You know, I never had a great rapport with the mechanic around the corner. It might have been all the pictures of Reagan, Bush and Frank Rizzo on the wall that made me feel less than warm. But in any event, I’ve started to get the feeling that he’s ripping me off.

I was talking to one of my neighbors yesterday, and she made no bones about it. “He doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing,” she said. “He’s got no diagnostic equipment, I don’t think he knows anything at all about cars that aren’t at least thirty years old,” she said. “And besides, he makes most of his money as a gun dealer. Take your car to someone else and have them look at it.”

She recommended a garage bay in an industrial park a few blocks away. I went there this morning to have them look at it. It was a truck repair place run by a couple of guys, one with a heavy accent and another one who couldn’t speak English at all. No Joey Vento cheesesteak for you!

But they showed me the problem – a piece of protective molding that had split and was rubbing against the suspension whenever I made a turn. The guy who couldn’t speak English got under the car and made a makeshift repair with a screw and a washer. “This will be fine, you don’t need nothing else,” the English-speaking guy told me.

The price? $20. I thanked them profusely.

I can’t believe that other moron was gonna charge me $375.

12 thoughts on “Saved

  1. This is why it’s so important to find and cultivate a relationship with a good mechanic/garage. I’m lucky, there’s an excellent garage just four blocks from my house. I know they don’t rip me off. I keep them happy and friendly towards me by frequent gifts of brownies. They saved me bundles by checking out all the used cars I was considering buying, and it paid off for them when I had them do all the necessary (but normal wear-and-tear related) work on the car I eventually bought.

    Check out the car guys for recommendations in your area.

  2. I think the $375 guy is crooked, not merely incompetent.
    You should write a Yelp review about your experience with him.
    It’s great that you found a capable and trustworthy alternative to this right wing crook.

  3. I know this sounds sexist, but crooked mechanics look for single women to rip off. It’s like they see you coming and can’t wait to scare the hell out you. (They do the same shit to us men too, but know we’re a little less likely to believe them.)

  4. Right you are, Dandy! I used to say the mechanics had Daffy Duck dollar signs in the their eyes when they saw me coming with my broken car. But all that’s changed since a dozen years ago! I have the best mechanic/friend/car whisperer guy in the world.

  5. better to write a yelp about the mechanic who did a good job. Industrial parks are a great place to find a good mechanic because they are dependent upon referrals for their customers.

  6. I see a complaint to the PA AG and Better Business in this guy’s future.

    But, on a lighter note. YOU SAVED $355!

    You had a story the other day on the Middle School softball team and the sportsmanship they displayed. How it helped bolster your faith in people. Same with this story. The rethug mantra of everyone’s out for themselves is a evil lie about human nature. There are good people everywhere. Most people are fair. The world isn’t out to kill you the minute you walk out the door. We need to remind ourselves that the ‘Be afraid, be very afraid’ meme of rethugs and their propaganda machine is just that, propaganda. Deception and lies to make us suspect each other for our problems instead of truly identifying those who victimize us.

  7. Was speeding up through Wyoming aiming to get to Yellowstone and see Old Faithful erupt under a full moon, maybe drift down and see the Tetons if the moon stayed out long enough.

    Car in front of me is smoking bad. I hold back to see if they need help. Suddenly lots of steam, car pulls over.

    Old woman from the south with her grandchildren, got laid off at the chicken plant and decided she wanted to see Yellowstone.

    Stopped in the last town when a red light came on. Went to a filling station. Guy told her the radiator needed to be replaced, the oil was real low so the seals should be replaced. Not enough money, just keep driving and hoping.

    I popped the hood. The SOB had cut the radiator intake hose. Took out the oil dip stick and threw it away. Sliced the heater hose. Poured old oil on the engine that smoked as it burned off.

    Duct tape got us to the next town. I replaced the hoses, checked the oil was all right. Shoved something into the dip stick hole and told her to buy another dip stick when she saw a wrecking yard. Checked the tires on the car. Bought 4 new ones, kept the best old one for a spare. Bought a jack and taught her how to use it. Filled up the tank.

    We made it to the east entrance and I bought an annual pass for her, good for the rest of the year. They stopped somewhere and I drove on over to see Old Faithful. Seating for about 1200 people, maybe 50 or a 100 people there. They found me. We watched the eruption. Then she said they had to go, she couldn’t afford a camp ground. Went over and bought a 3 day pass, explained how the system worked and told them how to use their blankets to stay warm. Took them over to the main lodge, treated them to a late supper. Passed her a couple of hundred to be able to buy Greyhound tickets if the car gave out. She wanted my name and address to pay me back when she could get work again. I told her to just pass it on to the next person who she could help.

    Never dared drive that road again just in case there was only one filling station in the little town she stopped in. I’m not a good friend, but I’m a great hater.

  8. And besides, he makes most of his money as a gun dealer.

    This is my favorite sentence on the Internet today.


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