Saturday, January 14, 2006

Auto Mechanics of Rock-Skipping

Are there any rock-skippers out there? (And, no, it doesn't count if you've gleefully skipped through a secluded spring meadow of wildflowers, singing Springstein songs... Nor, does your experience circumnavigating the globe as captain of a marble sea maiden with a few stones rolling on deck...)

I mean, a real rock-skipper. A straight-up, feel-the-essence-and-the-universal-power-of-rock-skipping-deep-in-your-soul kind of rock-skipper. Not a wanna-be rock-skipper who hangs out by the lakeside, holding flat stones like they were fashion accessories and half-assedly hurling them against the wind at the water's deeps. No, no... I mean a real, feel-your-limbs-and-molar-cavities-become-the-tide-worn-curves-of-a-beached-stone-as-you-bounce-across-the-trampoline-water's-surface-still-tasting-the-human-hand-sweat-on-your-matamorphic-dermis kind of rock-skipper. The kind whose thoughtfully-selected rock flies frictionlessly across miles of moon-moved liquid landscapes not entirely unlike (but actually kinda darn dissimilar to) a ping pong ball on an ice table.

Anyway, what I'm getting at saying (eventually, I swear!) is that anyone can be a real rock-skipper. A rock-skipper of a particular trade, that is. I mean, we have our classic rock-skippers of Paleontology, rock-skippers of puppet-design, rock-skippers of prairie dog dentistry, rock-skippers of marital unfaithfulness, rock-skippers of one-liners, and rock-skippers of toothpick architecture.

Unfortunately, I'm not quite sure yet in what area of expertise my personal rock-skipping genius lies (unless it's somewhere in between rock-skipper of the fool-player and rock-skipper of arbitrary connections)
But, I DO know what kind of rock-skipper I am NOT.
And, that is the rock-skipper of auto mechanics.

For the past week, I have spent my days in my worn overalls, lathered in grease and sweat, taking wrench and screwdriver to the tricky bowels of an '82 Toyota hatchback and an '89 Honda accord.
OK, fine, so maybe that's not quite true. Maybe, in fact, that's pretty much not at ALL true.
The truth is that I have spent this week in front of two open car hoods, staring blankly at odd metal thing-a-majigs, funny intestine-looking cables and hoses that connect the odd-looking thing-a-majigs and Tupperware-appearing wine boxes housing Cryptonite-colored beverages. And, all the time standing, eyebrows furled and arms crossed, repeating a meditative and frustrated vocal:
"Hmmm..."

Though I fear it may be a long time before I get my GirlScout's Rock-skipping Badge of Mechanics, I think I'm making steady progress. Afterall, I've already earned one Girlscout patch for replacing countless funny-looking tubes connecting funny-looking moving metal thingies, one patch for removing a fan belt, another for taking off a garter belt, and one for siphoning gasoline without inhaling. Hey, every true rock-skipper of spirit has to start somewhere!!

8 comments:

frustratedwriter said...

I love working on Toyotas but have found Hondas frustrating. Auto mechanics are such a nice way to remove yourself from the world of reality and just tinkering with thingamawhoppers and thingamajigs until you have that baby humming and moving. Hope your vehicles are jamming at 100%.

Nicole said...

I think I am a rock-skipper of the extraordinary.

ted said...

Years ago, Ben-chan and I set off to walk from Minonoseki lighthouse (nr Sakai) to Hinomisaki lighthouse (nr Izumo). We walked four days but didn't make it, due to frequent stops for swimming and tossing (that's stones, not, um, you know). So I suppose I'm a marathon rock skipper. Or an endurance rock skipper. Or an extreme rock skipper. Or...

dingobear said...

Hahaha!

Hmmm ... I'm not sure I'm a rock-skipper of anything because somehow, I always end up hearing that ker-plunk! sound of, you know, when the rock just sinks clear to the bottom of the lake.

But I do commend your auto-mechanic efforts. The only thing I know about Hondas is to touch the blue wire with the red wire and it'll ... oh, never mind.

ted said...

Oh yeah! I just remembered another stone on water story. In the hills above Lake Biwa, there is an old temple where Basho heard that frog jump in the pond. I spent about an hour there one day, looking for frog-sized stones to toss in, trying to imagine the sound that he heard. The tourists were certainly amused...

-c said...

ted (aka extreme rock-skipper)- it would be hard to find a stone the same size and weight of a frog... sounds like something I would do too! Did you ever hear the same sound Basho might have? I hope you wrote about it...

frustrated- I hope I didn't mis-portray myself. I TRULY have NO clue what I'm doing! Humming and jamming at 100% is far from a current reality, but I sure am having fun. Sure could use your experienced eye though!

nicole- that's an under-statement. I'd say: of the ridiculously-super-extra-ordinary!

dingobear- the Honda actually needs an ignition specialist such as you. I won't ask for references, I promise.

blogme said...

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blogsurfer said...

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