Saturday, July 17, 2010

A Timpani of Mechanics


Collective nouns. Love them. My favourite of all time being "an exultation of larks". So why not a timpani of mechanics?

The morning's horoscope read, in part:
"Watch out for car trouble".

Silly stuff, who pays attention?

10.p.m at night. Gorgeous golden moon dipping low on the horizon. My friend and I barrelling along in my car at a safe speed. Lots of moose around here at night. A sportscar passes us at a hell of a lick followed by a terrible squeal of brakes and he weaves all over the road and finally straightens out and we see the moose he has just missed taking off into the underbrush. Sports car slows to a stately pace in front of us. We just about hear his heart thumping and can't resist some snide remarks about his double digit IQ status.

Then out of nowhere we hear a bang, like a gunshot and my car starts to weave. I've been here before. And it's a blowout of the exact same tire.

But this time it's completely different. My friend is a retired mechanic who immediately and intuitively KNOWS how to handle everything. Finds the car jack in its special cave under the driver's seat (who knew?)and finds a rock to bang the shredded tire off when it refuses to budge after the ratchets are loosened. There is something about a man knowing all this stuff automatically that never ceases to amaze me. The ingenuity, competence and brute strength rolled into one tight package. At intervals, two trucks stop. Both are mechanics who offer help. My friend doesn't need any.

If I were alone in my car in this deserted strip of roadway with no cell phone coverage what are the odds I'd have been there the following morning still wringing my wrists?

20 comments:

  1. You were darn lucky to have that blow out when you did, in the right company. Somebody was looking out for you. Do you have a guardian angel?

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  2. Now you know I don't believe in that stuff my dear Nora!
    But I couldn't have had a better companion, could I?
    Furthermore he has offered to teach me all there is to know about Cara and towing and reversing, etc.
    Invaluable, 'e is!
    XO
    WWW

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  3. You know, at my age, I very seldom ponder the need for a man. However, your story about your retired mechanic man friend made me think of reconsidering.

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  4. Jenny had a blowout a few months back on a motorway, also the back left tyre, and managed to drive on to the hard shoulder without an accident. She's been told she was lucky it wasn't a front tyre or she might not be alive to tell the tale. Eeek!

    How lucky your friend is a retired mechanic, or you might have been stranded for quite a while.

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  5. Coincidence that he was there when you needed him??? Hummmm, ponderable.

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  6. Time was, when I was barrelling about in a rust-bucket of a Mini that I could do all my own basic maintenance - everything from changing a tire to banging the thingy with a spanner to get it to start (or, as my Dad used to say 'applying percussive maintenance.'). Not any more alas. Between special lugs for the tires, and computerized whatchamacallits under the bonnet, all I could do would be stand by the roadside and wring my hands were anything to go amiss.

    Luckily (fingers crossed, touching wood, counting from 10 backwards and spitting!) I've not had that kind of problem for quite a while. And now, having said that, I dare not leave the house for the next few months without my resident engineer by my side ...

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  7. Glad all ended well, WWW. I'm sure your friend would be equally impressed to watch your own distaff-side skills and talents - whipping up a meal from next to nothing, knitting him socks to ward off frostbite...etc.etc.etc. ;-)

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  8. I'm glad your friend was there to help out like that! It's annoying to forget your cell phone and not be able to get help, but when you have it with you but there is no coverage it's a whole other story...

    It's also good that people actually stopped! It always amazes me how in certain areas people speed by like they never even noticed the person with car trouble.

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  9. Marcia:
    They're especially useful when they maintain separate residences and there's no sockies and shirts strewn about!
    XO
    WWW

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  10. Nick:
    Oh yike on poor Jenny, nasty shocker. What is about back left tires anyway? Does Beelzebub lurk under the hubcap?
    XO
    WWW

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  11. Sharon:
    I couldn't have had a better person to have a blowout with, now could I?
    XO
    WWW

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  12. Tessa:
    It sure makes me wonder why we haven't improved upon penetrable rubber for tires, yeah?
    Probably the same story as the electric car.....
    Nice to have a resident engineer!!!
    XO
    WWW

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  13. Kimberley:
    Yes, I agree, I've been at the side of the highway for a few hours before someone stopped, there is nothing more frightening in the rain with traffic whizzing by....
    XO
    WWW

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  14. T:
    You're such a cheerleader! Thank you!
    XO
    WWW

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  15. So that's where they keep the car jack! Do you suppose its the same for every car? I'm gonna check that one out and I don't even drive!

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  16. Luckily the 'little woman' had a big strong man to assist her.
    I know we like to think we can do anything and everything as well as a bloke, but I'd have been in exactly the same helpless situation as you. Damn!
    Perhaps i'd better take a course at mechanics.

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  17. PC:
    My friend said it was a peculiarity of Toyotas who are models of efficiency when it comes to making use of every inch of available space in their smaller cars (I have an Echo).
    XO
    WWW

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  18. Friko:
    I know: it is hard to reconcile feminism 101 and the whimpering helpless girly at the side of the road with a wounded car.
    XO
    WWW

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  19. Your number wasn't up! Glad it all worked out well and that you had muscle to help when it was needed.

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  20. Thanks GM - and you know what? It always does!
    WE shouldn't worry at all.
    XO
    WWW

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