The Oil Change

The Oil Change

A Story by Rain
"

It's so easy, even a monkey can do it.

"
I have said before, my shop teacher told me I was the worst student he'd ever had. He had taught for 30 years. I am SO not mechanically inclined, but this was simply changing oil. How damn hard could that be on an old 74 Maverick. " Ray, we could save $15 dollars," Sue said, her voice full of confidence in me. Look at the commercial that constantly stated " It's so easy, even a monkey can do it." You remember the commercial. It had monkeys with tools in their hands, unscrewing a filter, pouring oil into a hole, then shutting the hood... Done!
 
 
So, I made my customary three trips to Lowes to get everything I needed. I always look for the oldest guy in the department. NEVER listen to a teenager. I told him I had no tools at all, and I wanted everything I would need...down to the type oil. First, he just assumed I had a filter wrench...wrong!
I first jacked up my car, then reinforced it with a cement block. I was set. My first mistake was starting to unloosen the transmission fluid plug, but I caught myself in time. After all, even a monkey can do this...right ? I drained the oil, then replaced the plug, making sure I had it tight. The filter was a little tricky, because it was harder to get to than I thought. I banged my knuckles up pretty bad.
 
"How's it going out there, honey ?" Sue asked as she peeked out the screen door. " So far, so good," I replied, honestly. Hell, I'm saving $15 dollars, and I was almost done. All I had left to do was screw the new filter in place, put in my oil, and that was it. I felt good. Screwing the filter back on was a lot harder than taking the old one off, but eventually I did it.  All that was left was to put in the five quarts of oil, and I was " Ray, the oil changer!!" I even remembered to get some of those paper funnels. When I was done, I yelled for Sue.
The yard was scattered with rags, tools, empty oil cans, old filters, paper funnels.
 
" Ok baby, you ready?" I asked as I slid behind the wheel. I purposely left the hood up, so I could listen to the smooth hum of oil running into my engine.
I remember proudly turning the key, and the car starting. Then, it became instantly obvious something was going terribly wrong. Oil was shooting out from my car like a Texas gusher. Not just a little. I mean enough oil I could have put a rig around it. I immediately shut it off. I can't begin to explain the empty feeling in my gut. I did EVERYTHING I was suppose to do.
" DAMN IT!!" I shouted, mainly to myself. Mr Cox was right. I was the worst student. What the hell could I have done wrong? I saw my big old country boy neighbor out in his yard. I was ALWAYS asking him for help. Now, I had to humiliate myself, again, by asking him what I did wrong.
 
"I'm sorry, honey," Sue said, knowing how embarrassed I felt, and that she was the one who convinced me I could do it. After all, even a monkey can do it. Perry came down...asked me to start the car...in two seconds he told me to shut it off. " It's coming from the filter...did you take the old gasket off?" He asked, as if even a monkey would know to do that. I had to look him in the eyes, and say, " What gasket ?"
I liked Bubba, which is what everyone called him, but he had a way of making you feel really stupid. The next thing you know he's under my car unscrewing the filter...minutes later his hand comes out from beneath my car, holding an old rubber ring. Sue couldn't look me in the eyes. She just said " Anybody, could have done that."
 
"Not if they'd changed oil before", he laughed. Bubba stood up, and told me to start my car...which I did. We watched, and waited...not a drop leaked out.
"There you go, Ray, just drop you another quart in it, and you're good to go. Take her easy, Ray...I got to finish off my back deck. With that he was gone, leaving just me and Sue. "If it weren't for that damn old ring you would have gotten it." I was both pissed and embarrassed. Sue just didn't get it. She truly believes I can do anything I set my mind ,too. Over the years she has never learned. If I say I can't do something, it's usually based on experience. She about got me electrocuted one time, when a light bulb busted off to the rim. I didn't blame her. I was just upset I screwed up such a simple task, although I didn't talk to her for a while. Later on that night we were watching TV, and that commercial with the monkeys came on. " It's so easy, even a monkey can do it." There was this terrible moment of silence, until Sue said, " I'm fixing your favorite tonight..Ham and Cabbage, Does that sound good ?"
"Yea, that sounds really good, thanks." I said, as I reached for the remote.
I can't ever stay mad, plus it wasn't her I was mad at. I just stretched out and flipped the remote until I came upon one of my favorite movies.."Planet of the Apes."

© 2009 Rain



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Featured Review

Lol. This was great. As a man, you never want to ask another man to do your dirty work. I know if my wife suggested I change the oil and save money, I'd have to take the challenge!

But... I won't be showing her this story :)

Nice work, man. Definitely hits home and gave me a good chuckle.
So are you changing the oil next time or paying the $15?

Posted 8 Years Ago


3 of 3 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

You my friend are a master of painting such an intense visual scene. These truly played in my mind's eye as if I was stand there witnessing these take place first hand. I love that about you writing as you always draw me in so deeply that my imagination expands with a glee at the shear beauty in which you capture the scene itself.

As always it is a great pleasure to read your words.

Great Job!!!!!!!!

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

That was beautiful! Let me take a moment to comfort you. You are not alone! We are brothers in mechanical ineptitude. I have left everything from filter wrenches to oil cans to my plastic funnel under my hood when trying to change oil.

It's like Clint Eastwood said at the end of Magnum force ... "A man's GOT to know his limitations!"

Posted 8 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

I'm not mechanically inclined either. In fact, almost preternaturally so. It's sad.

Thanks for the piece. I enjoyed it.

Posted 8 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Lol. This was great. As a man, you never want to ask another man to do your dirty work. I know if my wife suggested I change the oil and save money, I'd have to take the challenge!

But... I won't be showing her this story :)

Nice work, man. Definitely hits home and gave me a good chuckle.
So are you changing the oil next time or paying the $15?

Posted 8 Years Ago


3 of 3 people found this review constructive.

This was so entertaining! I couldn't change my oil either, so I got married. Just kidding....

Quite frankly, we all have our little gifts. I much prefer that you are terrible at changing oil and wonderful at writing. Selfish of me, I know but so true.


Posted 8 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

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G
So you know how the Geico cavemen feel. Once again I lived it, my first and last oil change was on 1972 Mazda. My motto when it comes to cars, if it needs doing pay someone.

Posted 8 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

lol... this was fun to read.... splly towards the end when Sue finally breaks the silence and you end up at one of yo fav. movies...... :P

loved the read....was quiet catchy...

Regards,
Poetic Soul

Posted 8 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

read it loved it then read the reviews got to the last one before anyone mentioned instructions. When it squirts oil or makes clunking sounds shut it off and read the instructions

Posted 8 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

lol... this was fun to read. I love toward the ending when the commercial came on -- and there was the terrible moment of silence. I would have had a difficult time not laughing. ;) Good for Sue to throw something positive in there to break the ice!!

Don't feel bad Ray ... my ex husband confused the radiator cap with the oil cap once .... yeah, that was a beauty. lol

I enjoyed this read. Thanks!

Posted 8 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

ROTFLMAO at this one and sounds so much like myself AND Hersh. Problem is with us, neither of us are machanically inclined as we proved trying to get the V-smile game up and running for Joseph that really brought NONE of us smiles but alot of frustration and many trips back and forth to try to find an adaptor that everyone assured me would work but didn't. Each time we got something new for it, everything had to be unscrewed and rerouted. Finally I had HAD ENOUGH! LOL It is gone and replaced by something that he enjoys and we didn't have to do one thing except have a rather long discussion in the store of what was going to give him the most enjoyment and the least frustration for ourselves. Such a cute write my friend.

Hugs,
Lesa

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on January 3, 2009
Last Updated on January 3, 2009

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Rain
Rain

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"Having lived a bit has altered my thoughts of this coming new year from all those that have come and gone. Life is so bizarre that in some ways, my diagnosis has been a blessing. "I'm not sure why.. more..

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