Saturday, March 04, 2006

Mrs. Goodwrench

Move over, Mr. Goodwrench - Mrs. Goodwrench is on the scene. Yesterday I was helping Jerry work on his truck brakes. It has been an interesting experience, to say the least. My job was to sit in the truck and push on the brake pedal while he bled the brake lines. We had a sort of automotive Lamaze going - push, push, push, h-o-l-d. The pedal would sink to the floor and we would begin again - push, push, push, h-o-l-d. At one point he emerged from under the truck and said he needed to let the ABS hydraulic valve soak a little to loosen it, or he was afraid it might break off. We spent the time talking about many things, him leaning against the workbench and me still in the driver's seat of the truck. After a good while he knelt back down on the creeper and disappeared under the truck. I could hear tapping noises coming from underneath, then an ominous-sounding snap. After about three seconds there was the simultaneous explosion of an expletive from under the truck and a wrench thrown out at high velocity, skittering across the floor. I was glad for my position in the truck, above the action. After a moment he wheeled himself out from under the truck and calmly announced that he would need to order a part. I didn't need to ask which one.

That was yesterday. Today he picked up the part and put it on. We did vehicular Lamaze once more, and then took the truck for a test spin. The brakes did just fine, as attested to by the punctuation Jerry kept putting into our conversation. About every three words or so he would stomp on the brake pedal - SCREECH - pause in the conversation, readjust the seatbelt which had locked, and do it all over again.

I don't think I'm ready for the mechanical big leagues yet, but I'll do as a brake-pedal-pusher and test-rider, anyway!

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