Saturday, October 4, 2014

From the Annamaniacs Files: A Place For Everything

I had planned a different post for today. It had pictures and links and all kinds of amusing things to comment on but blogger froze up and I LOST THE WHOLE THING.

And then I had to go to work.

I will be redoing it and posting it on another day when I'm not running out of time.

So, our regularly scheduled programming is unavailable. Instead we will go back in time to fourteen years ago when I wrote a humor column, was still married, and had seven kids at home.

Wavy lines as we travel back...

A Place For Everything

            I admit it.  I am the stereotypical woman who knows nothing about cars.  I know how to stick a key in the ignition, turn it on and drive it someplace.  Frankly that’s all I want to know about cars.  As long as it gets me from here to there I’m happy.
Not a picture of the actual van. Simulation only.
 If you asked my husband what we drive, he would say something like “We have a four door, five passenger, Chrysler Neon 2000.”  Then he would go on to explain all the extra’s it has, how many times it can travel around the world in a week, what the warranty is,  the number of cup holders and how he got the guy at the Chrysler dealership to go down in price.  Then, he would go into detail about how he got a deal on our used Plymouth Voyager with the power windows and power doors that don’t work, the gear shift that doesn’t shift in our driveway, and the engine that stalls in the middle of rush hour traffic with two pre-schoolers who have learned how to unbuckle seat belts.
            If you asked me, I would say, “We have a purple car and a gray van.”
            So anyway, my husband is gone for several weeks with the purple car, and while I’m driving the gray van around town I hear a grinding noise.  Just enough of a grind to remind you of nails going down a chalkboard.  It only made the grinding noise a few times and then it stopped.  But now the steering on the van has gotten a little tough.  Like I need arms like Stallone to turn it.   I told my husband this the next time I was on the phone with him.
            “Okay,” he said, “You need to put power steering fluid into it.”
            “Into what?” I ask.
            “Into the place where you put the power steering fluid in.”
            “Where is that?”
            “Open up the hood, it should say it in there.”
            It sounded simple enough.  So I went where he keeps his car fluids.  There are more varieties than there are kool aid flavors.  Most of them were unmarked.  For all I knew he could have been hiding a flask of whiskey there.  Power Steering Fluid was actually the only one that said “Power Steering Fluid.”
            I went over to my van, popped the hood, and I managed to find that little doohickey that you have to move to open up the hood.  I’ve had cars where I’ve never found that doohickey.  But I was quite pleased with myself for being able to open up the hood of my van.
            I also secretly hoped that a man would see me with my hood up and come help.  It’s worked every time before.
            No where in the engine of this van, is the “Power Steering Fluid Place.”  I cannot find anything that remotely resembles the words “Power Steering Fluid Place.”  I found the “Windshield Washer Fluid Place”, and the “Oil Place” and several other places that looked liked fluids could go into, but nothing that was the “Power Steering Fluid Place.”
            Meanwhile I’ve got several children who were helping me.  “Hey, maybe you should put it here where it says oil.”  “Mom, what’s that big square box?”   “Does the van need a drink?”  “Lets put it in here, maybe the van will blow up!” Finally one child had the brilliant idea of getting my thirteen year old son.
            My son who had decided that since Dad was away, and that he is now the “man of the house” came out and said “What?”
            “Do you know where the Power Steering Fluid Place is?”  I asked.
            He smirked at me and shook his head as if to say “women” and then he came over, trying to look as if he knows what I’m talking about and carefully examined the engine.
            “You don’t know where it is either.”  I comment.
            “Just a minute.”  He said still trying to look knowledgeable. 
            By this time I’m thinking, “Why don’t they have a map glued on the underside of the hood?”  It would show all the parts of the car and it would have little arrows with pieces of information like “Power Steering Fluid Place”, “Oil Place”, “Windshield Washer Fluid Place”, Carburetor, Battery etc.  Anything that would tell me that “This is the place.” Then they could put little post it notes on really important stuff.  And maybe on the underside of the hood they could have little checklists.  “If you hear a grinding noise do this.”  If you smell smoke, do this.  If the car explodes, do this.”   In the car itself they need to have a little map on the dashboard explaining how to open up the hood.
            Meanwhile, if a man drove by, he didn’t stop to help.  I guess it appeared I had plenty of help with all those kids.
            I was explaining all this at a bar-b-queue I attended that night.  As we all sat around and had a good laugh at me, a couple of the guys went out to my van and put the power steering fluid in the power steering fluid place.  I guess it takes a couple of guys to do it. Then somebody mentioned that it might be a good idea to learn the basics of automotives.  It was also mentioned that it’s a good idea to carry an extra pair of pantyhose around with you in case your fan belt breaks.  So now I ask, why not just carry around an extra fan belt?
            So with the help of someone I’ve learned where the power steering fluid place is.  Now if I could just remember what side my gas tank is on when I pull up to a pump. 


Unknown said...

Worst case scenario, just call the expert ie. mechanic if your husband is not around haha don't forget to visit my page :)

kate loving shenk said...

This is funny and oh so true. I have always believed I need to learn the basics of automobile maintenance. SIGHS. The time will come when I am forced to do so. Better yet, get rid of the cars entirely. I love that idea most of all because it's easier on the environment, AND saves $$$.

Michelle Liew said...

Yes, they should label all the parts in cars. We wouldn't get those smirks then!