Well I’m back to the business, which pays for my writing hobby. Owning a business means opening the doors after long weekends with your heart in your throat. Will there be emergencies unfixed because of the extra couple days? Did I miss out on a job which might have paid for the self-publishing of my new novel? At least my building sign hangs in the same place I anchored it after last week’s windstorm. In addition to writing some pages this past long weekend, I read some blog subjects dealing with resolutions to read and write more, with writers lashing themselves on to new plateaus of achievement. After reading a no-nonsense opinion from the Snark about what published writers can expect for money, in answer to a question on her website, I’m really feeling blessed I have a day job.
As luck would have it, the jobs for the day turn out to be a real mixed bunch of nuts: 2002 Honda for a 50,000 mile service, an old 1989 Jeep with a broken steering column (compliments of a thief), an oil change on a 1986 Lincoln Towncar, and starter job on a 1992 Mercury Tracer. Yes folks, the vehicles out here on the left coast do hang around longer without the snow and ice. A teenage kid rode up around noontime on one of those noisy pieces of crap that looks like a motorized skate board with handlebars on a steering stem. Sounding like a truck diesel engine without a muffler, and smelling even worse, the little junk-heap gave up the ghost inside my front door. I walk over, knowing if the kid needs anything more than his tires pumped up, I ain’t doing it.
“You tune these up?” The young man asks.
“No, I only work on cars and trucks,” I answer politely, secretly thinking one less noise generator like that would be a real blessing.
“I thought you did mechanic work here,” he says after rolling his eyes for my benefit.
I grin with the aforementioned knowledge my tools will never be coming into contact with his ying…ying…ying screaming machine.
“I can pump up the tires so it’ll be easier to push it home,” I offer, or I think to myself, I could cut it up with my cutting torch for scrap: free of charge.
“Man, I don’t need my tires pumped, I need this runnin’ so I can get home.”
He’s getting irate. These kids ying…ying…ying up and down the street in front of my shop without letup for hours sometimes, until that high pitched shriek their two stroke engine makes starts to blend in with my own inner screams. A construction business owner down the avenue, who has his fleet serviced at my shop, confided in me he wants to go out and throw a broom handle or something through their tiny wheel spokes, he’s so fed up with them. I don’t want to kill ‘em. I just want them to ying…ying elsewhere. The law of averages has finally come in the form of whatever runs mechanically eventually breaks down. Welcome to my world.
“Sorry.” I’m not, but I smile condescendingly anyhow. “Are you sure you don’t want some air in those tires?”
He glares at me with a look meant to frighten me into submission, while allowing his crap-cycle to fall on its side. He’s been bullying kids at school too long. We stood there like that for a few moments, him scowling, and me grinning. Good sense wins out. The young man rights the crap-cycle and walks it out, mumbling obscenities. It’s times like these I’m glad I invested in pull down metal doors over my windows and comic shop storefront. One less ying…ying. Life is good. :)