You probably heard that my
flying carpet truck came down with a sudden case of “shitty construction”. I had a brief moment of terror, followed by a longer period of mental disarray, and finally a sinking feeling of money being drained from my life forces. (It’s like raising children.)
It was not a good day. Even so, things could have been worse. I’m happy to report that no humans or trucks were harmed in the filming of this movie.
I’m back on the road now. The truck, having scrambled my mind and spent my money, is quietly rumbling down the road. If it were a dog it would be hiding under the porch. As for me, I have trust issues. My formerly reliable equipment inexplicably went full apeshit. How does one forgive? While I was cooling my heels in a motel, my truck was probably out cavorting with Miatas and snorting ethanol. Our relationship will take time to heal.
However, it’s time to review the blessings of my little adventure (beyond the fact that I didn’t slam into a bridge abutment).
- I landed in a nameless town with much smarter mechanics than my home territory. At home I’d have better luck finding a Tahitian brain surgeon turned golf pro than a skilled mechanic. Local mechanics are often only barely competent; more like “parts changers” than “mechanics”. Parts changers can only fix obvious problems (like a deer antler stuck through the radiator) and their only solution is to unbolt something and replace it. If they’re lucky, the thing they unbolted and replaced was the cause of the problem. If not, they shrug, present you with the bill and ask if you want to try again. They don’t put a lot of thought in the diagnosis nor do they deeply ponder their solutions. Death wobble isn’t rocket science but it’s intermittent and not fully attributable to one component. I’m glad it wasn’t presented to my home labor pool. The guy I hired knew his shit and got to work pronto.
- Not only did I find a good mechanic I found a good mechanic with a good boss. When the mechanic dropped everything to get me back up and running the boss smiled and told him he was doing a good job. God bless em both!
- Just in time delivery worked flawlessly. My mechanic requested parts and his request was keyed in at the dealer which relayed the information to a warehouse which put the parts on a truck which delivered overnight to my location which was unloaded by the parts guys at the dealership who shoved the parts in my mechanic’s hand while the morning coffee was still brewing. Such a fragile system and yet so miraculous when it works. I don’t want to hear nostalgic whining about the “good old days” of local warehouses. That time is forever gone and I clearly remember parts for something unusual like a Volvo or a motorcycle easily became an insurmountable conundrum.
- In my youth, bad luck meant I was screwed. I’d look at a failed car like a cowboy in Death Valley might look at his dead horse. When you’re poor, situations get grim so very fast. Things have gotten better for me. I ran a Visa swipe that nearly made my skull implode but I had the “option” of doing it. I’ll survive. When fate punches you in the head but you come off the mat and get back into the fight pronto; that’s cool. It’s best to avoid the need for resilience but failing that I appreciate having it.
- The mystery (to me) of “southern hospitality” continues to inspire awe. Everyone was so damn sweet I wanted to hug them all. Never underestimate the value of human kindness. Every region’s culture is different. I live up north. There’s kindness here too, but it’s iced over and partially theoretical. There was nothing false in the gleaming example of pure undisguised kindness I just experienced. Everyone, and I mean every last one of the many people I met in the whole town, were super extra ultra nice. Where I live, folks are strong and hearty and they don’t exactly wish you harm, but they can be prickly to newcomers and… well actually they’re prickly to everyone including each other. (Note: It’s not just a north/south thing, I’ve met jerks in the south and saints in the north but “southern hospitality” is a real thing.) The town I left was just plain nice. Sniff… I love you guys!