The Correctness Presents: Emergency Car Repair for the Fragile Male Ego
So your car has broken down? Are you stranded on the side of the highway? Are your hypothetical passengers, wife, and/or children screaming at you to do something? Do you think, perhaps, just for one all too tempting moment, if you simply slipped away into the wilderness you could leave it all behind and nobody would ever notice or care? What awaits you in those dark mysterious woods? Is it The Bloodthirsty Wendigo? Will he eat you first, for your cruel betrayal of your family, or will he consume their flesh as you run to your inevitable doom in the web of the Giant Spider? Do you remember the Battle for Endor movies? Will those be your last memories as your fluids are sucked partially out of you, leaving you just alive enough to watch the Wendigo fight the Spider, knowing that your fate is still to be eaten no matter which one wins? All I remember about those Endor movies is the kid with the headband.
It’s times like these when the metaphorical walls of society’s inimitable sexual double standards come crashing in around you, and you are encouraged to fix your car. YOU, manchild, must fix the car, because you are a man and you have some hypothetical genetic predisposition to be good at this. IF YOU DON’T FIX THIS CAR, you will never, EVER get laid again. It’s true. Your partner is that shallow, and she will abandon you in 5 seconds, no matter how good of a man you are. Oh, and for our gay Correctness fans, don’t think you’re in any better shape either. One of you has to be the superhero, and since you are reading this on your iPhone, it has fallen to you. Here is a step by step procedure for doing everything you can.
1. Pop the Hood
Once you have pulled over to the side of the road, pop your hood open. DO NOT attempt to open your hood while your car is still in motion. No matter how hilarious it seems to entice your passengers out onto the sun baked hood of your still moving vehicle, it is much, much safer to stop the car first. Oh, and for God’s sake, try to remember where the latch for hood on your car is. If you recently purchased this car, you may have only opened the hood a couple of times by now, and fumbling around for the latch is not confidence inspiring. You want to inspire confidence. That way, when you fail, the effort seems more herculean and manly.
Once you have opened the hood, have a good long look. You don’t know where to start, do you? If you’re driving an Infiniti like my dad, you don’t even get to pretend. There is a cover over the entire engine allowing you access only to the oil, and that’s basically it. You’re probably driving some kind of regular vehicle, so you’ll have lots of stuff to look at. Look at all that stuff! Oh sure, the basic principles involved you get- fuel is ignited in the cylinders, it explodes, forcing the pistons up and down, moving the car, blah blah. But the nuts and bolts of it? The LITERAL nuts and bolts of it?
Nonetheless, and this is absolutely critical, have a good long look in there. Try to bend down over the engine and look like you know what to look for. Count to 100 in your head. If you like, look back to your passengers and shake your head grimly as if to say “They don’t make ‘em like they used to”. If you are very brave try saying something specific like “damn calipers” or “It’s the Jackman housing” but use your discretion.
Also, try taking off your sweater vest, and getting down to a single manly layer. Got some grease on your hands? Good. just a bit- not too much, or you will look like you lacked the strength to remove the part you were examining.
2. Purposelessly Check the Oil
Not that it will help now, but when was the last time you checked? You could always claim you sprung a leak. If it turns out to be a “no oil” kind of situation, your engine is probably seized, and you are probably royally screwed. Check it anyways, check it down to the last black, gritty litre.
This also gives you the opportunity to use the word “dipstick” without feeling rude. We suppose you could check your coolant level too, while you’re at it, but be warned: First, one of those round lids the place to add coolant, and the other one is your radiator cap, and you shouldn’t open that one. If you don’t know which one is which, don’t open either, lest you get your face burned off. Second, if you do choose correctly, and unscrew the weird cap on the coolant tank, it will have some discoloured fluid on it and you will attempt to gauge the level of the discoloured fluid against a black plastic background, and you will have no idea. And, EVEN IF you detect a problem, are you carrying extra coolant? Oil? Hell did you check the tire pressure in your spare? No you did not. You spent your free time trying to think of things you wanted to have in your trunk in case you and your car get transported back in time. You have chemistry textbooks, shotgun shells, and a copy of Fangoria. Also, perhaps, a flux capacitor and a sports almanac from 1985.
Remain calm. Go ahead and check the oil, and when you are forced to ask your passengers for a rag or a napkin to clean off the dipstick, it will look like things are progressing nicely up there. At this point, there should be just enough grime on your hands, so you can still be considered handy enough, yet tidy enough for your heroic make out. Of course, that’s if you pull this off…
3. Shoulder Check for Wendigo
That thing is out there. Watching you. Whether demonic spirit or deranged animal, the Bloodthirsty Wendigo is a threat you cannot defeat. All you can do is buy yourself time. Try asking your family to roll down the windows, and apply coconut sun screen, or barbeque sauce to themselves. They probably won’t sauce themselves though. Your family is probably on to you and your wendigo fears anyways, and they don’t trust you. Remember a little while ago while you were trying to talk them in to getting on the hood while the car was still moving? That was roughly 600 words ago, and they still remember.
Don’t be fooled by imposters. Beware the wendigo, but a sasquatch is a totally different issue from a wendigo. A wendigo is definitely going to feast on your corpse, whereas a sasquatch might just be curious about you.
Do not make love to the sasquatch if one appears. He is a sensitive mysterious creature, and his heart is easily broken. Plus, if you think you’ve got a sasquatch, and that thing turns out to be a wendigo, get ready to have your dick sliced off by his cruel claws.
4. Purposelessly Check the Battery Terminal Connections.
Are they on there? They are, huh? Both of them? There should be two, I think, except on a Prius… Okay. Move along. Probably your alternator-thing would have kept you going anyways, as far as you know. Hell, as far as we know too. In fact, unless your car just isn’t starting after your pee break, then this little action might be wasted.
5. Check for Vapour Lock.
You have heard about it from your friends, and you heard about it on the Simpsons. Walk over to the gas cap, and unscrew it. If you hear it suck in air, you might have had a vacuum in the fuel line preventing gas from hitting the engine. If you don’t hear a sucking sound, give it a minute, and it might still be vapour lock.
Now, there is one BIG PROBLEM with checking for vapour lock. You are tipping your hand if you do this. You are leaving the engine area (the area of your supposed expertise) and moving off to check on something else. If it is vapour lock, you are going to look like a total hero. If it isn’t, you are going to look like you just took an excursion to the back of your vehicle out of desperation. What are you doing over there? It says we have gas left, Stephen, the thing says we have half a tank. Is the thing broken? Your fuel thing is broken, that’s so typical. Far be it from you to do basic maintenance to keep me, your beloved safe in the car, Stephen. Why don’t you get a new car? I could have married someone rich, Stephen, rich. I had options. All you talk about is sex Stephen, but when it comes time you can’t get it up, can you Stephen? Can you? You’re like an over-sensitive damn sasquatch, Stephen.
You should always check for vapour lock. This will happen perhaps once in your life, but, dear constant reader, I got SO LAID when I fixed my car because of vapour lock on a road trip. I remember it fondly, because I got to have sex that one time. I totally get what you guys are talking about now.
6. Check the, uh, fan belt?
You can try checking the “fan belt” but sadly, I am told by my mechanic, most modern vehicles have only one or two belts that loop around various moving things in your engine in a Rube Goldberg kind of way. No amount of pantyhose will replace your serpentine belt, sorry. I mean, if you want to get your date out of her pantyhose, it’s not a bad suggestion, but it’s really unlikely to help much mechanically. Plus, you’re the one who seduced a sasquatch in the first place, and making him get out of his pantyhose seems too forward. How can you resist those big brown eyes looking at you pleadingly? That conical head? The smell of Kokanee brand beer?
7. Look Under the Car
Let’s just suppose, JUST SUPPOSE, there is something under your car. Something had caused a fuel leak, or you clipped a dead hooker and she’s wrapped around a wheel well. Now what? Maybe you can remove the offending foreign object, but more than likely the damage is done. Do you see the needle and the damage done? Do you see any of your Neil Young 45’s?
Make this quick. The longer you look beneath the car the more likely it is that that damn Giant Spider will descend slowly upon you. It’s the lesser of two evils to be violently eviscerated by the Bloodthirsty Wendigo than it is to be poisoned and then slowly consumed by that damn spider.
8. Gracefully Admitting Defeat
The time has come to pack up your balls, wish farewell to your testosterone, and say goodbye to your once loving partner. The fickle will of the Unviverse has dealt you the cruelest hand in the willfully dealt poker game of mixed metaphor life, or some such thing. Manchild, you have not fixed your car. Plaster a smile on your face, call the CAA, or the AAA, or whatever, and prepare a “look on the bright side!” speech.
Good luck, and join us here at The Correctness soon when we discuss roadside games you can play to entertain your overheated wife/family with just the objects you find in your trunk- like a chemistry textbook and some shotgun shells.