the cheapest mechanic




I got up at 5:30…on a Sunday…. feeling like my weird Norwegian farmer throwback internal clock has failed me because I “slept in” and didn’t get up at my usual 5:00…go out to my desk, power up the computer….and the clock on the screen says, “6:30”.

What the heck?

I’m kidding…I know what’s happening.

It’s just another example of the MAN trying to keep me down…messing with me.

It’s all just a little too arbitrary for my tastes….change the clocks?! Pheeeeewwwwww.

Yesterday, I complained in the blog about being upset because the letters they assign at the Post Office didn’t line up in my favor after the most recent mail count.

I was upset because I almost lost my one day off every two weeks.

But…by the end of the evening…I’d miraculously gotten it back after some recalculations at “headquarters”…so all was right again.

Yesterday, I spent my bimonthly day off repairing the little Toyota truck that my children have been driving.

Where is the wisdom in that? Spend part of my one day off greasy…covered in antifreeze and transmission fluid…trying to free up the water pump after I’ve gotten all the bolts removed (well, to be honest…most of the bolts…one reamed off with minimal torquing during the process)  for the first time in 147,374 miles?

What made me think that doing that would be the best use of my precious day off?

I think I know the answer.

I think I’ve figured out the tragic flaw.

I’m the cheapest mechanic.

Isaac drives that truck to school. I noticed that his coolant levels were always low a couple of days after topping it back off.

I was adding about a quart of antifreeze every two days to the overflow tank….the front of the engine around the water pump was wet as it could be…greasy and wet, caked with goo.

It was time to do something.

So….in typical action man fashion….a month after we first noticed this sequence of events…I got on the problem.

I already had a radiator and a water pump…so I didn’t have to spend any money on that. They’d been sitting in the back room for a couple of years, throwbacks to the time when I was using the truck on the mail route and was desperate to figure out ways to keep it cool enough to make the 60 mile daily route without incident.

I had the parts already. In my head, the parts were free. They were just sitting there….waiting.

And my time is cheap. I go cheap.

Thinking about it now, I wonder if it was a good trade? These days go by…lickety-split…gone in a wink of my eye…and I’m outside tearing into the old truck like I was going to be the winner if I could do it myself and save some money.

But the day is gone…or at least part of the first sunny day we’ve had for a while. Part of the sunny day is gone….given over to trying to save some money fixing an old truck.

I like to fix the cars. I don’t have many places I can exert Viking force anymore…so when I can break a bolt off in the block trying to get an old water pump to just LET GO!!!! DANG YOU!!!! LET GO….URNNNNNNNGGGGGHHHHHH!!! …well, it feels like a real victory.

Me against the world…cursing in my driveway.

That’s how you spend your precious time.


About Peter Rorvig

I'm a non-practicing artist, a mailman, a husband, a father...not listed in order of importance. I believe that things can always get better....and that things are usually better than we think.


the cheapest mechanic — 4 Comments

  1. Dude! After installing the water pump slash radiator, slap in a set of BUMPING speakers for ol’ Issac! Always a hit with the young set, male or female! PeaceOut, Filet

    • Hah! The best advice! I put a pair of Pioneer 4 1/2″ speakers in the kick panels to replace the weak factory speakers…so I’m ahead of you on that. Those woofers…rolling down the road…perfect for the Christian rap that we allow him to listen to. Kidding…he listens to EDM…go figure.

  2. EDM??? Would that be Electronic Dance Music, Early Day Miners or The Eagles of Death Metal?

    • EDM….”Encephalytically Damaged Monkey”…it doesn’t get any funkier…a dance party supreme. Actually, from my limited understanding of what the kids find hip these days, it’s “electronic dance music”…and it’s very cool…makes my feet and head move rhythmically…to the beat. I can’t wait for the drop.