Monday, June 8, 2009

Whatever you do, don't listen to me!

I find it odd that this has happened twice now.
Here's the story.
A few years ago this friend of my then roommate calls wanting to know if we can give him a hand.
It seems his "Pan" (One of those new...I dunno...are they S&S repros?) wasn't starting.
I agreed to go along mainly to satisfy my own curiosity.
You see, I couldn't give a good God damn if this kid ever got his bike running.
I wanted to go 'cause the guy's a total know-it-all & I was dying to see what we could possibly add to his life.
Well, we arrive & sure enough, this kid is red faced, winded and still kicking like a mad man.
Sounding like a disappointed child he says, "I'm gonna have to put an electric start on this thing! This is bullshit!"
Almost as a reflex action, I asked the same question I always ask first.
"Does it have spark?"
I'm completely ignored.
Remembering who I'm dealing with (the kind of guy who'll argue math) I sort of rolled with it & got comfy on a bar stool in the corner of his garage.
"Kick, kick, kick"
"Does it have spark?" I asked again, willing to start from the beginning.
"Of course it has spark! It's got a fucking magneto!" This dingbat says, all while pointing at his mag and (I think) calling me an idiot under his breath.
"Kick, kick, kick"
"It sounds like it has no spark." I offered, still with the attitude that I could help this kid and be home within the hour.
"What do you mean, 'sounds like no spark'? How can it sound like it doesn't have spark?!?!"
"I dunno" I admitted, (and I don't, but you know what I mean, don't you? Sometimes you can just tell) "I can't explain can just kind of tell when a motor has no spark."
"The motor has a MAG-NEE-TOE!"
Now he's talking to me like I am a child.
"Do you know what that means?"
As calmly as I can (I try my best to keep an even keel these days) I say, "Yeah, and a magneto always works. Right?"
"Yes!" he says, as though he's just taught me something.
"Kick, kick, kick"
This was probably where I should have asked if he had the thing clocked right, but I didn't.
I always found the less conversation with this jerk the better.
So...I sat on the bar stool for what seemed like an eternity while he and my roommate made their expert diagnosis.
"Kick, kick, kick"
"Blah, blah, blah, choke"
"Kick, kick, kick"
"Blah, blah, blah gas"
"Kick, kick, kick"
"Blah, blah, blah, no gas"
"Kick, kick, kick"
"Blah, blah, blah hold your face this way"
I perked up when I heard my roommate say, "We'll push you!"
"We who?" I was thinking.
Apparently these two geniuses came to the conclusion that the way to get this bike started was by push start.
"No way" I said.
"I'm not pushing his ass around until he checks for spark."
The two of them, almost in unison yell "IT HAS SPARK!" It has to.....blah, blah, blah"
I'll spare you the transcript of the ensuing argument.
The high lights however were as follows:
My point that, if they are so confident the motor has spark then just check it, eliminate it as a possibility & I'll shut up again.
Their counter point that checking spark would be a waste of time and me telling them it's already been two hours.

So, for the next twenty minutes I kept myself occupied by flipping through some bullshit "Lifestyle" magazine (The same magazine this nimrod was quick to point out "Is worth blah, blah, blah on E-bay 'cause it's a first issue." You should have seen the look of confusion on his face when I told him I threw out the first two issues of this magazine 'cause it's crap.....but that's another post all together)
Sure enough, they come back unsuccessful & I'm getting the "Evil eye" for being the douche bag that won't help.
"(Insert doofus's name here)" My roommate says, "You think maybe you should check the spark?"
His answer made me question my own sanity & had me wondering if the last 2 hours and 20 minutes had actually happened.
"You know, yeah, I should see if it has spark."
I watched and waited, knowing already what the outcome would be.
"Hey!" Dimwit says, "There's no spark!"
I tossed the magazine on the workbench & said, "I'll be in the car."

Now, fast forward about a year and a half to this past weekend.
I'm standing in my father's garage while he tries to start one of his prized possessions, a John Deere riding mower.
"Wee, nee, nee, nee, nee, nee."
"Wee, nee, nee, nee, nee, nee."
"Wee, nee, nee, nee, nee, nee."
"I don't know what's wrong with this thing."
"Does it have spark?" I ask, having never learned my lesson.
"It did last time." My dad says, like I'm suppose to know what the hell this means.
"Uh....the last time what?"
I didn't really want to know.
"The last time it didn't start The Guy (His mobile small engine repair guy) said it wasn't spark." He offered, like this all made perfect sense.
"Wee, nee, nee, nee, nee, nee."
"Wee, nee, nee, nee, nee, nee."
"Wee, nee, nee, nee, nee, nee."
"It sounds like it doesn't have spark"
Again I will never learn.
"What do you mean 'Sounds like it doesn't have spark'?"
Not wanting any part of this scene I simply say, "Never mind. Want me to check and see..."
"NO! It has spark! It has to!" My Dad says making me wonder why such a notion offends people so much.
With that, I offered him "Good Luck" and bailed.

This morning, I get a phone's my Dad.
"Yeah, hi" He says (30 years in the phone company & he has absolutely no "Phone Etiquette") "The Guy just looked at the mower. It needs a coil"
" didn't have spark huh?"
"Heh, no." He says...not in a way that would indicate "I should have listened to you" but more with the tone of "Who would have thought?"
My only question to him at this point was, "And what did he charge you for this diagnosis?"

It's gotta be me.
What do I know?
I don't even have a job!


tattered said...

now that is a great story...and totally wasted 5 minutes of my bosses time while i read it.

missinglink said...

Dammit , I have to read this stuff on my own time!
I enjoyed that , thanks Richie.

William said...

But did he get the correct coil? I vaguely remember him picking up a coil for your triumph that wasn't even close. (square coil in round bracket if I remember correctly)

Anonymous said...

You have long stories my friend!

mark phelan said...

hahahaha. hysterical.

just dont tell ME that the international doesn't run well because it has no spark...