A key among the rocks outside the car shop.

The $20 oil change this morning blossomed into a $150 bill. There were air filters and wiper blades to be replaced and a host of other services the shop man insisted my car needed. Sigh. This is why my parents made my brother and me take auto shop in high school — so that we could do car maintainence ourselves or at least understand what needs to be done in order to avoid being fleeced by the auto repair industry. Unfortunately, that class consisted of the shop teacher hanging out with the kids who already knew how to take care of cars and the rest of us taking crowbars to cars, smashing windshields and tearing apart donated wrecks from which the experienced kids had already removed salvageable parts. It also was the class where I hung out with the drug dealing crowd at my school. The smokers lit up behind the auto shop building, too. I received one of only two B’s in high school in that class. (FYI, the other B was actually in English, of all subjects!) This tickles me no end — how that class completely failed my parents’ grand schemes in many ways.

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