LIFE WITH HERMAN – The Mechanic
By Nettie Hallam Steinbeigle
“That car is not running right, we will have to work on it today. Ray go over to George Stacey and get my box of tools,”
Ray comes back, says, “Pa, George wants to know why you want the whole box of tools; why don’t you come and borrow what you need.”
“Borrow,” screams Pa, “they are my tools! I’ll go get them myself.” He comes back with tool box, muttering and growling under his breath.
“Let’s get going. Donnie, hand me the socket wrench; Ray, go get a pan of kerosene so I can wash the parts; Iris, ask Ma for some rags. Hand me the wrench, hand me the etc., etc. O.K. boys now we will drive it around the block and see how she sounds.”
Away they go; come back. Pa says, “I’ll have to change the oil. Go ask Ma for a pan. I’ll get under the car and loosen the bolts.” He loosens the bolts and, splat, all the oil comes down in his face. I hear this loud noise, look out the window. Donnie is laying in the yard shaking. Ray is behind the garage leaning on the wall shaking. Iris and dog look on. I run out to see what is the matter. Thought Pa had lost his temper and beat the boys, but I discover they are laughing and Pa is cussing. He looks out from under the car, face all black with oil. “Bring me a towel!” he shouts. Kids can’t walk for laughing, so I fetch a towel.
They finish with the car and start picking up tools. Ray says, “What are you going to do with all these parts you have left over?”
“Just put them away, we will use them next time.”
They try the car again, come back. Pa says she is purring like a kitten. He takes a bath, comes out in the hall in his shorts and goes into his dance; dances all thru the house. Says, “Kids, I am the best mechanic this side of the moon.” (Of course his dance in the winter time in his long johns is funnier.)