Tales From the Countryside (CH 4)
I was a daddy’s girl, and I grew up southern style. By that, I don’t mean I was a “tom boy”, nor was I a debutante. I blended the two into what I believe to be a perfect balance of eclectic, eccentric, outdoorsy, intelligent, multi-talented femininity.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re saying to yourself, “WTF is she talking about???????” (And here is where i tell you….)
My father was bridge foreman for the railroad (Mo-Pac) for 32 years. He would be gone for two weeks at a time, and only home every other weekend. My father was right up there with God as far I as I was concerned, and when he was home, he belonged to ME. He taught me everything he knew. Probably not because he always wanted to, but more likely it was because he couldn’t get rid of me for an instant. I think he figured as long as he taught me something new, and sent me to practice whatever it was he imparted to me, he could breathe for a minute. It never took long however, because I never wanted anything more than to see my father smile, and I learned quickly, from pouring concrete to construction. One of my earliest recollections is of the only fight I ever knew my parents to have. I remember like it was yesterday, sitting in the kitchen on a stool when i was 8 years old, and my father lacing up hiking boots on my feet. He was on one bended knee, and he had a coil of rope on the floor next to him. My mom walks in, stops dead in her tracks and says “Clovis, just what the hell do you think you are DOING!!?!?!?” My father turned to my mother with the most confused look on his face and says “what?” My mother says… “Clovis, you are NOT taking that child up on the ROOF with you!!!”, and my dad says “But Val, I have a rope! I’m gonna tie her to me while I replace the shingles, so she won’t fall off, and she can hand me the nails!”
Yeah. I thought she was gonna choke him to death with that rope. When she picked it up, I swear…. it kinda looked like a hangman’s noose there for a second. Really. It did….
Anyhow… the point of that retrospective is this. Thanks to my daddy, I also know a wee bit about cars. Not a whole lot, mind you, but enough to get by. I can rebuild a Holly 4-barrel quadrajet, drop in a 350 or a 327 4 bolt main,
replace my own brakes, and change a starter, flywheel, or alternator. So, when I have a damn car with OBD, I know how the hell to read it. OK?
For those of you who DON”T have a CLUE what an OBD stands for “On Board Diagnostic”.
OBD serves as an early warning system that alerts you to the potential need for vehicle repair through the “Check Engine” light on the dashboard of your vehicle. It flashes codes that tell you what ‘s wrong with your ride. You can read them, look them up, and diagnose your own damned car, without having to rely solely on what some “mechanic” tells you.
Now then… Chapter 4 really begins with me, and my OBD the night I got back from night of terror in Tulsa. Yep, I got home, and checked it. The only code it’s flashing is a 41. i go inside, look it up on the internet, and there it is. It’s the EGR valve, and guess what that means? I was right. It’s electronic, and will make my car run like it’s constipated when it’s f****d up. I crawl under the car at midnight with a flashlight in hand and start tracing. yep. It’s F*****D!
Soooooo….. the next AM I call my grandpa and the mechanic, and tell them what the problem is. But noooooooo…… “that’s not it” they say. GRRRRRRRRR!!!!! They will NOT listen to me. I “don’t really need it” they say.
Soooooooo…. I have spent the last 4 days waiting in this God-forsaken 7th circle of hell. (Oklahoma is no longer OK to ME!!!!!) In the interim, the “mechanic” has checked the pressure on my fuel pump, replaced the fuel filter, totally removed the catalytic converter, and a few other various waste of time things.
He tells me yesterday, “must be that EGR valve”.
By now, my grandpa has sunk so much into that car, it’s all pretty much new under the non-existent perverbial hood. He just doesn’t wanna spend the $250 it’s gonna take to get it fixed. I’m thinking at this point that Old Man Murphy won.
The trumpet sounded last night (by way of the telephone) and I was informed I would be getting the money western union from people at home who love me and want my ass BACK there. I bolt to the shop, tell the mechanic I am picking up the part in the AM, have the car ready to install it. He tells me he’ll have it done by the afternoon, and I can go home on Sunday.
Sooooooo… this AM I get up early, go to the shop, and tell him I’m headed to OKC for the part, and he says “cool”. I get back, and guess what??????? The mother fucker (excuse da language, but really… WTF?? has closed the shop up tight, left early, with my car locked up INSIDE, and no one has heard from him since. Did I mention, he lives BEHIND the shop, and sure as hell wasn’t there either?
The S.O.B. RAN and HID!!!!!!!
That’s ok. I got something for the mechanic. You just hide and watch…
Don’t fuck with a southern woman who has been held hostage in hell for two weeks, and wants nothing in the world but to get home to her son.
Oh yeah….the “mechanic” and me… uh-huh…
Guess no one ever told him that hell hath no fury like a single southern mother scorned.
Murphy may be tough, Karma may be a bitch, and my Dogma may be dead, but they ain’t got SHIT on me!!!!
To be continued…
And where the hell is a disgruntled Smiley carrying a baseball bat????