This last saturday I paid homage to the god of oil changes (who requires
worship once every 3K miles). I like changing the oil in my car. It gives
me a nice feeling of superiority over many members of my sex, not to mention
allowing me to get really gritty (I don’t have many opportunities to get gritty
as a writer. Well, I suppose I could purposefully get gritty on my own, but
it woulnd’t be the same).
At the start of the oil change, I kept having this really strong premomition
that I was going to do something really stupid. I don’t often get this premonition;
the last time I did it I was in the process of typing rm -rf *.doc in my home
directory (I don’t think I need to explain what it was I actually *did* type.
🙂 So, I was really careful throughout the oil change. I didn’t cut my knuckles
on the manifold when the oil plug came loose. I managed to unscrew the oil
plug without dropping it into the pan, and I got the pan centered properly
under the oil. I got the oil filter out without burning myself, or dribbling
the oil that was in the filter all over the engine. I put in the oil filter
with a minimum of turning the filter wrench over, backwards and upside down
to try and remember which way it goes to get it to turn in the right direction.
I remembered to put the oil plug back in, And I even managed to put in the
right amount of oil without spilling any.
So I got into my car to turn it on, and the oil light blinked right off.
Easy, thought I. No problem. But then, I heard a strange noise. A sort of
gurgling noise. Thats funny, thought I, I’ve never heard that before. I got
out of the car, with the engine still running, to see if I could hear more
clearly where the gurgling was coming from.
I looked around the hood, which was still up, and was met with the reason
why I had my stupid premonition (and the source of the gurgling noise). I
had neglected to replace the oil cap after I had put the oil in, and the workings
of the engine were happily spewing oil all over everything, much in the way
juice in a blender on liquefy would react sans lid.
“Well,” said I (this being a short summary of what I actually said), turned
off the car, replaced the oil cap, and mopped up the engine, the hood, the
fenders, the bumpers, and the driveway.
I figured I had gotten away cheap; it was a stupid thing to do, yes, but
not nearly as painful as some of the other stupid things I had done. So happily
I got back into the car to put it rightways into the driveway. I drove out
into the street….and I realized that I had left the pan of old oil under
Scrape scrape dump oooze.