14 May 2006

February's Right Foot

I've been feeling semi-ill the past couple days but wanted to put something new up for y'all (well, new to you anyway). The following piece dates back to February 2, 2002.

FEBRUARY'S RIGHT FOOT:

Struggling, rumbling. As soon as David mentioned it on Monday, my car got louder, the deliberate auditory blinders lifted. I told him the next time he prefaced a comment with, "Can I ask you something outside of work?" it better not involve me shelling out lots of cash.

Engine all week belaboured and myself attuned to the mounting distress.

The last thing I want to do on any Saturday is rise early. Saturday mornings are typically sleep interspersed with breakfast, email, and snatches of cooking shows, the Total Gym infomercial, random educational stuff, and MTV CRiBs. Quality pajama lounge time that often stretches into afternoon. But I psyched myself up and weighed down my backpack with research books to last me all day.

I made it to the shop ten minutes before it opened. First. Filled out my paperwork, needing my brakes checked too, and sat to wait as the crew pulled in.

The owner was there to open since the manager called in sick. A rather cheery fellow. As other customers filtered in, we were heralded with tales of skeet shooting and hunting. All this because he'd rather be hunting tomorrow than watching football with his wife. I tried to read, but I was tired and it was hard to concentrate.

All the 10-12 year olds he's taken this season have scored deer, but he hadn't yet. "Hardest thing to teach them is patience. ... She's a real killer. No hesitation, one shot at 90 yards. Good shooting, well of course it was, I taught her. ... jumped right in with her knife when I was showing her how to clean the carcass." Lovely.

Then he moved on to wild boar. I couldn't help myself, "I didn't realize we had wild boar around here."

The whole room, including the woman next to me, confirmed it. All righty then. Can't say I was real disappointed when the owner left to make a run to his other store. Not just due to the hunting sagas but because he obviously felt compelled to entertain us when I was prepared to just stare at the cars through the glass door.

It was only 8:45. The guy who'd looked at my car was diligently entering stuff into the computer for ages while I waited anxiously for the estimate.

Finally, he looked up. I stepped to the counter. "Looks like you're getting out this time without having to pay anything."

"YES!" My warranty didn't have a loophole and actually covered the part that was broken for the first time ever.

"If you've got 20 minutes, I've got a muffler."

Of course, it took longer than 20 minutes, but I could see why. Pulling on the tailpipe, the old muffler would barely budge. He blowtorched some bits, jiggled the whole thing, still no luck. Eventually I think he just blowtorched through the hangers. Didn't bother me though cuz the price was perfect and he said my brakes looked great to boot.

I was home and back in bed by 10, my car exuding only a gentle purr.

Since I'd already showered, I opted to hit an early matinee. Another freebie as I'd accumulated the required MovieWatcher points. The Lord of the Rings: the Fellowship of the Ring. For the second time from a better vantage. Even better.

Cheers, mates.

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