Monday, July 25, 2011

The Mechanic

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I've always thought it would be awesome to have a group of friends with useful occupations. Like the Justice League of America, except it would be called the Household Fix-it League of Suburbia. There would be Wonder Plumber, Mechanic Man, Green Electrician and so on. They would be those people that it was handy to know when things go wrong, and delete the need to pay expensive professional strangers.

So far, C and I have managed to assemble quite a few good contacts, but we are missing an electrician. If you want to be a part of our League, let me know.

C is Mechanic Man. He has this innate ability to understand how things fit together, and how to fix them to make them go again. This applies whether it's a jet engine or a lawn mower. There are distinct advantages to having a mechanic for a partner, but also some downsides.

For instance, we go through Solvol like it's going out of fashion. I get grease all over my towels, and the car port is always stained with oil. The patio is never not strewn with car parts (or parts of any other mechanical item, for that matter) and his clothes have to be washed in two separate wardrobe lots: working, and non-working. I frequently trip over spanners and bolts left lying around, and have mysterious items show up on the kitchen bench (this morning it was a calibration set). And I'm often called upon to peer into the depths of an engine whilst he explains unfathomable mechanical mysteries to me. After four years, I know how to change a tyre, but still couldn't explain to you how an engine actually works.

But all these small inconveniences are far, far outweighed by the advantages. I've never paid for a car service since I met him. He knows all the cheapest places to get parts, and installs them perfectly. If we break down, he can usually fix things without the need for RACQ or a tow truck (he once fixed a burst radiator hose using only his leatherman).

And best of all, he's unfailingly generous with his skills. Mention car trouble, and C will immediately offer help. Not a month goes by without him helping one friend or another with their mechanical dilemmas.

Yep, it's good to be Mechanic Man's partner. But I haven't thought of a League nickname for myself yet. I'm no electrician, carpenter or electronics guru. And Scrapbook Woman doesn't have quite the same ring to it.

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