Monday, July 13, 2009

He Said / She Said - The Car

He Said - by Blaine Staat

Catherine has this thing about me working on the car. I don’t get it. She’ll walk into the garage and see me working - tools and parts spread out all over the place in logically oriented random piles - and she’ll cringe, do an about face, and walk back inside.

Hey! What’s the big deal? I used to fix nuclear power plants in the Navy, how hard can this be? I’m in my garage – a state of Zen – the cans of paint on the shelves and my Scotts Speedy Green 3000 rotary fertilizer spreader with foam handgrips hanging on the wall having a robust Feng Shui effect on my mind. I am man, the hunter. I am becoming one with my car.

And sometimes becoming one with my car means that I have to completely disassemble the entire dashboard. Hmm. That’s an interesting looking metal . . . thing. I wonder where it came from?

See, my car is 37 years old. It needs me. I have to love it and become intimately familiar with . . . uh, oh. I’m gonna need the most dreaded “special tool” to take this piece off. I told Catherine I needed that. But nooo, we needed to buy groceries. No matter. I can get that thing off with my ViseGrips no sweat.

Anyway, like I was saying, I don’t see why she gets all upset when I do this. I’m good at it. In fact, I could have saved - ouch! that hurt - those GM engineers a lot of money, because I’m constantly finding things that they put in that don’t need to be there.

I kid you not. Every time I finish a job, I always wind up with a few parts left over. Springs, screws, weird shaped metal things. Obviously they aren’t too important or I would’ve installed them somewhere when I put everything back together. I’ve got a whole box of that stuff.

Alright, alright, I’ll be right there!

Okay, I gotta go. Catherine wants me to put the washing machine back together. I guess the laundry needs to be done “right this very exact second”. I told her I’d get around to it. She can be so impatient.

She Said - by Catherine Staat

Okay…let’s back up a bit here (hitting the reverse button). There I was going about my day checking things off my “To Do” list. Things are running pretty smoothly – everything is in order and being done in an orderly fashion. Life is good until…(insert the sound of a car putting on its brakes)!

It was as if walking through the door, from the laundry room into our garage, became some type of portal into another world. We go from peace, tranquility and order to what looked as if the whole car was picked up, turned upside down and shaken for its lunch money!

Parts, pieces, gizmos and gadgets littered on the garage floor and half of my husband’s body is being gobbled by the hood of the car! Not a pretty picture let me tell you (the parts and pieces part of it that is)! It was down right scary. May I also add that there tools of every shape and size imaginable along with not just one but two – TWO - car repair manuals. Oh yeah…

Blaine is a very organized person. He is what you would call a B.O.; that is, “Born Organized”. He has a place for everything. When we go on trips he has this natural talent of getting everything into the car and still have room for us to sit comfortably. The man has an uncanny ability to make things fit and find spaces you would never have thought of. He had plenty of practice when our four children were under the age of 10 – back then when we had a small Geo Prism to fit us all in.

So when I walk into the twilight zone…err…I mean, the garage, it tends to be a bit disarming at first knowing my husband as I do. Another thing that goes through my head is all those parts and pieces and is he going to be able to put them all back as Blaine is thumbing through his car repair manual trying to figure out what is what and where does it go exactly! One more thought…how much is this going to cost us?

So after walking through the door, my brakes go on and I do a quick turnaround right back to my nicely organized little world and pretend I didn’t see a thing!

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