Monday, June 19, 2006

Car Momma

I have a terrific auto mechanic. Every three or four thousand miles, religiously, I take my vehicle in to see his Car Momma. Car Momma changes his oil, changes his filters, checks his fluid levels, rotates his tires and generally reminds me of any maintenance that needs to be done. We have been through a lot together: snapped timing belts, bent pistons, leaky head gaskets, thinning brake pads, funky air conditioning problems as well as a few bad parts that I didn't even know existed, much less what they did. Car Momma is good at explaining things, but even so I don't have any problems admitting my stupidity when necessary to ask questions. At other times she'll notice that I'm looking at her with the expression of a stunned labrador retriever, and then she'll slow down and go over things again. She gives me advice about which problems are big enough to worry about and which problems we can just wait and watch. I like her for that. If my car were a patient, I'd say its age-related problems were in stable remission. I know that Car Momma can't fix everything---like the body damage done by the omnipresent tailgaters in this city---but it was nice of her to say hi while I was waiting in the body shop. A good psychiatrist is a Car Momma for people.