Bags of Bran

April 16, 2010, 9:43 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Feeling short-sentency today. May not predicate correctly. Sentences may include passive voice and strange participles, being the type of sentences which are typed by me. It is a strange way to be a written thing.

OK then!

The exquisite, charcoal gray 1998 Saturn… I’m not sure which model it is… anyways– needed some much-needed attention. It was sort of an ailing beast when we got it, but sentimental attachments, even to miserable pieces of engineering such as inimitable, charcoal-gray 1998 Saturn… whatevers, die hard and slow. If you have tracked the dates of my blog posts, you may have discovered that I am a rather inert individual. Thus, I am not the most prompt or responsible sort of fellow when it comes to routine maintenance, so when the radiator sprung a leak, we (as a family) began investing in drums of coolant. In the summer, we just used water, which is available for a very reasonable price in nearby lakes. As it happens, we live in Minneapolis–the City of Lakes–which is in Minnesota–Land of 10,000 Lakes, so it was more of an inconvenience than anything. Water, water everywhere, so why fix the radiator? They’re expensive! And life went on.

When the muffler ceased to muffle and began to amplify, it was time to consider doing some repair work. I considered it heartily for a brace of fortnights. It wasn’t getting much louder, and it was much less annoying than the rap which blares from most of the other vehicles here in the ‘hood; plus I have other things to not do. But the wife was secretly troubled by our sonorous jalopy, and although it was amusing to her that she alerted her friends of her approach from about two miles away, she would rather be stealthy. I like that about her. So, a plot developed that I only discovered eighteen hours before its occurrence, and my Father-In-Law swooped into the driveway with a trunk brimming with spare parts one fine Friday afternoon.

It was time for some industry (see, the title fits!). I went into the basement and collected an assortment of tools. I knew that Tom would have nearly everything, but sometimes unwelcome surprises surprise a guy when he’s working on a radiant, charcoal-gray Saturn… whatever it is. First we changed the radiator, which involved defiling the family dishpan with coolant, which featured some unidentifiable sludgy particles. Several traverses of the basement stairs occurred. WD40 was sprayed on sticky items, and strange gurgling sounds were heard. Knuckles were scraped, blood was shed, and the slick, charcoal-gray 1998 Saturn… something-or-other had a new radiator!

Then we changed the muffler, which was definitely something to file in a folder labeled “might makes right.” Chisels, hammers, pliers, violence, murrain, pestilence, famine, dental work, kung-fu, and Corrosion Stop tagged in and out during the campaign. A pile of rust and other automotive debris that would qualify as a foothill for many noteworthy geological formations accumulated beneath the north end of the south-facing vehicle. Bolts broke, pipes groaned and shuddered, and finally the lustworthy, charcoal-gray 1998 Saturn… car had a brand new exhaust system from about two inches in front of the muffler back. I shoved a block of wood between the exhaust pipe and an aluminum heat shield which had been rattling since four days after the car left the assembly line: silence. Then I started the striking, charcoal-gray 1998 Saturn… vehicle: it purred like a kitten that somewhat needed an oil change and was designed to expire catastrophically at about 100,000 miles.

Upon completion, the four of us piled into the newly renovated luxurious, charcoal-gray 1998 Saturn… [insert model here], and went in search of food. We found some, ate it, paid for it, and drove back to the hacienda. Then the In-Laws left, taking their crazed Border Collie with them, and headed back into the bucolic heart of Wisconsin. We wished them blessings.

Now the car is still in need of work, but at least one can hear most of the instruments in a symphony while driving through the ghetto, and it’s not spouting green fizz at stoplights. The fan still doesn’t work (I don’t think), and it has a something that has broken free from the deal down in the region where the wheel attaches to the spanner through the agency of some 15mm bolts. Chances are, the bolts will be very tight, but I have a breaker bar that is two feet long, so I will either break them off or break them free or the rapture will occur and I will do neither. I’m pretty sure that saints will not be permitted to drive Saturns in the Millennial Kingdom, even precision, charcoal-gray 1998 Saturn… models.


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