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Thursday, April 07, 2005 

Highway sketch

Driving home last night from work, I passed a guy on the highway whose car had broken down. It was kind of late so I reckon I should stop and see if I could be of assistance. My idea of assistance is calling the emergency or tow truck service or perhaps gives him a lift to the nearest garage. So I am armed with me cell phone and nothing else. Now… life ain’t the movies and very few of us can boast to be as adept at solving problems as MacGyver or The A-team. I am lucky if I can find a woman’s G-spot and if it weren’t for glossy magazines claiming that it exists; I would still believe it to be a myth. He’s got the hood popped and it looks like he is fiddling with the engine. Now you can fit my knowledge of Car Engines 101 into a thimble and still have room left for my finger, but I reckon misery loves company and besides the guy seems to know what he is doing. Perhaps it is only a routine engine fault. Boy, was that ever a mistake! As it turns out, he knows as much, if not less, about a car engine than I do. In fact, he does not even own a bloody toolbox! Now who dares to pop the hood of a Japanese-made car and fiddle with the 5,000 precision engine parts in the hope of getting it to run again? Last time I checked hands and fingers aren't shaped to grapple with engine parts. Ok, so now you have the two of us next to a broken-down car with and neither of us know what to do. Guys are strange beings, even when defeat stares them in the face; they are loathe to admit it. So Laurel (of Laurel & Hardy fame) and I take turns at peeking into the engine… touching and tightening a few parts here and there… getting into the driver’s seat, turning the ignition key, all the while hoping for some divine intervention. Oh what fun we had! It’s getting late and finally out of sheer desperation, I suggest we call the emergency service and ask them to come out. He agrees (see he thinks he’s won the “cockfight” as I am the one who “admitted” defeat) and I think to myself now is prolly a good time to make an exit and disappear into the night. Besides, I am bloody starving and my stomach feels as if it is about to pop and go ballistic on me. As I walk back to my car he asks if I will wait with him. What… do you want us to cuddle and embrace as well?! I smile and nod OK, and I curse myself for not walking faster. To cut a long story short… the emergency guys arrive an hour later. They check and test a few things here and there. As it turns out, the fault is electrical. Whoo-farkin-pee! They fix the fault and we all go home. And I think to myself... I am the poster boy for Murphy's Law! What have I learnt as a result of this…?

  • Routine engine faults are a myth.
  • Leave the job to the professionals.
  • Do not pop the hood of a car unless you know about engines… it is NOT cool when it transpires that you do not know anything. Trust me, these babies are s-o-p-h-i-s-t-i-c-a-t-e-d.
  • And lastly, next time you feel the need to be the Good Samaritan, and you are armed with nothing more than a cell phone… stick to your resolve and make that call. Don’t get sucked into a pissing contest… you’ll only end up pissing on yourself!

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