Some of us have difficulty dealing with mechanical objects. I guess the politically correct way to state our problem is “mechanically challenged.”
That goes double for computers. There’s a little man in mine -- I’ve named him Elmer. Every now and then he says, “You’ve been doing really good. I think I’ll just mess you up now." I swear I heard an evil-sounding cackle in there the last time.
The other day I had a low tire on my pickup, so I pulled into a gas station and parked beside the deal that said, “Air and Water.” I managed to figure out which one was air, but the hubcap was in the way of the valve stem (I’m pretty proud I knew what you call that thing).
Not finding anything else, I used a shovel blade to pop the hubcap off, found the little button to push to get the air pumping, and I was in business.
After the tire appeared to have enough air I decided to put the hubcap back on. It didn’t want to go, I’m not sure why, so I finally kicked it and it stayed.
Everything was cool, right? Wrong. About a quarter of a mile down the road the hubcap fell off, rolled into the oncoming traffic lane and stopped. About six cars managed to dodge it while I made a u-turn (lucky I didn’t get caught) and went back for it.
I still couldn’t get it on, so I looked at one of the other hubcaps to see how they fit. A couple of them were kinda banged up, so I figured I didn’t need to worry about that. I held that hubcap on with one foot while I banged the heck out of it with a heavy rod I found in the pickup bed. It stayed!
Now three of the wheels have matching, banged-up hubcaps.
There is a person more mechanically challenged than me. She lives in the mountains where cold weather arrives early in the fall. It came especially early last year, and of course her husband happened not to be home. In fact, he was WAY out of town -- in another country.
After a day or two of huddling in blankets, she decided she could start up the furnace herself because she found a complete set of step-by-step instructions printed on it.
She carefully did what it said for each step. Nothing.
She went through it all again. Still nothing.
She called her husband, not noticing it was the middle of the night where he was. She explained everything she’d done, and asked him to suggest someone to call to repair the dang thing because it obviously was broken.
He asked her to go through it for him again. After listening carefully, he asked, “Where are you holding the match?”
A few days later her son came to visit. She took him to the furnace, pointed at the instructions, and demanded, “Show me where it has the word ‘match.’”
Glenda Price has been a contributing editor to New Mexico Stockman magazine since 1982. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.