Of Mice and Mechanics
by Will Bailey
I need a ride. Normally, I would drive myself, but since my car is on the fritz, and I simply cannot miss the fire sale at Bed Bath & Beyond (no, really, the store is on fire, and their most flammable items are priced to MOVE, PEOPLE!), I turn to you for help. Perhaps a little back-story will earn me some sympathy points. [turns around, gives back-story] Last week, I pulled my car into a perfectly terrifying-looking bodyshop/dungeon and made the fatal mistake of asking for a general tune-up. The mechanic, a gal named “Babs” who looked like she takes her coffee with two packets of Splenda and a splash of regular-unleaded, looked me straight in the eye (both of her eyes somehow focused on my left eye), and said, “Oh, we’ll give it a tune-up alright.” I’m not sure if it was the way she said tune-up, or how she was laughing so hard that one of the top buttons on her jumpsuit popped off, but it was at that moment that I knew I was in trouble. Now, I am not suggesting all mechanics are dishonest and unsavory. Because, really, the last thing I want to do is perpetuate stereotypes! Anyway, after running a comb dipped in Pennzoil through her hair, Babs briefly glanced in the general direction of my car, popped her index finger into her mouth and then into the air, and calmly delivered my estimate: “Seven hundred fifty, plus tax.” She then picked at her teeth with a socket wrench, before adding, “That’ll be sixty dollars.” Before I could protest, Babs tapped the wrench against a sign hidden behind a stack of tires in the back corner of the garage that stated, “Free Estimates: $60.” So I had to sell my bed to pay for the estimate and repairs, which is why I need a ride to Bed Bath & Beyond before it burns to the ground. [turns back around, discovers you are gone] Oh, come on!