my husband, too (Hi, Dave! You don’t read the comments, right?) Oh, boy. I’m going with your theory of brake fluid leakage. That would explain EVERYthing!

    Rika Susan’s Outdoor Lighting News: Hi, and welcome! And thank you! (are you spam?) Oh, who cares. You like me!

    ann of the junkdrawerblogfamily: HA! I’m afraid of the dealer, even if it isn’t like the repair Nazi. Do you at least get bread with that?

    Lola! OK, I gotta check it out. I’m assuming he (or his wife) haven’t read the post? I think we need a minute-by-minute, real-time, live blogging account of your furnace hell. This is good stuff. Well, except for your poor brain.

  44. 44 diesel

    Very funny. Giving you a smiley. :)

    diesel’s last blog post..Caption Contest: The Transporter

  45. 45 Evelyn McCormack

    Freakin hilarious. My car guy, Steve, is right around the corner, too. I guess that’s a good thing.

    Evelyn McCormack’s last blog post..Are You a Tech-Savvy Superintendent?

  46. 46 Kelly

    ugh, just like a man! they never know when to shut up!

    i’m doing something new over on my blog. come check it out!

    Kelly’s last blog post..20 Things

  47. 47 Jeff

    LOL! Great story. Only you could totally rock a story about a timing belt.

    Jeff’s last blog post..Thanksgiving with the Grandsons

  48. 48 Lola

    OMG! Last night my son and I didn’t eat dinner until 11pm because our furnace friend (maybe I should call him my “FF”, kind of like “BFF”, but NOT!) didn’t leave until 10:30pm. I promised my son take-out or dinner out and he was not gonna give it up! We had to settle for Burger King drive thru because the only sit down restaurant open late in our our town closes at 10:30pm. My son was thrilled, me…not so much!

    So let’s see, where did I leave off in my last post…almost 6pm, needed to go to Lowes, well, he didn’t get to a stopping point until just before 9pm, so we hop in my car and hightail it over to Lowes for the parts. We arrive about 9:04pm, doors locked! No lie! So my FF walks IN the exit and tries to talk his way in, but the Lowe’s cashier Nazi he talked to was having none of that and sent him back out the exit. He gets back in the car and I drive at breakneck speed over to the Home Depot in the next city because I swear they stay open until 10pm. Ummm, not in November anyway. Same thing, doors locked.

    So we start driving back to the house and his wife calls, she’s already at my house to pick him up. I was supposed to pick up my daughter after the failed hardware run, but instead I ran home to meet his wife. Then I ran to get my daughter, then we ran for dinner.

    My FF was supposed to come back today at noon, but his wife called and said he got stuck working later at his job, so it won’t be until 2pm. My partner comes home at 1pm, sends me on an errand for her mother and I think HALLELUJAH! I’m FREE! I won’t have to deal with my FF today. Umm, don’t get too excited for me. NOT. I tell her I’m running our errands after her mother’s errand, she says ok. I am not at Kohls 5 minutes and my phone rings ‘whaaaat are you doing?’ Running my errands. ‘Well can you go pick up lunch?’ Okey dokey. No more errands, I get lunch and go home. Thankfully…THANKFULLY my FF in the meantime has latched onto my partner and is now telling her more than she cares to know about our new furnace and INSISTS on showing her how to change and clean the filter. (She’ll never clean that filter. My FF showed her how to clean the air filter and she’s NEVER done it. I’ve always done it.)

    WE HAVE HEAT NOW! But…he’s not done! He still has to buy supplies to install a new outlet and run the wires and test the humidifier and air cleaner AND, connect and test the A/C.

    I have to pick him up on Wednesday.

    I am under no delusions that I will not hear from my FF before then. I’m sure he’ll call tomorrow to see how the furnace is running.

    My lucky partner is at their house tonight for a party. She’s over there RIGHT NOW. Thankfully, it was an adults only party, so I had to stay home with the kids. Aw shucks! You can tell how broken up I am about it, can’t you?

    Lola’s last blog post..Christmas is fast approaching…What Is Your Christmas Gifting Strategy?

  49. 49 JD

    diesel: Thank you, my good man! (smiles)

    Evelyn McCormack: I wonder if you live right across the street from me? Don’t tell anyone, but my car guy’s name IS Steve, I just changed it to protect the annoying.

    Kelly: Oooh, goodie! I’m on my way . . .

    Jeff: Thanks, Jeff. Like I said above, maybe I should start writing the Timing Belts manuals. At least I can try to inject a little humor!

    Lola: OH MY GOD, you are cracking me up, and yet I’m dying of sympathy, too. WHAT an ordeal?!?!?! Poor you, your partner, and your FF (and FF’s wife?) UGH. Just keep repeating your mantra: “You’re saving thousands of dollars. You’re saving thousands of dollars. THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS!”

  50. 50 Lola

    My partner gave me the full report this morning. The party at my FF’s house was a birthday party for both my FF and his wife because their birthdays are so close together. She got a card for my FF, on the front of the card is a monkey with a tutu and a magic wand. The front of the card says says something about ‘wise words from the birthday fairie’. On the inside it says ‘Even a monkey can do it’.

    Apparently my FF on Saturday kept telling her how simple it was to clean the filter, even a monkey can do it.

    Lola’s last blog post..December 10, 2008 A Day Without Gay – Call in Gay Day

  51. 51 MakmalCyber

    Fix car is enjoying.. Sometime the problem is so easy to fix..

    Just like lola said… :) Nice post.. and nice share..

  52. 52 haleyhughes

    Those timing belt lectures are some much better when the mechanic is hunky and safe to flirt with, because he’s a friend. I’d introduce you to Paul, but he’s on the wrong side of the city for you. :)

    haleyhughes’s last blog post..A peek into the life of Simba

  53. 53 Lux

    O wow, my mom needs to take our car in to get stuff done, but she keeps putting it off. When she went to get the brakes checked (they were making a noise), the guy actually brought the brake pads to show her they didn’t need to be replaced. She was SHOCKED to realize that brake pads aren’t made from foam! Pads … you know … they sound “foamish.” ;-)

    Too funny!!!

    Lux’s last blog post..Of artifacts and such …

  54. 54 JD

    Lola: HA! That is great. What a perfect card. I hate it when they tell you “how simple it is,” because it usually isn’t. Or, even if it is, WHO CARES! I don’t want to do it!

    MakmalCyber: Thank you!

    haleyhughes: Aw. That’s too bad. Yeah, if Eric were hunky, it would make it much more bearable. He’s actually not terrible looking, but I can’t get past that bleached blond hair.

    Lux: I always pictured brake pads as “foamish” too! What ARE they made of? And why do they call them pads if they’re not soft and squishy? Stupid car guys.

  55. 55 Han-chan

    Hilarious!!!! My mom would do the exact same thing xDD Joe (the guy around OUR corner) always tries to explain something to her, and she just looks at him like “Seriously? Seriously.”

    But unfortunately makes them treat everyone who DOES know cars just the same. :( :( (Just cuz I’m a 20 year old girl doesn’t mean I don’t know cars!!! xP!)

    Han-chan’s last blog post..Thoughts on altering costume designs

  56. 56 Lola

    I was hoping this would be my LAST update with my furnace saga, but we’ll see. I had to pick up my FF at 3:30pm today. His mission was to check the A/C and the Air Cleaner. I told him the Air Cleaner was a priority because I am highly allergic to dust. (No joke. The only thing I’m more allergic to is fresh cut grass…the lawn variety.)

    He ended up cleaning up the Air Cleaner and getting it to work. (Thank goodness!) The A/C compressor however is toast. Last year we had a power outtage/surge that zapped the Central Air. I asked how much for a compressor off season, but told him it’s just not in the budget now. He is insistant on getting a unit in the off season for me even though I told him I just don’t have the money.

    God love him, but I think he’s going to drive me bat crazy!

    Thankfully he was done by 6:30pm, but not until he invited my kids over next weekend for a playdate with his kids. I have to bite my tongue and say nice things because he is the only positive male influence in my son’s life right now and he seems to be the only male figure that my son respects and listens too.

    Oh the things we do for our children!

    Thanks for letting me vent.

    Lola’s last blog post..Reality Show Proposal – Life Swap

  57. 57 Corrina

    It’s a miracle my car even works right now. I’m so car-retarded. When I go in for tune-ups I just know I have “sucker” written on me somewhere. lol

    Corrina’s last blog post..And The Ex’s Keep Comin’

  58. 58 JD

    Han-chan: You make a good point. There are actually people (women) out there who DO know about cars, and THEY don’t want to hear about it either!

    Lola: I’ve been waiting and waiting for a continuation—and, hopefully a resolution. That’s sweet that he’s a good influence on your son. Yes, you’re going to have some tongue-biting to do, but it sounds like it’ll be worth it. IF THIS EVER ENDS!

    Corrina: Oh, dang. THAT’S what I should’ve titled this post: “I Am Car-Retarded . . . ” From now on, I’ll have to consult you before titling my posts.

  59. 59 Partner of a Pilot

    Ahahaha! I hate the way mechanics patronise you if you’re a woman. I just let Bf deal with mechanics… Why have a dog and bark yourself!?

  60. 60 JD

    Partner of a Pilot: Heh! I wish Dave could do everything car-related himself, but since I work from home, I usually get stuck with the brunt of the phone calls and shop encounters. And I WISH this guy WOULD patronize me more — maybe he’d realize I neither understand nor care and shut up!

  61. 61 the beauty of a child proof lock

    That’s when you go East Coast on your car guy and go, “Eddie, bullet points.” and when he tries to keep going, “eht-dit-dit-dit,” and keep the “dits” going til he shuts up and then go. “Bullet points.”

    It’s what my old boss used to do.


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