As repair bills (and curse words) pile up ...

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Posted 6/4/17

This week has been aggravating and costly here on the home front. Modern machines are wonderful things while they are working. They save time and make life easier. But when they go south, it can be frustrating and expensive — in more ways than …

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As repair bills (and curse words) pile up ...

Posted

This week has been aggravating and costly here on the home front. Modern machines are wonderful things while they are working. They save time and make life easier. But when they go south, it can be frustrating and expensive — in more ways than one.

I do a maintenance check on my vehicle weekly. The list includes checking the fluids and a “walk around” to make sure the tires are sound. A few weeks ago, I began to feel a slight bump coming from my left-front tire. It still had a good bit of tread left, but I made a mental note to run it by the shop to have the tires checked by professionals, just to be sure.

Last Thursday, I had a list of errands that exhausted me just looking at it. One stop was at the Daily Mountain Eagle office to pick up tickets to the East Walker Chamber of Commerce banquet. After fetching the tickets, I hurried outside and hopped in the truck. When I put it in drive to head out of the parking lot, I felt a bump, bump, bump.

Shoving the beast into park, I stepped out to make sure I hadn’t run over a critter. The tire was flat. When I slid underneath to get a better look, I discovered the inside of the tire had worn worse than the outer part. It was so thin I could have seen the air in the tire had there been any in there. On the upside, I’d just found the source of the bumping I’d felt as I drove.

After changing the tire, I continued with my errands. One of the belts on my riding lawn mower broke last weekend, so I stopped by the parts place to get a new one. When I looked on my phone for the model number of the mower, all I had were the numbers from my old machine. It was exactly like the new one except a little older. I flinched when the parts guy told me the price for the replacement belt. Saying an ugly word under my breath, I handed him my debit card.

The next day when I tried the new belt, it was too short. I mumbled a few more curse words. Since the mistake was my fault, I had to suck it up and get the right one. The only problem was when I put the new belt on and went to cut the grass down by the barn, the new belt slung off! It seems that worn pullies throw the belts out of alignment. The new belt wouldn’t work until I replace the pulleys.

When I discovered this, I said some more unkind things about the lawnmower and to those who manufactured it.

Since my brother-in-law uses my mower to cut his grass, I’m hoping he takes pity on me and takes it to the shop for repairs.

Meanwhile, I was still driving my truck without a spare. The next day I took it in to get new tires. When the shop manager raked my card through the reader to pay for the four new tires, I think I saw the lights in the shop dim.

If foul language alone can doom one’s soul to Hades, I’m investing in asbestos underwear, and I’ll ride my lawnmower into the fire.

Rick Watson is a columnist and author. His latest book “Life Goes On” is available on Amazon.com. You can contact him via email at rick@rickwatson-writer.com