A little while back, I had a revelation that I shared on this website: Dogs Should Not Drive. (Look it up if you don't believe me). Today while I was on my walk, I had another revelation. However, I'm going to be cruel and not tell you what it is just now.
A couple of weeks ago, I also told you about my unprecedented and amazing success at repairing my own car! I was giddy. Naturally, I built it up real big in the post. I had changed the blower on my car. This allowed me to have AC, vents, and heat! Did I mention that I was giddy? Looking back, it seems my accomplishment was really not that big of a deal. Oh sure, there were an amazing number of important steps that had to be done just right or the car could have exploded (ed. note: this is hyperbole), but really, taking an honest look at things with the perspective a couple of weeks can bring - the repair could be distilled down to 3 screws and a plug. It's not like I put new pistons in or anything.
Still, I was proud...very proud...too proud. Pride comes before the fall, you know. Last week, the blower started making a little noise.
I figured maybe a little innocent leaf was sucked in there or something. I ignored the little noise. A day later, the little noise was a little noisier. So, in my best auto-mechanic voice I said, "Why I'm just going to turn the fan all the way up and blow that little leaf out of there!"
So I did.
Immediately, thick black smoke rolled into the car from my vents.
You are probably thinking that this is the point in the story where I had this great revelation and that I'm about to tell you what it is. YOU ARE WRONG! I didn't really have any revelation at this particular moment. Things seemed pretty obvious to me...and probably anyone else in the area...so I'm not going to count this as a revelation. Revelations take time. Anyway, I do pride myself at being calm under pressure. The longer you read this blog, the more you'll probably find out about this. I have a lot of pressure. This situation was no different, I remained calm. Due largely to the now immense, cabin filling cloud of black - and smelly - smoke, I deduced the obvious:
MY CAR WAS ON FIRE!!! (and yes, I do think that three whole exclamation points are merited here).
As I said, I remained calm. I didn't even slow down the car. This probably amused any bystanders that were watching. I can imagine them thinking, "doesn't he know his car is on fire?" I don't actually know if there were bystanders...I couldn't see out my windows. I'm just theorizing what a bystander might have said. Anyway, as I mentioned, I remained perfectly calm. I quickly turned off the fan and opened my window, and made a left turn onto the next street...all at the same time. Yep, I'm quite the driver!
This is still not the point where I had my revelation. Keep reading. Reading is good for you.
A prudent person would probably have pulled the car over...just to check that it wasn't totally engulfed in flames or anything. I am not prudent. I am an adventurer, a free spirit, a "grab life by the horns" type of person. A DAREDEVIL. (Whoops, I accidentally started channeling "The Dead Milkmen" there. The song is "Stuart." Look it up.) I should mentioned that when the raging inferno started, I was just leaving work. Work is 22 miles from home. I decided that despite the possibility that my car would explode at any moment - I could make it home.
The car didn't explode, nothing happened other than I nearly sweat to death without my fan. I also ended up making the needed repairs over the weekend. This is also not the point where I had my revelation. Revelations take time.
Today, I was on my walk. I had my revelation. I was thinking about my car, and the first repair, and the car fire, and the next repair and it was then, at that moment that I had my revelation:
THIS IS WHY I AM NOT AN ASTRONAUT!!!
There are perhaps dozens of other good reasons why I am not an astronaut, but certainly chief among them must be my experience with "repairing" my own car. You see, astronauts can't just pull the space station up to a mechanic when their Tang percolator is on the fritz. They have to make the repair themselves. You cannot have people in space that take a very basic, 3 screws and a plug type of repair and turn it, somehow, into a raging inferno that threatens their lives!
In many ways, this revelation is something of a relief to me. At my steadily advancing age, I'm still trying to figure out what I want to do with my life. I can now safely, and without looking back, cross "Astronaut" off my list. I am at peace with this decision. With two brilliant, life-changing, important revelations in as many weeks, I'm adding another possibility - "Mystic."
Life is good.