Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Struts are Done. It is Over.

Today. Sweet Jesus God, today. It started off bright and early when I rolled over in bed and my body started to demand answers. Mainly it wanted to know why I had thought that opening the liquor cabinet and mixing what ever mixers we had with peach brandy was a good idea. It wanted to know why I thought drunkenly eating wheat crackers at 11pm was a super sweet idea. It wanted to know why I hate my fucking liver.

Because car repair, that's why.


We got up, did things, my innards screamed about shit, and then we fired up the truck and drove off to the promised auto parts store clutching the broken sway bar control link Patrick Swayze bar. We get there, and I try not to make eye contact with their display of air fresheners that are really just pictures of half dressed B reel porn stars printed on scented cardboard. The guy behind the counter looks at the part, asks those questions the car people ask that I never have an answer to which is why I got married, taps some shit out on his plastic covered keyboard, and tells us that he doesn't have the part in stock and that whomever said they did on the phone last night was wrong.

Have you guys been on the Internet long enough to have seen one of those images where someone has photoshopped out the background in a picture of themselves into a massive mushroom cloud explosion to signify anger?

That happened. To me. In real life.

At an auto parts store.

I would not have guessed that either.

So we get back in our truck and we drive to the junk yard where Jim Bubba Country Face tells us that no one here drives dem foreign cars and that he is real sorry but maybe we should buy a Subaru or a Chevy or something.


So we get in the gas guzzling truck and start looking for additional auto parts stores. In the middle of nowhere. On the way we passed a hardware store and Scott said grimly that if we couldn't find one he was going to make some goddamned motherfucking sway bar control links. I said that if they didn't have it I was going to make them get out every Patrick Swayze bar they had and compare them and buy the ones that looked the closest.

Well as luck would have it we found a store. It had no cars in the parking lot, and it looked like the 70s had called and wanted their building back. We pulled into the parking lot, not even bothering to pretend there were lines on the faded blacktop that constituted the parking lot. (There were none.)

The inside smelled like mold someone had poured bleach on. We approached the counter, clutching our damned sway bar control link like it was some sort of magic wand. A younger bearded guy with a belly and a T shirt that was tight in all the wrong places asked if he could help us. We asked if he any sway bar control links -rear- for our car. Or anything close to it.

Him and Scott spoke for a moment in the ancient and beautiful mechanics language. He typed things into the computer. Then he looked up and told us that he had the parts. At first I didn't even hear him. I had already opened my mouth to tell him to bring us anything that might fit. He whisked himself off into the dusty labyrinthine storeroom. I crossed my fingers. After a moment Scott crossed his too.

I don't know what he thought, coming out of the storeroom to find both of us with our fingers crossed staring at the boxes like they were priceless relics from an ancient world, but he opened one box and held the part up to the part Scott had.

They. Were. The. Exact. Same. Part.

At that point I told him he was my hero.*

I paid for my overpriced (probably) sway bar control whateverthefuckatleastIhaveitnows and got the hell out. We drove home, I tried to pretend I was not hungover, and then we went to install them.

Ha ha.

You know the reason that we had to cut the old ones off? They are lock tight nuts. Meaning when you put them on they will never, ever come off. Also meaning they are a damn bitch to get on. Especially on this part because the whole center piece will just spin along with the bolt like it's a goddamned teacup ride up in my car. Which meant we had to hold the back end of this thing with vice grips. Except of course the vice grips didn't really fit. So Scott took it upon himself to grind a pair into something resembling working.

Which is when the shed floor caught fire.

Apparently one of us had left one of those cheap flimsy disposable blue plastic chemical gloves on the floor, and a spark hit it and BAM. Being me I yelled “THE FLOOR IS ON FIRE” and then Scott did that Russian dance on the glove and everything was okay.

Needless to say, getting the parts on was pretty easy after that.

So, all in all, this job, which according to the repair guide should have taken an hour, at 30 minutes a side, took us four days, cost us two broken deep well impact sockets, a broken allen key, about a third of my liver, Scott's sanity, vice grips, the right side trim off the drivers side, all of the original parts we had to sawzall and it caused a fire.

So, all in all, I'd call this a win.

* I actually said this to him. He laughed.


  1. Vice grips are one of my favorite tools. It's the tool that gives girls the grip of men.

  2. THE FLOOR IS ON FIRE reminded me of that game kids play when they leap betwixt pieces of furniture and the floor is lava. Which is probably not the gleeful thing that you thought of at that moment, but yeah.

    1. I am still surprised by the number of adults that will play that game.

  3. Oh my word. That you did all that with a peach brandy hangover is mighty impressive.