The Boring Word About Automobiles

July 24, 1985

I grew up in the pre-equality era of our school system. Boys took shop, girls took home economics. Boys joined clubs to learn about auto mechanics or motorcycles and girls attended babysitting clinics and cosmetics seminars.

No one told me back then, and I certainly did not foresee the need to know, about vapor lock, wheel alignment and when to get new plugs or oil filters.

I am always at someone else’s mercy when my car decides to take a rest on the parkway, stall out at an intersection, or make funny noises that I cannot describe and no one else can hear.

When in these predicaments I do try to take control of the situation and at least look at that mass of whatever under the hood. It never ceases to amaze me when someone else can make an adjustment and all the sputtering, chugging, noises turn into a constant purr.

In addition to not learning “how to” I missed out on the mechanical motivation class also. Actually I have not desire to learn what makes my car tick, I just want it to continually do it.

I use to think I might have fared better in the horse and carriage days. That is until we spent a week in Williamsburg, VA. We noticed how quiet the main street was with no traffic but I’ll bet watching where to step and that odor could be just as annoying as a flat tire and having the windshield washer fluid freeze.

I keep telling my daughters they are lucky to be growing up in a time when they have the opportunity to get their hands dirty under the hood of a car.

They don’t seem to interested as yet though. The only advice I ever get from them when we’re stuck out on the road is, “better make a phone call Mom”.