From the halls of Apler’s ma-ansion, to the shores of Apoli

Okay, yesterday’s rant is over. I’m sure that renovating our grubby little kitchen will provoke a few more rants before it’s over. Check back in when I am cooking on the gas grill in the rain every night and Sweet Little Roooomba starts choking on the dust. “Zip walls!” says Sam (archaeologist, not dog). She would know. Seems like every time a tree falls on our house, a tree falls on her house. Or is it vice versa.

Today was a pretty regular day. Except for this morning when I somehow survived jump-starting the Cute Little Blue Honda Civic with the yellow flower stuck in the blower aka Daisy aka Mouse’s car. Er, actually, Mouse did all the heavy lifting. I am terrified of things like battery terminals. I don’t change taarrrrs either. I mean, theoretically I know how. I did take driver’s ed. But the only time I have been faced with that nasty little chore *alone*, it was in my rust-riddled old Ford Pinto wagon (yes, it was a long time ago) and I was all set to go for it and then I figured out that the tools that came with that loverly vee-hickle were even worse pieces of crap than the vee-hickle itself. There was NO WAY I could get those blasted lugnuts off! Leverage. Please!

I think that the real reason I don’t know how to do any of this stuff is because I grew up with Grandroobly and the Engineer and they were car FREAKS and they were always on top of anything that might be wrong with my car long before I noticed it. Grandroobly, after I drove home from college through an ice storm that destroyed my veeendsheeeeld viiiiperz: “Didn’t you notice that the grill was coated with ice? You almost burned up the engine! (Raar raar raar…..)” KW: “bdah bdah bdah.” He could be a bit belligerent about such things but, to the Engineer, car problems (when they happened to somebody else’s vee-hickle) were great fun! Every time I drove to his house with the POC, he would meet me in the driveway with a tire pump and a bit of a smirk. (Miss you, ol’ boy.)

The GG is good at fixing vee-hickles. He used to build them at the old Hamtramck Assembly Plant or Dodge Main or whatever it was called back then. That’s how he paid for his college. But he’s a bit more of a minimalist when it comes to repairs. I mean, he fixes them or gets them fixed if they really need it but he doesn’t hang around the top of the driveway watching to see which tires are low on air when I drive in. What he did do is teach his daughters to drive early. With his manual tranny Jeep Wrangler, out on the defunct Raco airbase up in the eastern Yoop. They weren’t anywhere *near* the legal driving age. Think 10. Or maybe even eight. Or five except that the five-year-olds couldn’t reach the pedals. He has apparently taught them how to maintain cars too. Because Mouse stage-managed our little battery jumping escapade this morning with aplomb while I cowered in my car expecting an explosion or something.

I love to drive and I am pretty darn good at it but I think I will always be a kind of a wuss about car repairs. Here’s my debit card, fix it. And panic if I break down on the freeway or wherever. I am happy that my beach urchins are more capable. You go girls.

3 Responses to “From the halls of Apler’s ma-ansion, to the shores of Apoli”

  1. Kathy Farnell Says:

    My dad made me change a tire on a car when I was 16. It was not flat. I just had to jack the car up,take the tire off and put it back on again. About 15 years later, the day came when I had to change a flat tire on my car. I was glad I knew what to do.

  2. jane Says:

    Harry made me “test change” a tire once too. it’s an important thing to know. as for jumping batteries, I get the manual out becasue I can never remember which order to put the wires on.

    As for Jack and the Engineer – the minute I drove up in my new 98 Accord they were out the door and under the hood!

  3. Jay Says:

    I made at least Rey put on tire chains before he took off across the mountains.
    And I always thought I was supposed to maintain my car. And I did most of the work until I couldn’t get my head underneath the ’88 Civic to change the oil. Last major repair was changing the water pump in the ’80 Civic, sometime in the late 80’s or early 90’s. Now – to the shop.