One Best Friend and a Mechanic

by Regis Boff

Women are always pretty, auto mechanics never are. I recently had to find a new mechanic. His name is George. Never exchange last names with your car repairman.
My last mechanic left me to return home to Egypt. His family was in line to the throne, and four years ago he seemed to think the time was right to go back. Perhaps given his short-sightedness this was good for me.
One day he was just gone. I kept the tire gauge the owner of the gas station said he left for me. I had to limp back to the Honda dealership, prodigal, apprehensive and bruised.
Men can get through life with one best friend and a mechanic. A woman can’t be a man’s best friend, and neither can a dog. If this fact ruffles women and disappoints dogs, well, they need to suck it up.
Most men, deep down, wish women were more like cars. No man ever refers to his car as “he,” it is always “she.” It makes me wonder if gay men refer to their cars as “he?” I will check Car and Driver Magazine for clarification on this.
My dad was not too much for giving advice, but he made this point to me strictly and often as I grew up. “At fifty-thousand miles you must trade your car in for a new one,” he said. He knew that ruin was in all cars. He knew little more about this mischief because it came from somewhere larger than himself, but he wanted to protect me as best he could.
We boys of the fifties and sixties, all had this kernel of truth, “planned obsolescence”, stuffed into our pockets by our dads.
I think it led inexorably to the high divorce rate of that era. We naturally applied the laws of our fathers to what we loved most, cars and women. Nobody ever explained the difference to us. We forecasted the doom of our marriages in exactly the same way we did for our cars.
Cars and marriages are not complicated if you understand their warranties. At 100,000 miles, you find a good mechanic if you want it to last. At the twentieth anniversary mark in a marriage, you break out the humor that only you two can understand.

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