This being Part VII of a Racer's Final(s) Diary
"Making payments or repairs, either way the man's got you by the balls." -My Brother
The kaput alternator is finally wrested free from the confines of the engine compartment without permanent damage to the vehicle or my body. Now to install the new one. Somebody once told me to budget 3x as much time to re-assemble something as it required you to take it apart. Great, that means I should only be here until about 6pm, with a 5 hour drive ahead of me. It's better than the alternative.
As I am playing grease monkey, a teal colored two-door Saturn coupe of roughly the same vintage as my van (mid 90s) wheels into the parking lot near me. An acrid smoke is rolling from under the hood, and something is leaking all over the tarmac. I recognize the smell instantly as sulfuric acid. Somebody's battery has a major issue. It's burning my nose hairs and making an already unenjoyable situation less pleasant. It gets worse. Both doors open and a tattooed, pierced hipster wanna-be trying desperately to grow his ironic blonde peach fuzz beard, with that silly shaved on the sides, long and greasy on the top haircut that they all have nowadays exits the driver's seat. His equally tattooed, pierced and ironic girlfriend gets out of the passenger side.
Now I could have ignored all this frippery with nothing more than quiet stereotyping and judgmentalism on my part, but for what happened next. The lithe, illustrated young woman, who has at least another 10 socially acceptable poor decision making years ahead of her before finally settling down and becoming a career woman, wife and mother, leans the front passenger seat forward and releases the largest canine I have ever seen, which immediately bounds toward me. I drop the socket that I had just finagled into place for the 19th time, free myself from the engine compartment, wielding a 12" ratchet in my defense.
While not a dog hater, I take a very dim view of any animal that would approach me at such a rapid rate. I am fully prepared to clout this beast directly on the nose with China's finest pot-metal if it becomes necessary. Thankfully it does not. Illustrated young woman regains control over the ravenous creature just as I upgrade status to DEFCON 1. She shoots me a dirty look, as if to say it's my fault her dog is ill-behaved. Yup, she'll make a great mom someday.
To belabour the point, she continuously walks the Hound of the Baskervilles back and forth in front of the van while I am trying to get the goddamn serpentine belt lined up properly. It's the last part of this job, I am sweaty, bloody, tired, covered in grease and parking lot grime, late, on just about my last nerve and this poison dart frog looking bimbette parades Cujo within just inches of my toes while I am trying very carefully to get it right? Seriously?
|Some men find these things cute. I consider them a nuisance species.|