Search This Blog

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Who Let The Dogs Out

A middle nineties Chevy pulled into the shop, and as I looked up from the job I was doing, the Chevy owner beeped her horn. Now, I haven’t worked in a gas station since I worked down in Baton Rouge, La in 1973. I don’t take well to being beeped at. It reminds me of how far back Baton Rouge was in my life. I get a little nostalgic, and in the end, a little on the slow side reacting to a horn summons. When I reach the car, two huge dog faces lunge at me through the window, snarling: one from beside the woman owner, and the other from the backseat. Oh boy, this is going to be fun. Meanwhile, Beep Beep is sitting with her arms folded across her chest in a state of obvious chagrin.

“Can I help you?” I ask, trying to make eye contact without giving the dogs a reachable target.

“I have an idiot light lit on my dash, and I want you to find out what’s causing it,” Ms. Beep orders. “I’m sure it’s just the fluid level.”

“Can you show me which one it is, please?” I ask, surprised Beep Beep could even see the dash with all the dog hair and grit spread over everything.

Ms. Beep gave me an irritated sigh, and started the engine. With front seat dog still across her lap, Ms. Beep pointed over the dog. Front seat dog grinned, daring me to get a closer look. I hunched around, with rear seat dog snarling hello in my ear, and saw it was the low coolant light. GM cars are notorious for bad coolant level sensors indicating low coolant level even when there’s plenty of coolant.

“Please release your hood,” I request. She pulls the hood release, and begins opening the driver’s door. “Stay inside the car, Ma’am.”

“Why do I have to stay in the car?” Ms. Beep asks, quite perturbed at my tone of voice, which left no room for debate, or so I thought.

“Because I don’t want your dogs out in my shop,” I answer, going quickly around to the front, opening the hood, insuring the coolant bottle was full, and closing the hood again.

“What did you do?” Beep Beep barks out from the driver’s seat, starting to get out again. “I won’t let the dogs out.” Woof woof, I add mentally.

“Stay in the car, Ma’am. I didn’t do anything. The coolant level is good. The coolant level sensor is probably bad,” I answer, eyeballing front seat dog with my ‘Who’s Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf’ look. “The level sensors go bad in these all the time.”

“I wouldn’t have let my dogs out,” Ms. Beep states, starting the car.

“There’s no way I could know that, Ma’am,” I reason.

“I told you I wouldn’t have,” she retorts.

“Yea, you did; but I told you not to get out of your car, and you didn’t,” I reply with a shrug, as Beep Beep glares at me. “I didn’t get bit, and your dogs are still in one piece. It’s a win-win.”

Ms. Beep backs out without another word, as the two dogs look at me longingly.

Woof woof. :)

No comments: