There I was--feet hanging out my passenger window, head underneath the steering wheel, sweat pouring from me like god had just parted the Sweat Sea, and there's a knock on the drivers' side window.
I bang my head on the steering wheel as I try to maneuver my head around to get a view of whoever feels they need to disturb my work.
"Hey, D., what's--what's going on?" I ask as I dip my head back into the shadowy places under the dashboard.
"What're you doin' there, neighbor?"
"My key is broken in --in the ignition and-- and-- I'm trying to get the-- the-- the-- FUCK! Ouch!--get the ignition contraption out so I can get to the Umph! get to the broken half of my key removed..."
"Is that technical talk for you broke your key and can't get it out?" He laughs. "How long you been at that?"
"Oh, I dunno... Half hour?"
He laughs again. "I'll be right back--I got the tools to do that."
"Oh, that's be--Ow!--that'd be great. Thanks!"
I have full faith in D. He works at Mac Trucks, after all. He stares at vehicle parts all the live long day, as does his wife. If anyone can make short work of this, it'd be D or my younger brother Mike...
All too soon, D is back with his tools and step-son. Step-son talks to me about inane teenage type stuff while D's head disappears underneath my dash. Pretty soon another neighbor wanders over. "What's going on?"
"He broke his key in his car and can't get it out!" Step-son practically shouts. I simply nod in agreement that I, the fuck-witted moron, have broken my key in the ignition. I take another drag as Stepson goes on about different keys, locks, and broken scenarios. Pretty soon neighbor number two also has his head hanging inside the interior of my car as he and D assess the situation. After another half hour goes by, with D and neighbor 2 changing positions frequently, me interjecting at certain pauses that they don't need to go on and I appreciate the offer, they finally, sweat-drenched, emerge from Betsy's interior.
"Sorry, Jason, but there's nothing we can do. You might want to call a garage."
"Well... okay, thanks guys, I appreciate it." As I watch the threesome walk away from Betsy, I place my hand on her hot exterior. I don't have a couple hundred sitting around to treat her. I feel like I've just been told she needs chemo, or another expensive treatment which I can't afford. Like she should just be put down, like an old dog who can no longer climb the stairs.
"Fuck that!" I shout, and dive back into Betsy's internal... stuff. I was here to save Betsy.
To make a long story short, I managed to do what a bunch of straight guys who know their cars couldn't--I not only removed the entire dashboard, steering column, ignition mechanism, and removed the broken key, I put it all back together again exactly the way it was when it rolled from the factory onto the showroom floor. When I was finished two hours later, I emerged from Betsy and shouted, "Fuck Yeah!! Argh!!"
Rich and Ann (my sis-in-law) showered me with much praise while D said with some surprise from across the yard, "You got it? Wow!"
Wow frickin' right, wow! I'm the dude who knows how to put gas in the car, check the oil, and turn on the headlights...
Now I'm like an auto mechanic or something... And I thought I was a man before!
Perhaps I'll open that garage I've just now realized I've always dreamed about, eh? No? Really?