I think I have a heckler

A year ago I posted a story about performing my own brake job. In August, someone read it and decided to take me to task for my slapdash approach and attitude toward the upkeep of my 1992 Toyota Deathmachine. I commented back. Today, the aforenotyetmentioned Lazaro Valdes (his name, not mine) commented back-back. 

Since I quickly found that my comment back-back-back was becoming larger than most of my normal posts, and since I haven’t graced (cursed, whatever) you all with a new aforekindamentioned post in months, I’m posting my response here. Enjoy. Or cringe in horror.


Dear Sir or Madam,

You make several good points, the first of which is not your inability to simply cut and paste quotes from my original post instead of attempting to retype them. Poorly. It is obvious that you’re lazy, computer illiterate, over 62, Irish Catholic, a Whig, a former Postal employee, you like Shredded Wheat biscuits – the kind that come individually wrapped and you have to break them apart yourself, you own two and a half cats but secretly want a ferret,  have the beginnings of IBS, voted in 2 of the last 3 elections and you once sent money to Sally Struthers but have ever since harbored doubts that those starving children ever saw a dime of it. Please don’t argue. It’s obvious. It’s all right there in #000000 and #FFFFFF. If God hadn’t intended for us to make gross, snap generalizations about one another, he would not have created AL Gore so that he could create the Internet.

Still, I feel like I should defend myself on a few points. You were right about my girlfriend, and as soon as I acquire the necessary 1.21 gigawatts of electricity I need I will return to 1992 and lecture her adnauseum on the wisdom of having expensive engine problems only after a cheap and easy solution has been invented. 

You are wrong about the bleeder valves. They are rusted because there is too much salt on the roads up here in the winter. This is entirely outside my area of responsibility. I did try to blame Toyota, the manufacturer of my car, but they just claimed that they were only building the cars the way that the manual said to build the cars, and that the kid who worked where they bought the manual claimed that even a dog with oposable thumbs could build the car. (I checked, and they have a plant in Alabama where the canine unemployment rate is only 1.2. One point freakin’ two! My dog got laid off last month. How fair is that?) I finally told them, quite sternly, that building cars in this country isn’t a right, it’s a privilege, and that maybe they should build buses. They were speechless. Or I assume they were. I’d hung up by then. But there was still the problem of my bleeder valves, being viciously corroded by road salt. So, in keeping with the preachings of the day, and having failed in thinking globally, I acted locally. I got a bazooka and have been blowing up every snow plow with a road salt spreader that’s come around the bend in the road in the last week. Don’t think this was easy. Do you have any idea how hard it is to get a bazooka since G.I. Joe went off the air? (And what was up with him and Alpine anyway? I think they’d like the aughties. They could live openly. Well, in Massachusetts. ) It’s ridiculous. Everyone’s all about the Kalashnikov now. But you just can’t beat the stopping power of a good old tube launched, optical wire guided missile.

And you talk about “responsible” as if it was something I should be.  Everyone knows that “responsible” is something that you’re terrified of not being. That’s what laws are for – to take everyday things make you terrified that you’re not doing them. Or not doing them right. If the Commonwealth of Massachusetts deemed it necessary for me to be terrified about the responsible upkeep of my car more than once a year then I’m sure that they’d require that I have it inspected more often than every July. And they would certainly send out someone to glower at me menacingly in the meantime. See, the current return on responsible vehicle maintenance is somewhere around .1%, and that’s just if you include the postcards from the manufacturer reminding you of the latest recall (“Your vehicle has a car on it’s frame that may explode if fired upon by a bazooka. Failure to address this may result in fire, wreckage and loss of appetite.”) I’ve got eight boxes not stuffed full of letters from all the people who wrote to thank me for changing my oil every 3000 miles. Two of them aren’t from Midas. 


One response to “I think I have a heckler

  1. I think I can do a brake job in less time than it took me to read that – unless the bleeder breaks off.

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