You know, if there's one thing I like in my day job (the fixing cars one, not the loitering in music shops one), is the good feeling when you successfully fix something.
Maybe that's why LEGO sets sell out. Building something from little bricks to a bloody masterpiece. Commercialized satisfaction, at the cost of polymer plastics.
That's probably hypocritical of me, who enjoys fixing cars at my own expense.
I'm not that guy in racing games, who completely gushes over every little detail that can make the car go faster. Please. I'm not that much of a car nut.
And besides, that stuff is expensive. And pretty rare in a place like this.
Can you imagine a McLaren P1 Coupe stroll in to an auto repair shop in some boring Midwest city? It's going to be ogled at by everyone, who's never seen that of an exotic car before.
You probably don't understand what I'm talking about…
Just imagine a reefer head in the middle of a business conference. There. That's probably a better analogy.
Back to the topic on hand…
When I'm not busy trying to pass school, I work part time in a garage near my place. It's literally next-door, so I don't really need to worry about getting late for my shift.
I don't really do much there. I'm the guy who passes tools to the guys, and gives the complementary carwash. Yeah, I know, not what you're looking for, but it pays the bills, and gives some help to my Pa.
On the rare occasion that the cashier's not there, I work that place. I do the numbers, get the receipt, and get some tips if I work fast enough. Or when the guy in front of me has some pity.
But it's fun, being able to contribute to fixing things. Even though you don't play an important part, it's still a part.
And I'm proud of that.
There's a thing I want to tell you about the owner though.
The owner's…pretty scary. I mean, he's intimidating. Like, if you look at him the wrong way, whether accidentally or on purpose, he's going to shoot you a glare with twice the intensity and quintuple the contempt.
I guess that's what I like about him. He wouldn't let anyone outmatch him.
And here's the thing: he's actually a pretty big softie inside.
And he's hiding this huge derelict chassis at the back. How do I know?
First day on the job, I got lost looking for the restroom. So I went through all the doors, got surprised by a lot of things (like a pile of hammers nearly falling on top of me) and found a storage room with some kind of rusted hunk inside.
As far as rusted bits go, it looked pretty okay. (And yes, I'm an expert. There are tons of rusted stuff everywhere. You can't go a quarter mile without seeing one.) Like, it was on its way to becoming a decent road-worthy car. Everything you needed was there: tires, functioning doors, a gleaming exhaust pipe, and (what looked like) an engine. It wasn't drowning in a pool of oil, which I took as a good sign.
Sure, it needed a fresh coat of paint, and maybe some better windows (it had virtually none), but overlooking that, it looked perfect.
I was busy playing around in the driver's seat, miming a racecar driver (I got to have dreams too, you know?) when the door opened and Boss walked in.
I almost died of surprise right then and there in the car! Like, first day on the job, and you're going to get fired by touching Boss's stuff. What kind of employee would I be?
At first, he looked like he was going to give me a tongue thrashing, right then and there. And then…I don't know. He just winked at me, closed the door, and left. I heard his footsteps grow fainter and fainter until I heard the door to his office close.
It was scary, you know! Like you'd feel the world ready to smash you flat then pulling up at the very last moment!
Later I'd learn from the other guys over a game of poker that the Dodge Challenger (apparently, that's the name of the car I was busy horsing around in) was the Boss's pa's personal car until he kicked the bucket. Boss later found the car when he bought it back from some auto dealer. The family had to sell it to cover up some debts, and they never thought they'd see it again. Until Boss brought it back, a little bit worse for wear.
I found it heartwarming, that the car would go back to the family.
Maybe my record player would do the same to my little kids?
As if I'd have. :)
Enough talking about me…shift's about to start. Boss might be merciful and let us ride with him for a little lap in the Challenger.
Whew…that horsepower…I'm drooling just by thinking of riding that thing.
Can't wait to see how this thing would go!