My cousins who are in their 70's just got their first computer, and I am in charge of forcing them how to understand how to run the thing. They think I am a genius because I know how to Google, and I can email like a fiend. I will do my best to never disappoint them.
Last night (early this morning) while on my paper route, one of the night people said that my brake light was out. Naturally I freaked because I thought there goes another 50 or 75 dollars down the velvety mink lined hole of the criminals who run the garage where I take my van. I tried not to brake all the way home so as to avoid raising the suspicions of any cops looking for some exercise to rouse themselves from their early morning donut stupor. I realize this may not have been the best course of action.
Today I went to the shop (open on Sunday for the greedy bastards who run it and for girls like me who are afraid to fiddle ever so slightly with our car's works) and surprisingly the guy on duty, the one reading the newspaper, said it would be easy for me to change the brake light myself. And he actually showed me what to do (up to a point...he didn't go into the thing and give me an exhibition, but he was helpful). This was so cool and unexpected, that I skipped all the way back to my car, looked into the rear view mirror and said "beautiful, you're about to embark on yet another adventure". I didn't really skip (that would have been girlish and I feel female enough when I'm in a garage that I have to be a little rough and dirty. These days some people think that when they see a grown man skipping happily and merrily down the street in sweet abandonment of time and place, that he's a homo. Maybe I'm just happy. But I didn't skip. But I was ecstatic at the prospect of saving tons of money).
The garage man said I could pick up a bulb at any auto parts store (I knew that). The bulb cost 99 cents and I tried to get some idea from the auto parts guy what I was supposed to do once I was in surgery. He looked at me like I was an ignoramus (he didn't know me) and gave me a few snorts and growls about how easy it all was. I thanked him, and walked very manly back out to my van.
Once home, I called my friend. He's a cameraman, but knows things like how to check the oil of a car real good, and was the first one to tell me, years ago, that it was not necessary to drink your soda at the gas station, that you could get the deposit back anywhere that sold pop. So I figured he would know about this thing.
He drove over to my apartment. I was out front pretending to do something about the bulb when he pulled up. And like any girl, I let him do all the work. He didn't really know that much about what to do, but he looked the situation over and had me up and running in 10 minutes. I mean, he had the whole thing open and shut before I could shit in my pants. And I have the record on that.
Lessons learned? Try to be more like a man, Joe, when it comes to mechanical things. It is with no sense of achievement that I reveal that I lost my virginity before I knew how to unlatch the hood of a car. I learned how to be a man with women. I need to be more of a man with cars.