Saturday, March 06, 2010

Bright As A Shiny, New Nail!

Most people don't find cause for angst in a simple oil change. I, however, have a long history of car disasters and oil changes have often led to revelations of a more pricey nature. Frankly, I'd avoid them altogether except for the fact that my car gets rather panicky when I pass the recommended mileage mark. It flashes messages at me well beforehand and those missives increase in frequency until I give in.

I've learned to see the bright side in having to drag the chariot down to the dealership. If I have to go, I might as well have some fun with it. It's not always easy, mind you. And the new car doesn't have nearly the same level of drama my poor truck experienced so I don't really need to go to all this effort. But it's best to be prepared.

I got up bright and early in order to be ready for today's appointment. Of course, the most important thing was to check the sock bag because it was the sock that was going to see me through this trial. I was pleased to see that I had miles and miles of plain knitting ahead of me with nary a toe decrease in sight. With that little task behind me, I set out for my designated service bay and began searching for bright spots.

Bright Spot #1: Peppy Guy At The Desk

(Sheepish Annie arrives early for her appointment and is displeased to see that a stranger sits behind the desk. She really prefers it when N is there because she is nice and helpful and adjusts the bill when things start to edge over the thousand dollar mark)

Peppy Guy At The Desk: Good morning! That'll be an oil change and tire rotation, right?

Sheepish Annie: How did you...never mind. I don't want to know. Yes. That's me.

PGATD: Well, you just sign here and we'll get started! Is the car running OK?

SA: Yes. Well...there's the tire thing.

PGATD: Tire thing?

SA: It's shaped like a triangle.

PGATD: It's not supposed to do that. It's supposed to stay round. Like a circle.

SA: I read that somewhere.

PGATD: Why don't we take a look at that?

SA: You're the expert. I might suggest it needs some air, though. If it's OK to offer an opinion.

PGATD: Of course! We encourage participation!

Bright Spot #2: Bright Colors And Life Lessons

I settled into my Waiting Room Chair and broke out the sock bag. The room was rather full this morning. I was, however, the only woman (a fact that is not exactly relevant but will soon become almost funny in a roundabout way). I was also the youngest person there. (which is saying something considering that I'm 44 at the moment)

The television was on and, for reasons known only to the person who made the choice, set to cartoons. I don't mind cartoons. In fact, I like them. I've got cartoons on right now. I am used to cartoons as background noise. These, however, were not edgy, cool cartoons. There was nary a hint of violence. Not a single character is currently on a t-shirt because no one has ever heard of these cartoons. They were not the kind of cartoons that an adult can watch and find a subtle undercurrent of grown up humor.

The first half was about the importance of sharing and how teamwork is a faster way to get things done. The second half was about the value of persevering even when you don't win the game. Happy doggies played the key roles. The average five year old would have been in heaven.

Which is why I was so startled when I happened to glance up at my fellow Waiting Room Prisoners and saw that, to a man...


And I mean intently. Mouths were agape. They were transfixed. I almost had to leave the room for fear of disturbing them with my peals of laughter...

Bright Spot #3: The Return Of Peppy Guy At The Desk

All good things must come to an end and soon I was alone again. The older men with cartoon fetishes all got their cars back and went home to lie about what they watched on TV that morning. A new guy came in and found the remote before he got sucked into the madness. I almost missed the cartoons and was a little sad. Then PGATD came back.

PGATD: Well, we've figured out the triangular tire thing.

SA: Really? Do tell.

PGATD: You had a nail in your tire. That leads to triangles.

SA: OK. Mental note: Stop driving over nails.

PGATD: You should probably also consider not driving over screws because we found one of those, too.

SA: That's a lot to remember.

PGATD: I'd also advise not driving over broken glass and railroad spikes just to be safe.

SA: I'm getting that tattooed on my forearm...

PGATD: We can patch the tire and have you on your way soon.

SA: (Smiles knowingly. "Soon" isn't something that factors into routine maintenance.)

Bright Spot #4: Thinking Ahead.

Unfortunately, the guy who found the remote wasn't content to control the TV. He needed more in the way of power. Hence, he decided that I might benefit from his Waiting Room Wisdom.

The fact that he wasn't wrong in his concern over how long I'd been waiting didn't help matters. He had no way of knowing that waiting is just the way things go for me and that asking doesn't do anything other than make me have to get up more often than I want to. It takes as long as it takes and, for me, it always takes longer. That's just how it is.

It also didn't help that it took most of a sock foot to get to this point. I was nearing the spot where I thought I might have to decrease but was loathe to try the thing on so publicly. What we knitters see as perfectly reasonable behavior is kind of odd to the rest of the world. But I needed to be doing something if I was going to send the Begone Well Intentioned But Ultimately Unhelpful Creature vibe.

My choices were limited. I could decrease and hope for the best. I could knit on and hope for the same. Either could work out well or could result in my having to pick out stitches. It was a quandary, I tells ya!

Thankfully, I'd thought ahead. My library book was right there in my bag and waiting for me to use it as an impenetrable barrier against Car Gurus. It took a while for him to get the hint, but finally I was allowed to read in peace.

And, soon enough, my name was called. Of course my helpful friend couldn't help but comment on how worried he'd been about my having to set up housekeeping at the dealership, but that was all right. I'd made it to the finish line!

Bright Spot #5: Shiny, Happy Car Sans Triangles!

I drove away in my freshly washed and vacuumed vehicle and reveled in the sound of rolling round rubber. Ahhhh! That is the greatest reward, isn't it? The message center in the dashboard showed naught but my mileage and looked happier than it has in days. All is right with the world!

At least for another three thousand miles...



Kath said...

People like the Car Guru have a special place in my heart. I like them almost as much as the ones who show up after I have repaired something and tell me how they would have done it differently and of course, better. (I am a woman who uses tools - this happens to us a lot. )Glad the visit to the dealership went smoothly at least!

I do understand the difficulty of trying on the sock - last time that happened to me I put sock #1 on waste yarn and cast on sock #2 instead!

Anonymous said...

I am trying to imagine the look on Car Guru's face when the voice on the loudspeaker said, "Sheepish to the desk, please."

Mia said...

you crack me up - i can just picture the waiting room seen :)

And I might be a little hungover this morning but I'm still laughing about

"Begone Well Intentioned But Ultimately Unhelpful Creature vibe". *grin*

trek said...

Triangles really are a perfectly nice, pleasant polygon. Except when made of steel belted radial tire material.

I would have delved into the book, too. People accept that you can knit and talk but usually leave you alone with your preferred reading material.

Thanks for the link. Have to check that out. Oh, look: a pun.

Donna Lee said...

I often end up being the entertainment when I bring out the knitting. No, I do not want to explain to everyone how to knit socks (unless I think they're ready to become knitters, I'm all about the prosletyzing then).

Anonymous said...

I think I might have tried the sock on right there in the waiting room just to freak out the car guru :-)

Beth said...

Now you have two friends at the car place - N and Peppy! Glad you survived!