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Blinker fluid and a can of torque

While eating lunch yesterday with a new friend, the subject of cars and do-it-yourself maintenance came up.

She retold a story of how a couple of her guy friends offered to help her with her car and instructed her to go to the parts store and ask for muffler bearings and a can of torque. I started smiling even before she reached the inevitable punchline at the counter where the clerk explained that they carried no such items. It wasn’t her naiveté that made me grin, but that I have my own story of fictional tools of the trade.

For me it’s blinker fluid. The guys at the bus garage would give me a hard time about whether or not I’d remembered to refill the blinker fluid on the buses when I signed off on the inspection sheet. I’d grin and nod that I’d topped it off. Or if I was feeling ornery I’d insist that it wasn’t on my repair order.

The fact is though that a lot of car owners have similar experiences when it comes to parts and heeding the advice of someone who knows your car better than you do.

I wonder if there’s any other industry where this sort of amateur ribaldry passes as genuinely helpful?

I mean in this scenario from webcomic artist, Randall Munroe, you get the humor but it still makes you twitch.

So the medical field is out.

Don’t even begin to try to fake someone out when it comes to their food. It worked in the deli in “When Harry Met Sally” … but outside of fiction, fake-outs and food are taboo.

What makes me wonder, is why is it that men tend to do this to women? I don’t think the meaning behind it is deliberately offensive, or harmful, but it is. Being made to feel the fool really doesn’t garner a greater affection toward the topic where you’ve spectacularly embarrassed yourself. Maybe this is what makes the automotive field so inaccessible to ladies?

So here’s my resolution. Some how or another, I’m going to make a can of torque to keep in my dream garage for times when you need a little extra umfh.

And then, when I go and build my someday-project car, I’ll have space under the hood just for blinker fluid.