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That’s Why Dipsticks Exist, You Dipstick!

, , , | Right | October 4, 2022

A customer bought five litres of motor oil and went out into the car park. We watched in horror as he emptied the entire can into his car’s engine. Then, he drove off before anyone could stop him.

Sometime later, there was a loud “pop” and a cloud of smoke rising above the road.

It turns out the guy thought the oil level should be right up to the top of the filler cap and didn’t know about the dipstick.

These days, checking the oil level is part of the driving test in our area.

Don’t Be A Tool; Learn To Fix Your Own Car

, , , , , , | Friendly | October 2, 2022

In high school, I had a friend who was mechanically inept. [Friend #1] was so bad at using tools that, even after we tried to show him, he reminded me of a toddler getting their hands on a toy tool for the first time and having no idea how to work them.

For example, [Friend #1] wanted to help [Friend #2] and me build a box for skating that had a rail, a ramp, and an edge for doing tricks. He asked to help do something, so we handed him a hammer and nails so he could help. He held the hammer’s handle just below the head and he could not hammer a nail in. It was painful to watch him fumble with the hammer. We had to take the hammer away from him and make him just sit on the side and watch.

Fast forward a couple of years from the skating box. Against our recommendation, [Friend #1] purchases a used Honda Civic that was abused; it was driven hard and the transmission was dropped. Sadly, he sold off his decked-out Honda Prelude to purchase the broken Civic.

He doesn’t have the money to pay for a shop to replace the transmission for him, so he asks a few of us to help him replace it with the rebuilt one he picked up. We tell him we can help, but he will need to rent an engine hoist because the engine rests on the transmission and we need to lift it to remove the old transmission and lift it to put the new one in place. He says he will take care of getting the hoist, and we agree to come over to help this coming Saturday.

We show up on Saturday afternoon and [Friend #1] is anxious to get going. With how bad he is at using tools, everyone else does the work for him. Since the car is going up on the jack stands, we also check the brakes and rotors and fix a part of the exhaust that has a hole in it and the hanging brackets that are broken.

Time for replacing the transmission. We get the car up, disconnect the transmission, and ask [Friend #1] to bring over the engine hoist.

Friend #1: “Oh, I never rented one. You can do the work without it.”

We should say no and walk, but we are young and determined that we can get it done. It takes three of us to muscle up the engine just enough to pull out the old transmission, and it takes a lot longer to get the new transmission in.

About six hours later, it’s now after 10:00 pm, and we’re all exhausted from the work, while [Friend #1] patiently sat around trying to help as much as he could without being able to actually work on the car. We check and make sure everything is bolted down correctly and clean up all the tools. We get the car back down off the jack stands, tighten the lug nuts on the wheels, and we’re done.

One of the guys helping brings [Friend #1] over and shows him where to add the transmission fluid, tells him how much to add, and shows him how to open and close the cap for where the fluid goes. This is the one and only thing our mechanically inept friend has to do. He’s excited his car is done and can’t wait to drive it.

It’s now close to 11:00 pm. We’re all tired after the unnecessary extra work and cleaning up, and we all leave him to his car and its new transmission.

At about 8:00 am the next day, I get a call from another friend, and he’s laughing as I answer the phone.

Friend #3: “You’ll never guess what happened to [Friend #1].”

Me: “What? What’s so funny?”

Friend #3: “[Friend #1] backed his car out of the garage last night after we all left and wanted to drive the car around for a bit. He got a few blocks from his house and the car stopped.” *Laughs* “The moron never put in the transmission fluid, and he seized the new transmission!”

Me: *Laughing* “What a dumba**! He was literally handed the transmission fluid, and [Friend #4] told him how much to add and showed him where right before we left. How did he forget to put it in?”

Friend #3: “I don’t know, but he’s pissed, and he wants to know if we will help him replace the transmission again if he can get another new one.”

Me: “I hope you told him no. I’m not helping again.”

Friend #3: “I told him he was on his own.”

[Friend #1] had to borrow money from his parents to get his car to a mechanic and have them replace the transmission. He was upset with himself about letting his Prelude go and getting into the mess with the Civic. Sadly, this isn’t the only stupid thing he’s done with his cars, but those are other stories for another time.

The Police’s Passing Power Play

, , , , , | Legal | September 28, 2022

Several years ago, my wife, county clerk at the time, was traveling back to her office on the interstate when she came upon a string of cars in the right lane doing a good fifteen miles per hour lower than the posted speed limit. There was a highway patrolman in the left lane, leading the pack.

My wife passed the string of cars without exceeding the speed limit, and then she signaled to return to the right lane and resume legal speed to pass the trooper.

The trooper addressed her over his car’s PA.

Trooper: “You pass me on the right and I will ticket you.”

My wife slowed and stayed behind him in the left lane. When he hit the county line, the trooper turned around through the median and headed in the opposite direction.

When my wife returned to her office, she immediately went to the sheriff about the incident. The sheriff, along with the county attorney, told her it was not illegal to pass on the right on the interstate.

Sheriff: “Did you get his patrol car number?”

Wife: “Yes. I did.”

The sheriff gave her a number to call at the state highway patrol office in our capital city and the name of the person to report the incident to.

A few weeks later, the sheriff told my wife that there were too many complaints about that trooper pulling that power play, and he had been transferred to a western county as a punishment.

That made my wife’s day for sure.

At Least You’re Not Oozing Money, On Top Of Everything!

, , , , , , | Legal | September 22, 2022

I am sick as a dog with a massive head cold and have only left my apartment to run to the drug store to pick up medicine. To top things off, “mother nature” came calling this morning, as well.

I’m driving home and have opted to take a less busy street than the main road. Unfortunately, in my congested and frankly should-not-really-be-driving state, I miss a stop sign.

A police car behind me whirls to life and I pull over. The female cop comes up to my window.

Policewoman: “Did you know you missed a stop sign back there?”

Me: “No, ma’am. I’ll admit I didn’t. Here’s the thing. I have the mother of all colds, and my period started today. I am literally oozing slime from every orifice in my body. I just want to get home, take my meds, and sleep for eighteen hours, so please just write me the ticket so I can go.”

The officer takes my papers back to her car for a few minutes and then returns with them.

Policewoman: “Do you live at the address on your license?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am.”

Policewoman: “I’m not gonna give you a ticket provided you let me escort you the six blocks back to your apartment. I’m glad you’re on this road instead of the main thoroughfare, but next time, ask a friend to pick up your meds, instead.”

I drive home with the police car behind me the whole way. I do not miss any more stop signs. Once home, she waves at me as I go inside.

Policewoman: “Feel better! No more driving until you do!”

Thank you, empathetic policewoman, for realizing that I was being punished enough that day, even if I did make some royally dumb decisions.

Someone Seriously Needs To Reread The Rule Book

, , , , , , | Legal | September 20, 2022

I am driving with my wife and kids to the shore for the weekend. On our way down, a New Jersey state trooper turns around as we pass him and starts following us with his lights on. We pull over, and I hand the officer my information. He quickly studies it and then hands it back.

State Trooper: “Do you know why I’ve pulled you aside, Mr. [My Name]?”

Me: “No, sir. Is one of my lights broken? I’m pretty sure I just replaced them all.”

State Trooper: “There’s an issue with your license plates.”

Me: “Oh? Is it damaged? Did it fall—”

State Trooper: “Your front license plate is missing.”

Me: “What? What do you mean?”

State Trooper: “In New Jersey, you have to have both a proper front and rear license plate, Mr. [My Name].”

Me: “Are you kidding? I’m from Pennsylvania! There’s no such law there!”

State Trooper: “But you’re in New Jersey now. The law says you absolutely have to have both a front and rear plate. You can’t drive here without a front plate. The rear plate alone is not enough.”

For those unaware, the state trooper was technically right in that vehicles registered in New Jersey must have both front and rear plates. However, that law ONLY applies to New Jersey-registered vehicles. Mine is registered in Pennsylvania, which DOES NOT have two-plate laws. The state trooper didn’t care, and he issued a citation for not having a proper front license plate.

I disputed the ticket on the indicated court date, and it was quickly thrown out. Going by the judge’s reaction, it seemed like it wasn’t the first time that particular state trooper had wrongfully cited a Pennsylvania driver for only having one plate.

The next time I went to the shore, the week after the court date, I happened to pass that same state trooper’s cruiser again. Twice. Each time, he had pulled over another car with a Pennsylvania plate, presumably for the same bogus reason he pulled me over.