The Tale of the Manly Man and His Evil Automobile

Today, I feel like a man.

I guess I need to clarify. I NORMALLY feel like a man. It’s not like I wake up in the morning and feel like a hamster or anything like that. (Well, there was that one time, but that turned out to just be a dream. I just wish I had known that before I bought all of those pine chips for my bed…)

 I am clearly a male human. It even says so on my legal identifications, so it must be true.

Today, though, I feel manly. I feel like the result of a scientific experiment mixing Al Pacino with Chuck Norris, adding a dash of Bruce Lee. I feel like I should go to a local steakhouse, ask for the biggest steak they have, eat it raw, all the while scratching and burping with the best of them. Then, I want to go get into a bar fight with a group of Hells’ Angels.


That’s what real men do, duh.

It all started back before I was married. My future wife purchased a car. She decided she was tired of having a vehicle that would not defrost the windshield. I wasn’t listening real close, but I think she said something about not wanting to die. She’s always been picky that way.

The car she bought was a 2002 Oldsmobile Alero. It seemed nice enough at the time, but like my wife is prone to do, she did not properly research this vehicle.

When I was a kid, I had a Crash Dummies car. When it hit the wall, this plastic toy would fall into a dozen pieces.

That toy was sturdier than my wife’s car.

So far in her relationship with the car, she has paid for a new catalytic converter (or doohickey under the car), a new computer sensor (or computer thingy), new wheel bearings, body work by the headlight, etc. The problems have only been compounded through accidents with a car on the highway (Don’t ask. We don’t want to discuss it.) and a fun trip into a deer.

To make matters worse, my wife seems to be the grim reaper to mechanical and electronic devices. For example, my wife drove her sister’s car for less than an hour today before the four wheel drive went bad and the engine started squealing.

Combine this ability with the worst car ever and you have the automobile version of The Perfect Storm.

Yesterday morning, I was asleep upstairs, minding my own business, when I was rudely awakened by a panicked woman. She was on her way to work, but her car would not start. This was causing her to look and sound like she was about to turn into the Hulk.

I did what any good husband would do: slowly crawled out of bed, groaning.

“My car won’t start!” she said, obviously upset.

“Oh no! What should we do?” I meant to reply, although it came out, “Ughghghghg.”

“I need a ride to work! Can you drive me?!”

“Ughghghghghg,” I said.

That night, we set about figuring out what could be wrong with this devil of a car. My recommendation was to light it on fire, but she seemed opposed to that.

That’s when we remember an important fact: the last time the crapcar was visiting a mechanic (which was a week ago), they said the battery was on its last leg. At the time, I thought that he was just congratulating us on having a battery that matched the quality of car.

This realization prompted something in me I had never felt before. My primal urges came out and I became ULTRAMAN. Like a bolt of lightning, I had my wrenches out. Within seconds, I had removed the battery. I almost spiked the battery to the ground in celebration, but thought better of it.

We took the battery to a local auto parts store. For the first time in my life, the man working asked me what we needed and I was able to tell him EXACTLY what I wanted.

“I want one of those Diet Cokes in the case. Oh, and I need to get this battery checked too,” I said with the manliest gusto I could work up.

Sure enough, the battery was bad. We bought a new one and I set about my manly duty of putting it into the car.

Did her car start? Absolutely not, but that’s not the point.

The point is I used tools on a car and both myself and the car lived to tell about it. Maybe someday I’ll become that Mr. Fix-It that looks at a troubled vehicle and says “It must be the alternator,” without having to first Google what an alternator is. I’ll buy a tool belt and spend my weekends with the hood of my car open, tuning it up.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll even fix her car today, making me the manliest person on the planet Earth.

Or I could just light it on fire. That seems fairly manly too.


3 thoughts on “The Tale of the Manly Man and His Evil Automobile

  1. Pingback: 12-14-2008 Dream Fragment John Gets Shot « John Jr's WordPress Blog

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