“Why didn’t you just take it to the garage like I SUGGESTED?”

“Why didn’t you just take it to the garage like I SUGGESTED?” asked my wife, the Pearl of the Orient, as she swathed by abraded knuckles with a swath of bandages.
The Pearl is ever ready to remind me of her SUGGESTIONS.
“Don’t forget we’re seniors on fixed income and besides, I blew the surplus on that big-screen TV for you for Mother’s Day,” I shot back as the pain from the disinfectant sent burning throbs up my arm.
“For me? Yeah, right! I was happy with the old one,” snorted the Pearl. “Now I have to figure out how to run TWO new remote controls. I was just getting comfortable with the old one [after four years].”
There is a remote possibility the Pearl is right, but that’s another whole column.
The latest incident had started as that rite of spring came around—switching the snow tires for the summer ones.
Since we spend all winter in Florida, I wasn’t even sure why we bother with snow tires, and then I look back on the past two weeks and know. Where is global warming when we really need it!
Besides which, having owned this particular vehicle for about four years, it was time I figured out where the jack is. Never know when you might have to change a tire.
Particularly since I kicked over that can of drywall screws in the driveway and my little compressor has barely enough wind to blow up a tire with a slow leak.
A major hiss and it wouldn’t stand a chance.
I tugged on the grungy old coveralls. The family off mice residing in the pocket scampered down the one leg—only one of them hesitating to nip me before running up the inside of my pant leg.
Three good swats ended his upward mobility and the bruises should fade in about a week or so.
Properly attired, I dug the summer wheels out of the corner of my neat workshop. The avalanche of tools, lumber, flowerpots, old computers, and plumbing supplies pretty much missed me.
The explosion of the old monitor’s picture tube did add an air of excitement. I’ll clean it up next week—maybe.
Extracting the jack from its storage compartment convinced me of one fact. It was put there as a required option, but was never made to be used—not ever.
Automotive design engineers either are the most perverse, masochistic sadists or have never changed a tire themselves. I have those abraded knuckles to prove it.
Eventually I got it out and even figured which part of the car body you place it under to lift the beast. I looked at the crank and the physical effort it would require.
But hey, I have an electric impact wrench that will be much quicker and way easier.
Brrrraaaappp! Down came the jack, pinching my finger in its grip! Through flashes of searing pain, I figured out how to reverse it. Brrrraaaapppp! Up it goes.
The string of profanity didn’t help ease the pain, but it certainly perked up the ears of the kids at the day care next door. Their caregivers rushed them into the sanctity of the shelter.
“How come Mr. Elliott uses those funny words?” several of them wondered aloud. Another parent delegation in the offing?
The rest of the operation was rather uneventful—if you don’t count the two times the van tipped off the jack or the explosion of the compressor tank when I backed over it.
I didn’t even bother trying to stow the jack properly. Just tossed it in its compartment where it can rattle away for the next couple of years.
“Well, why didn’t you just take it to the garage and let them do it?” demanded the Pearl for about the sixth time.
I thought long and hard before I offered up the only explanation I knew the Pearl would accept: “You just don’t understand, it’s a guy thing.”

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