Really… it’s like oil and water
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 16 ― Women and all things mechanical, I reckon, have a love-hate relationship.
On the one hand, I’m sure they love the mechanical bibs and bobs when it makes their lives easier.
Food processors. Irons. Clothes dryers.
But I’m almost certain that love turns to hate pretty quickly when these things act up. Or rather, when the fairer gender THINK they’re acting up.
Like when my mom endlessly complained about her brand new fridge not being cold enough. After a short peep into the innards of the offending appliance, my brother and I found out that the thing was stuck on permanent defrost no thanks to a rogue banana jamming against the switch.
On a side note, as to WHY fridges have all their controls INSIDE the refrigerated compartment baffles me to no end. Imagine a car with the accelerator and brake pedals IN the engine compartment. Makes no sense. Absolutely no sense at all.
Or when my dear ol’ colleague Liz was screaming at her computer mouse because the damn thing wasn’t working. Or at least she THOUGHT it wasn’t working. Turns out the thing wasn’t even plugged in to her PC.
When it comes to cars, however, the amusement factor literally goes through the roof.
My old college friend, Ms P, got herself behind the wheel of a brand new Toyota Corolla Altis a year ago. At the car’s 5000km service, she moaned and groaned about how the car felt sluggish and simply felt underpowered. After throwing an epic hissy fit at the service centre and threatening to sue the pants off Toyota, the engineers took a peek inside the car and within minutes realised that the three extra layers of carpet mats which she placed on the floor of her brand new car was wedged solid behind the accelerator pedal, preventing the pedal from doing what it was supposed to.
The Toyota technicians smirked. She shrugged the whole incident off and got a few free umbrellas in appreciation of her antics.
Then of course there was JJ, who upon taking delivery of her new Vios, complained endlessly to me that something was obviously wrong with her new ride. A little warning light had lit up on her dash and would not, no matter what she tried, go off. I was on the phone with her when she threw a bitch-fit about the little blinking annoyance in her car. The conversation went a little something like this:
Me: So how does this warning light look like exactly?
JJ: It’s red. And it’s damn annoying. Won’t stop blinking!
Me: Yes yes. But how does it look like? Describe it to me.
JJ: I dunno lah. It’s red, looks like a man with a slash across his chest.
Me: Urm… darling, are you wearing your seatbelt?
Me: Try putting it on.
JJ: What the heck does my seatbelt have to do with the light.
Me: Just try it.
JJ: It won’t work lah. Why would the….*click*….OH.
Me: Did it go off?
JJ: Shut up and stop smirking. I know you are.
For the record, I was. Smirking, that is. Lesson of the day, folks. Buckle up at all times!
So perhaps it should come as no surprise that my friend Emily had a somewhat similar issue with her car a couple of days back.
It was 6pm. I get a call from her asking me to troubleshoot why her car wouldn’t start. For a moment there, I found myself respecting those online support hotline operators a WHOLE lot more, for troubleshooting anything by remote is like trying to score a goal by instructing a player on the pitch from half the world away. It is simply mind-numbingly tough.
Anyway, being the ever-gracious friend, I headed down to the car park where she was stranded with her dead vehicle and started poking and prodding in the engine compartment, checking the battery and everything electrical under the hood.
Then a bulb lit up in my head.
I went into the car, took a peep at the gear lever and it all became clear.
I got into the driver’s seat, popped the selector from “Drive” to “Neutral”, turned the key and VOILA! The damn thing started .
I rolled my eyes.
We went our separate ways.
Women and all things mechanical. Like oil and water, I tell ya.