The Steering Column
Left Hand Drive
from our President
I have come to believe that I am truly a warrior by disposition.
It has to do with my attitudes and my activities in life, and it has taken me some time to realize the veracity of this conclusion because I don’t fit the traditional stereotype of a warrior.
I don’t have a horse or a suit of armor. I don’t know any damsels in distress. I don’t have bulging muscles and a flat stomach but, rather, the opposite. In my neighborhood saber tooth tigers, dragons, and foul-smelling hairy barbarians are in short supply. I am not lacking of adversaries, however, and have turned my skills to thwarting the challenges of recalcitrant rusty fasteners, overcoming mismatched components, and outwitting engineering shortfalls. Yes, I have in my time drawn broken bolts from their captive situation in a manner that would equal Arthur with his stone-bound sword. I have outwitted IKEA in a manner befitting Odysseus by fixing their apparently useless and broken furnishings with no more than a paper clip or a dab of epoxy glue. I have made things work in ways that defy common sense. And, yes, I know the true power of bondo as few do.
I sneer at my fellow villagers as I drive through the neighborhood and see cast off Little Tykes items lacking only a cotter key to regain full functionality. I marvel at their dull witted talk of sporting scores and IRA yields, and their willingness to reach for a plastic card, instead of a tool, to fix any problem.
Each day as I sally forth to the garage, my chosen field of combat, I savor the thought of another opportunity to best the worst thrown my way by industrial society. My weapons of choice are wrought by the mountain trolls of Craftsman, Stanley, and Ingersoll-Rand. The heavy weapons platoon backing me up includes the fearsome blue-tip wrench, the soul-less Sawzall, and the ever-victorious BFH (ladies, ask your husband). And a myriad of support troops in the way of wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers and more. Take that! You demons of Blighty! You’ll not best me today!
At the end of the day’s combat, I retire to my castle. I am in the care of the Queen, who supports my efforts because she is Swedish (national motto: “never pay retail”). She asks: “Did you fix it at no cash cost?”. “Yes, M’Lady” I answer, and the exchequer is safe again for another day from the predations of the knavely parts merchants. The cuts, scratches, scrapes and burns of the day are my battle scars. I can describe the origin of each with a warrior’s pride but my stories and dirty fingernails do not gain the admiration of those who fix problems with plastic cards. The world is, indeed, a puzzling place. Sometimes I feel like a dinosaur.
As I retire for the evening I think of today and tomorrow. Perhaps some penetrating oil?…maybe a pipe on the end of the wrench?…what about that special tool I bought a while back? And as I think, I know I’ll get it, one way or another.
And so too will you, I suspect, when you don your warrior’s mantle and head out to your own garage. “Valhalla!”, “Geronimo!” and “Tally Ho!” to us all!
Safety Fast, -- Jim Evans