It wasn’t good the man named Robert told me in a reassuring voice, trying to tell me it wasn’t all that bad. These kind of things always happen he told me, every week we get a few people at least. What else could I do but go along with what he said- since I really had no idea what he was saying. He could have been speaking in Greek and I would not have known it.
“So what exactly is wrong sir?” I pleaded.
“ There is this little piece called the head gasket, and it protects your engine blah blah blah”
All I heard was that a part that cost a whole of $5.00 would cost me at least $1500 to install. After he told me head gasket- I recalled people always talking about this mysterious little part, and how it always gives them trouble. I never entered these casual conversations that were usually being held at the bima on Friday nights before Kabalas Shabbos. You know all the “know it alls” gather round the bima and always seem to know everything.
“Yeh my mechanic told me not to buy my Lexus because of its head gasket issues,
I ignored him of course.”
It was kinda distant like AIDS or something, always chuckling to myself that something so stupid would never happen to me, then boom- my temperature gauge is rising to the top and I am frantically checking my coolant level at every gas station from Iowa to Colorado.
The mechanic or shall I say the person who sells you all the stuff you don’t need- you know the mechanic receptionists who’s job is to tell you that the transmission fluid flush is life or death, or the guy who tells you that the washer on your caliper is bent and you have to get a new one or your brakes will fall off. Every time you enter a place of car repair you put your trust in people who usually rip you off- unless you know what you are doing- in which case the only reason you are bringing you car there is see how poor of a job they do.
This brings me to my epiphany that doctors and mechanics are of the same breed and are in fact part of a secret society of people who knowingly rip off their clients because no one understands a damned word they say. Oil changes and regular physicals are one and the same. You go in for a quick check up and after dropping your pants peeing in a cup and embarrassing yourself in front of a man with the goofy looking stethoscope he tells you that you have cancer and are going to die in two months- oil changes are exactly the same, how many times I have gone in for a ten minute oil change only to be convinced to change every single filter because my gas mileage will improve by 2%. Then the mechanic tells you he noticed a vibration in the front end and I may need new axles, ball bearings, and tie rods- all this stuff apparently is urgent or else!!!!!!!! Or else what? I ask my mechanic- I wish I hadn’t. Well he starts out by saying how he wont be responsible if my wheels fall off at 75 mph, etc…Of course I have to fix it he says. Of course I agree not knowing what else to do.
After I had made such a rash decision to fix something that was just sold to me by some greasy dude who was in back of the shop counting the Benjamin’s he just made off all the oil change suckers like myself, I always call one of my friends who have infiltrated into the depths of this secret society- they in turn tell me almost every time that I had been ripped off.
I guess doctors are not as bad since they can be sued, but mechanics are free because you never know what they really did to your car. Bring it in for a regular tune up and 5 minutes out on the freeway the “check engine” light comes on for no apparent reason. Doctors on the other hand tell you exactly when you will die, or suffer kidney failure, heart failure etc.. So at least you know when your imminent death will come. As for cars and mechanics they are completely unpredictable.