Sunday, April 8, 2012

I Deserve This Beer

There are two reasons to have a beer: 1) because you want one and 2) because you deserve one. Despite what the big brewer commercials will have you believe 99 percent of the time you simply want the beer. Maybe you convince yourself you deserve it but, statistically speaking, you just want it. Most nights (early afternoons and the occasional mornings) I am comfortable in knowing I simply want a cold one but today I deserve this beer.

My father spent the better part of 40 years on the factory floor for FoMoCo. His brothers did the same. His father as well. Hell, even his mother worked in the factory. When Dad wasn't working in the factory he was working on cars with friends. He also rides a Harley. My folks worked a lot of years so I could go to school and avoid a similar fate. So, for the better part of 37 years I managed to avoid the factory floor and most other forms of "work". Despite a love affair with cars I never, until this weekend, did any more than change winshield wipers - that was a weeks long project. That's right, I've never even changed the oil.

First, some background. We live in the city and park our car on the street. Our 2010 Ford Flex has been hit four times in just over two years while parked within view of our rowhouse. Two hit and runs, one unlicensed driver in a stolen vehicle running from the fuzz after buying from the drug house, and the most recent hit and run a few weeks back. The lesson being don't own a vehicle in the city unless you have offstreet parking. And, don't live near drug houses.

The Damage
The most recent swipe was just that. Somebody smacked the driver's side mirror knocking the mirror plate out and rendering the rest of the unit useless. After reviewing the particulars (including the very real possibility that our insurance company simply gives up on us) I start thinking "I bet I can do this". Knowing full well "I can't do this" I entertain the small bit of manliness I have and find that you can actually purchase the part online for under $200. Rationalizing that means the repair shop charges around $500 I head back to the Interwebs and find a Flex bulletin board where there's a full conversation about replacing the driver side mirror. The replacement mirror arrived earlier this week taunting my mechanical skills. I have tools. A full set. I just never use them.

The folks at made this sound like an easy fix. One person in particular, going by the name Dashdog's Photos, even posted pictures bragging that it could be done in under 30 minutes. With fears of causing additional damage dancing in my head I sauntered out to the Flex in my best auto mechanic outfit - new jeans and Johnston & Murphy casual shoes. All told, the change out took me about 25 minutes. It was just as Dashdog said and I fixed my car. Seriously, I replaced the mirror. It's fully functional and I caused no ancillary damage to the door or the rest of the vehicle. Dashdog, you deserve a  beer too so where ever you are thanks for the help.

I fixed my car. I don't care what anybody says I deserve this 90 Minute IPA. Today, it tastes just a little better and I'm sitting just a little taller. In a couple of days I'll see my Father and a small part of me can't wait to tell him about this weekend. I fixed my car.

Finished Product

No comments: