Funny Thing About Life…

David Haut - Managing Editor

David Haut – Managing Editor

David Haut

So, I decided to work on my car last weekend. I say this with confidence, like I know stuff about cars. When I say work, I really mean, do stuff without fixing anything.

I’m still not sure exactly what happened, but my car died in the middle of an intersection. Some guy came up and said it was my alternator or my carburetor or my battery, fuel injector, thingamabobber, whitidigit, hose thing, engine or manifold. I figured, that seems simple enough, I’ll fix it myself.

The guy at the auto parts store told me to buy a specialized repair book that is made for my car. He said it would save me money on a mechanic. He also tried to talk me into buying $500 worth of stuff to save me money on a mechanic.

I could tell the book was for highly skilled mechanic people. It didn’t give specific troubleshooting instructions. Instead, it said stuff like “if the manifold exhaust cover gasket is leaking, fix it before it gives you more problems.”

After extensive checking, and calling my brother, I realized the problem was a leaky valve cover gasket. I looked it up in my trusty book. The instructions read:

“Remove engine cover. Replace gasket. Replace engine cover.”

This would be easy, if there were no hoses and filters and wires and thingamabobbers and whitidigits in the way. I looked at my trusty manual to see what these hoses were. The book read:

“I dunno. Disconnect them and see.”

So, I did, getting sprayed by a different fluid each time. I looked under the section for fluids, which said:

“Don’t get sprayed by any of these fluids. They’re extremely toxic and could kill you.”

Now, all that was left was to take the cover off my engine. The bolts holding it down were conveniently located behind a bunch of stuff. Once again, I looked to the book, which read:

“Use every ratchet attachment you can find. If that doesn’t work, start hitting stuff with a hammer.”

At this point, I did what any rational person would do — I gave up. I looked up giving up in the book, which read:

“Finally. Why did you waste money on this book? You thought you could actually fix your car, didn’t you? Your car is all messed up, and you’ll never be able to put it back together. Ha Ha. Now go to a real mechanic and stop trying to save money. You know he’ll rip you off anyway. Now you just wasted more money. Got ya. Don’t try and return this book, either. They won’t let you. You broke the plastic shrink wrap.”