Life Lesson: Sometimes It Is Best to Let People Focus

Life Lesson 7,252: It is not, actually, a good idea to annoy your mechanic.

Last week, I was responsible. I took my car to the mechanic BEFORE I went on my road trip.
Sometimes it happens. Like sometimes, you win at craps, and sometimes your dogs steal your pickup truck, go on a joy ride, and crash into a river. Life is wacky.

I do not recommend hugging your car

Hugging my car is how I know when it needs to be washed.

And then I went on a road trip.


I never will. Journey. I never, ever will.

Everything was going fine. I had snacks. I had drinks. I had several layers of clothing on for various temperatures I may encounter. I’d filled up my car with gas and hit the road at a completely reasonable hour.** The drive was going well, when suddenly I encountered an obstacle: The teeny tiny bump created by a seam in the highway.
**Exactly 1 hour after I’d been planning to leave. Which is why I can’t have nice things.

Man, many miles

This gentle bump was really a completely normal road seam on the highway, many miles between exits. This is an important fact.

This should not have been a problem.

It's hard to make happy car-dance hands when something is wrong

I have carefully transcribed the exact noises for your pleasure.

But it was. It was a very noisy problem.

Convinced I was doomed with a flat, I drove on to the nearest exit.*** I coasted into the first gas station I spotted.
***The state of Virginia doesn’t believe in highway shoulders. They do believe in ditches and trees, though. Thanks, Virginia!

It really was in the middle of nowhere

My car looks more ridiculous every time I draw it.

I was on a mission to make it to my destination, so there was no time to call AAA.**** So I suited up for car work:
****Confession: There was totally time. But I wanted to fix it. Because I didn’t get to play with my car and change my own oil.

Of course I keep my car repair headgear in the car. It's the best place for it.

Of course I keep my car repair headgear in the car. It’s the best place for it.

I’d just gotten to work when I heard the Voice of the South speak to me.*****
*****Ok. It wasn’t the Voice of the South. It was a guy in overalls. And no shirt. It was the Voice of the Awkward Southern Stereotype. But that doesn’t sound as important.

Any time I can't see someone speaking to me, I pretend I'm being addressed by ghosts.

Any time I can’t see someone speaking to me, I pretend I’m being addressed by ghosts.

I was charmed by a spontaneous offer for help. It looked like the world was full of wonderful people! But I wanted to fix it myself, and I could see the problem. so I thanked him.

I don't make these things up, people.

I don’t make these things up, people.

It took a second for his words to filter through my ears.

Surely I have misheard this.

Surely I have misheard this.

Apparently the mysterious occurrence of a female-person working on a car attracted more fine and upstanding people with opinions.

I had sharp tools. These are brave men, my friends. Very brave.

I had sharp tools. These are brave men, my friends. Very brave.

This is how my brain reacted:

Grrr, Argh.

Deliverance Country: Don’t stop there. It’s more dangerous than bat country

Then the engine shield******, which had been improperly reattached and was dragging on the ground*******, came loose from the last broken bolt.
******The large plastic piece that is attached to the fenders and front bumper on some cars, beneath the engine.
*******And smacking into my tires. And picking up road litter. And giving me a panic attack.



I felt compelled to show off my victory to my new found audience.

Strangers in Deliverance Country are a little perplexed by grown women who say "Tah DAAAHHH"

Strangers in Deliverance Country are a little perplexed by grown women who say “Tah DAAAHHH”

But I still didn’t want to stick around.******** So I was back on the road before any more lady-lessons were forthcoming.
********I’ve SEEN that movie.

If you sing this song by yourself, you never have to say "no you can't!" You just get to chant "Yes I can Yes I can!" over and over again.

If you sing this song by yourself, you never have to say “no you can’t!” You just get to chant “Yes I can Yes I can!” over and over again.

And then a terrible thought occurred to me.

(I'm not being accusatory here, people. He realized he still had 3/4 of the bolts in the shop when I called him to ask about this.)

(I’m not being accusatory here, people. He realized he still had 3/4 of the bolts in the shop when I called him to ask about this.)

And so a terrible life lesson was learned.



Don’t distract your mechanic or you’ll end up in Deliverance Country with a broken car.

(Also, I’m sorry for not posting yesterday. As an apology, please accept this news that Oscar Mayer is now selling Lunchables for adults.)

24 thoughts on “Life Lesson: Sometimes It Is Best to Let People Focus

  1. yeay for fixing it! and well done for not killing the people…I have similar inner dialogues all the time!
    Just replace “sexist” with “sexist” (ok…that makes no sense bear with me) or “judgmental person at the gym” or “group of teenagers who are near me when I am running” or “slow trollies in the supermarket” or “most other people”

    I am not intolerant…

    may I also say yeay for fixing your car again!
    and I suspect this was all an elaborate plot to break out the vehicle related headgear 🙂

  2. Hmm, Deliverance country and Virginia…were you on interstate 81 by any chance?

    We also have lousy rest areas in Virginia. At least in West Virginia you can get popcorn 🙂

      • You got help from strangers on 95 (or offers for help)? Wow. I drive it everyday to work and everyone is in a zone of their own.

        This reminds me though, with the snow we have had, more than likely there will be a lot more of those small bumps tomorrow.

  3. Yeah… Completely giggled at this… In my entrepreneurship class.. Which thankfully hasn’t started yet..
    Good thing my mechanic loves me, or rather loves the money I give him to keep my lil death trap running… He’s going to get a pretty penny to fix my car for my mini hiking road trip that I’m taking this Sunday… 🙂

  4. Kudos to you for being able to tinker with your car! I’m still convinced that I’ll find a way to make my car explode if I try to tinker with it. …I love that one of your inner voices growls and has fangs. =)

    • I think I can safely say that there are at least three inner voices that can be described as “growly with fangs”. Which probably explains a lot about me, really.

      If you just remember that explosions are really. REALLY exciting in movies (and pretend nothing bad could ever happen in real life), all that tinkering fear fades away. Playing with cars is like playing with giant tinker toys! (and thanks!)

  5. I can debunk any sexist fantasy about who should repair a car anyways. Me personally, I don’t have a bloody clue about cars. I drive’em well enough and when steam came out of the engine I sort of knew to better not continue driving, but that was about it. Heck, I am already with fit birds fixing my car. All sweaty…and oiled up…and uhmm…too many Shakira videos. I am sorry. Where was I? Uhmm…erm… geez, there was amoral to this comment. Well, uhmm… once again I lost the plot and turned into Cpt. Awkward!

    • And I will kill my mobile’s auto-correct one day…. It’ll be almost like the movie “Her” – a romance turning into butchery.

      • Reading this comment was like reading a music video. A Shakira music video. Which made me go watch Shakira music videos (you know, so I can learn things about what men like, and then never execute them properly. That’s how I get to pretend I know things about guys.)

        Also. Teehee. “Fit birds.” I like your English better than mine, and I’m stealing it.

  6. I love that you have oil-change/car repair headgear. I am also a fixer of my own car. I don’t own headgear. I will remedy that as soon as I get off work.

    YOU GO GIRL!!!! Love your posts! Hope your vacay (or out of town trip for whatever) rocked!

    • It DID rock! My brother trusted me with supervision of his children! (I know, what was he thinking?!) And there will probably be a very-soon blog post about what happens when you entrust me with tiny people.

      And car repair headgear is absolutely essential. Otherwise, you get gravel-hair. No one likes gravel-hair.

  7. Lunchables for adults! Yes! Which means they’ll probably be bigger, which means I’ll be sitting on my picnic bench hiding my lunch-of-comfort-and-shame for longer. 🙂
    Mad props on fixing your car, and not putting the hurt on those silly silly man-boys. After you waved the engine shield in their faces, did you ask them to dispose of it for you? I would have died to drive away and watch them in my rearview mirror as they stood there dumbfounded holding my car part.

    • I’m so glad someone else is as excited about adult lunchables as I am. (I hope they come in that completely anti-nutritious nacho version the kid ones do. Seriously. Who thinks that “tiny chips, processed cheese dip, and basically-spicy-ketchup” is good food? You know, besides me.)

      Actually, I cackled maniacally while I hurled the piece into the dumpster. Which made them all look a little worried. Which made me feel better.

  8. I get so mad at all the sexism. What makes me madder is that they’d be right: I can’t fix my car. But that’s not because I’m a woman…it’s because I’m an idiot. So there, sexists!

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