Blessed Be the Automotive Technicians, and More Unconventional Prayers

flash me bored

Shame on me for what was running through my mind last night when Pastor was talking about how being an automotive technician must really be a calling from God.  I was giggling to myself.  Yes, it is, when you stop and really think about it, but my mind is a bit jaded from being around these guys for so many years.

I guess I never really thought of technicians as having a calling, or a sacred trust, even though I have read some of what Martin Luther wrote on vocation.  I grew up in and around automotive shops, and let’s just say the experience didn’t feel exceptionally holy.  When the name of God was mentioned, it was usually followed by the word “damn.”   Dad isn’t a particularly salty dog with language- he did try to clean it up around women, anyway, but all of his friends were.  One of them (and yes, being the geeky little creature I was, I counted) managed to use a certain four letter word that starts with the letter “f” an amazing thirteen times in one sentence.


Dad had a good friend who was into really primo vintage VW restorations. The man’s body work was absolutely pristine- but his private shop where he did the restoration work was completely wallpapered on the inside with nudie pictures.  They weren’t tasteful nudies, either. These were porn-star nudies in filthy poses. Worse yet, at least for me, all the nudies were women, and therefore not particularly aesthetically pleasing to me.  But it was his shop, and boys will be boys.  I’ve supervised technicians before, so I get it.  It’s like running a day care, only not nearly as cute.  Many of these “boys,” in spite of their knowledge, training, and areas of technical prowess, have an emotional maturity age of right around 12.


Until the mid 1990s or so it was common practice for parts stores and automotive suppliers to sponsor and give out promotional calendars with either completely naked women or very scantily clad ones.  Those sort of things don’t really offend me as such- what else would Dad’s buddy use to wallpaper his shop walls-but the promotional nudie calendar fell out of favor probably as a casualty to political correctness.  Sometimes women do venture back into the nether regions of an automotive shop, and we wouldn’t want to offend their virgin eyeballs, I guess.

I don’t believe in political correctness. I’m more of the type to say, “If you don’t like it, don’t look at it,” even when it applies to tasteless nudie calendars.

If you don’t like my Ronald Reagan calendar (and yes, I really do have a calendar from the Reagan Ranch) nobody said you had to look at it.   I am more tolerant than maybe I should be in some ways, but there are some battles worth fighting, and some battles that I’ll gladly concede to avoid the conflict.

don't feed the employees

Protect your chili dog.

I knew of one techie who would grab a big bag of chow (or two) from Burger King every day. He was a tiny, wiry red-headed dude (somewhat reminiscent of a 5’1″, 90# version of the Burger King, interestingly enough) who would pack down about 5,000 calories or so worth of Whoppers, fries and other delectables every lunch hour.  The pisser was that he was the transmission guy (a very busy guy, back in the days of the 700R4s and their constant meltdowns) and he never bothered to wash the ATF and/or CV grease and/or U joint lube off his hands before stuffing those Whoppers down his throat.

greasy burgerdexron 3

Greasy burger with a side of Dexron III.  Yum.  Maybe it was the Dexron III that kept him from gaining weight.  Or maybe he’s just one of those enviable individuals who can eat like it’s the end of the world and never gain an ounce.  Bastard.

I wonder if he’s still alive.  That was back in 1993.

I have to wonder if his wife’s still alive too.  She was every bit of 6’5″ and 450#.   She wore the Suburban she drove on those days when she brought her man his Whoppers.   They would sit together and snarf Whoppers.  It would have been romantic if…nah…you can’t read anything remotely amorous in to that.

In all seriousness though, the message is that life and work are supposed to mean something and to have a purpose in this world.  Even if I don’t get what that something is.

The Error of the Nanny State, Actions Have Consequences, and Eat Whatever You Want!


I love British humor.

I’m glad to see that not everyone has bothered to subscribe to the politically correct movement.  I am so tired of the mentality some people have that specifies if that one person has a problem or a special need – or even a booger up his/her ass about something inane, trivial and stupid, that everyone else has to pander to it.  For example (and I hear this one a lot) so and so’s kid requires a special diet.  That sucks, but should all the other kids be subjected to a diabetic/corn-free/gluten-free/peanut-free and guaranteed to be taste-free diet because one kid has a restriction that can easily be accommodated by that kid’s parents sending him/her with his/her own nutritionally correct meals?

I don’t expect anyone to pander to my dietary requirements.  While there is nothing about a diabetic eating strategy that would be harmful to a normal person, that’s not the point.  If you want to eat bacon, or cotton candy, a three patty greasy burger, or a 120 sugar-gram latte, that is 100% your business.  It’s going to stick to your thighs.  I’m not playing food police for anyone.  It’s none of my business.  I’m the odd one out, therefore it is on me to adjust.  When in doubt, I bring my own chow, or better yet, eat meals at home that I prepared for myself so I know exactly what’s in them.  Problem solved.


My healthy dinner tastes better than your crappy fast food, but you are perfectly free NOT to eat my healthy dinner.


Go ahead and have your burger.  What I eat is my business, what you eat is yours.  How simple is that?

Unfortunately there are too many self-righteous weenies out there who believe that if one person gets their undies in a bunch over something, the other 99% who have no problem with their issue have to suffer.  A good example of that is the whole hoo-hah over sexual harassment.  I grew up in the automotive business.  I supervised technicians.  I’ve been called everything but a fine upstanding white woman.  So what? I’ve told more than one techie to kiss my ass or given one the finger and instructed him to “sit and spin.”   Crass jokes are normal in the culture that surrounds automotive.  It reduces the stress and shows everyone that you’re human too.  I like an off-color joke as well as anyone else (probably more.)   Just don’t touch me, and you will live.

Maybe those who think it’s “inappropriate” to joke and have fun are the kinds of people who should automatically receive the male enhancement e-mails.  We can start with this guy:


But, Mr. Bloomberg, what about clearing out the gene pool?  What about actions having consequences?  Can we protect everyone from their own poor decisions?

I’ve noted the wussification of our culture (especially men) and I really can’t stand it.  Now there’s a middle school with an “all inclusive” honors banquet.  So you get a reward for getting straight D’s and eating dead bugs off the windowsills now? What about the kids who actually take some pride in themselves and actually do what it takes to maintain a 3.5 average or higher?

I’m not saying this because I was an honor student.  I was.  I freely admit I didn’t have to do much else beyond showing up and actually turning in homework in every class I took with the exceptions of freaking algebra and geometry.  (I actually did have to study that shit.)

I’m saying this because in today’s dumbed down schools, if you’re not getting at least a 3.5 (non-weighted) average, you have the intellectual ability of paste, and you don’t deserve an award.

Giving everyone a “special” reward for simply sucking up valuable oxygen is a disincentive for those who actually do study hard and take pride in their academic achievements.  And quite frankly, it’s high time parents, schools and society stop worrying about what failure might do to little Johnny or Julie’s fragile little self-esteem.  Kids need to learn what to do when they fail: work harder.  I know it sounds like a foreign concept, but it’s an idea whose time has come.


And we wonder why unemployment is so high among the young?