Thursday, June 14, 2007

Whoop de Doo! I'm Published

Hi All!

There is feature of the Pioneer Press called Bulletin Board where readers tell their delightful stories about life in general.

I wrote them many times several years ago but stopped after never getting in.

Today, Thursday 6/14, I got in.

Not the greatest story, not my worst.

It is on page 7B under the title, "Accidents of Mirth."

Accidents of mirth

D.I.Y. Division (responsorial)

Wog of Falcon Heights: "I read with amusement the travails of The Old Woodchopper, who managed to screw up a shade-tree oil change. Many of us modestly gifted 'mechanics' share his pain.

"But there is something worse.

"I used to do the oil, change wipers and bulbs, even redo the brakes. I can still change wipers - one of the most difficult tasks this 10-left-thumber can perform. The lights are still no problem.

"I can also replace a battery - which, other than perhaps the awkwardness of the location and the weight of the battery, is really a no-brainer.

"My kid's car needed a battery. I purchased the appropriate replacement at a large discount store that rhymes with Wall Art. I had some other shopping to do, so, I naively thought, well, as long as it's free, I will let the Certified Automotive Technicians install the thing.

"After lots of info was gathered, from my birth date to the Vehicle Identification Number, and a second-guess on the battery I had plopped on the counter (gosh, I had the right one! Duh!), I was told the project would take anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes. Well, I could do it quicker, but why bruise my own knuckles and soil my own hands, let alone risk being bathed in battery acid?

"This was 11 in the morning. All the bays were empty, and I watched the car get driven in. Thus assured, I took to shopping - which is why they keep your car longer than necessary, knowing that you will buy more stuff than you came for.

"I bought more stuff than I came for, including things I didn't even realize I needed until I was drawn to the clearance signs scattered throughout the store.

"At 11:30, I hiked the half-mile back to the auto center to pick up the car.

"They hadn't gotten to it.

"I changed the waiting-room TV from infomercials to a golf tourney and settled into a less-than-comfy plastic chair.

"At noon, a Certified Automotive Technician entered the area and asked whose car was the 'Scorpion.' It's actually a weird German car called a 'Scorpio' and is somewhat exotic, but the battery replacement is pretty straightforward ... if one can get the hood open.

"The CAT had thrown in the towel. I was allowed into the shop to show him the release lever, which is bright red, 3 inches in width and located on the underside of the steering column.

"Having shown the CAT the procedure, I thought that my waiting time was almost over.

"I did some more shopping and returned at about 12:15. I gazed through the window to observe not one but two CATs huddled under the hood performing what seemed as complicated as a liver transplant.

"At 12:45, I was relieved to have paid, and the car cranked right over!

"Now, a day later, I might dare to open the hood and see how badly they mounted it.

"Moral: If you can D.I.Y., D.I.Y."



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