24 September 2004

Parts guys, revisited

Talked about their ineptitude the other day. And then Gordon and I got into a conversation about my penchant to blow shit up. (I'm in italic.)

This is New York. EVERYBODY has an alarm so they can annoy their neighbors in the middle of the night.

My buds in Reno love to go down rows of apartments at 3 AM with the straight pipes on their bikes. They claim they can set ALL the car alarms off!

I keep bugging the Mrs. to get me an RPG or two for Christmas. But so far she ain't budging. She says they'd be too many burning cars in the neighborhood.

[. . .]

I guess the fires would melt the batteries and the alarms would shut off if the explosion didn't knock the cables loose.

All them fire engines might keep you up, though.

Shit, I'd gladly forego sleep to blow something up.

And then I sent Gord here and here. He got a big kick out of this:

[. . .]

Or you say "watch this" as you light the flammable, atomized atmosphere you created in the bathroom with copious amounts of BrakeKleen, WD-40, and other aerosols that shall remain nameless. Man, you could smell it coming out of the bathroom door in the shop, the one we had wedged shut with the salesman inside. I took out my lighter and held it to the crack in the door. Indian said, "Do you think it will light?" And I said, say it with me now. "Watch This!" Man, the look on that guy's face when we opened the door after the explosion. He still had his pants around his ankles but not a hair was left on him. Like I said, bad things happen.

[. . .]

What is your fucking point here, you ask? We know you're an idiot, but what does this all have to do with parts guys?

Well, that salesman I blew up started out life as a parts guy. Did the job for about 20 years before they made him a salesman. He was one of the best that ever worked behind the counter. Even though he's retired, he hasn't lost much. He still brings his car to us. Yeah, even after I blew his ass up. This guy knew the ins and outs of everything on a car, from acorn nuts to zerk fittings. No mechanical ability, but he knew his parts and it was a pleasure dealing with him. He's a prick, just like most everyone who makes their money in the car business, and the reason I blew him up, but guys like Charlie set the gold standard for parts guys. I have to admit I'm spoiled. When I'd call him, he got me the correct part each time with a minimum of effort on my behalf. He knew enough to ask the right questions to send me exactly what I wanted, not 'something close'. I tip my hat to him, and the parts guys who make the effort to know their job and do it professionally, and when they get the right parts to me in a timely manner, they make me look like a miracle worker. I wish he wouldn't have retired. Mainly because he's good and secondly because he hangs out at the shop two days a week, breaking my balls. He knows when I've had enough when I ask him:

"Charlie, do I have to blow you up again?"

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