automobiles and prostate exams …

March 14, 2012

….they have a lot in common …

When I left the auto repair shop this afternoon, I was thinking about my first prostate exam many years ago. What an eye opener that experience had been, in more ways than one! I remember deciding right then and there that everything was just hunky-dory on that end after all and that I wouldn’t require a repeat of the procedure for at least fifty years.

My car, on the other hand, or the other finger if you please, is another story. It won’t last another four and a half decades no matter how stubborn it decides to be, not that it would be my problem if it did. In spite of on-board computers threatening to make to make cars smarter than their drivers, impact survival systems that make it more likely you will be injured taking a bath than while playing bumper tag on a winding mountain road at midnight with your lights out, by the time my grandson graduates from high school an “antique” car will be anything over ten years old. No more rust bucket out behind the barn with a fifty foot tree growing out of the place where its windshield once resided. At least not one that will still run if you kick it a few times.

I miss vehicles like the 1951 Plymouth a friend of mine bought for $25 when we were not much over sixteen. He could fix just about anything that went wrong with it himself. We put in a new clutch plate once and used a broom stick as a “jack staff” to line things up to reattach the transmission. Most maintenance and repair tasks were affordable with a part time job at a dollar an hour, and if we had a fist full of nuts and bolts left over when everything was done, the thing ran just fine anyway.

Not so, our modern engineering marvels. They all look like they came out of the same vending machine, they cost more than my first house, and most have a shorter half-life than a decent wad of chewing gum.

So, the moral of this little tale is, I’m reasonably healthy for a stubborn sixty-eight year old, even though my doctor wouldn’t recognize me if we stood side by side to ponder the same items at the grocery store.

My car, on the other hand, or the other finger if you please, continues to be a pain in my butt…..


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