When Gus von Gusterson, my stunningly weathered 1996 Jeep Cherokee Sport, arrived in CA on the back of a car carrier, I was delighted to see him again. The Car Delivery guy asked me to wait patiently while he unloaded Gus (who got a great view of his cross-country journey, as he was the VERY TOP CAR; I still wish I'd taped a camera to his dashboard), and I hopped nervously from foot to foot for fifteen minutes as Gus was patiently, competently, and safely unloaded.
As I approached my old friend, Car Delivery guy said something with the voice of my father's generation. I will repeat it for you, here, verbatim:
"I wanted to tell you something. On the trip, somehow the screws for your right turn signal jiggled out. I've taped it up, but that won't hold if it rains. No big deal, you'll just need to get a couple of screws and screw it back in."
I looked at him for a moment, realized that that was all of the information he was going to provide to me, and subsequently did not ask ANY of the obvious questions:
1 - How do screws jiggle out?
2 - What can I do to prevent future screw jiggling?
3 - Where does one purchase right-turn-signal screws for a 1996 Jeep Cherokee Sport? Is there a right-turn-signal screw store? Is there (in the interest of not being completely stupid) a turn-signal screw store? Is there a special section in some store that contains screws for automobiles? Should I go to an automobile dealer, purchase a new Jeep, remove one screw, then simply default on the loan, allowing them to repossess it, knowing I've had the last laugh with a good, usable screw in my pocket, assuming that the new screws are compatible with 16 year old models?!?!?
4 - TELL ME YOUR MAGIC CAR SECRETS, MAN!!
So, today, R and I set out to fix this. Fortunately, for reasons passing understanding, R has a HUGE collection of screws.
That sounds dirtier than it is, but the man is set should you or anyone you ever meet needs to fasten one thing to another thing using a variety of wood screws.
We charged up his drill (because, I swear to God, we couldn't find an actual, you know, screw-driver), and ventured to my garage. After much back and forth, and drilling and undrilling of the good turn signal, and then trying various screws in the bad turn signal, and then noting that the bad signal was actually missing a relevant bit, and then finally settling on a solution, something just wonderful happened:
WE FIXED IT!!
Yeah, we're basically mechanics. We're car people. We know cars, is what I'm saying.
And so, to all of my new friends, and all of my old friends, I say unto you: let me know if your "check engine light" is on.
I can probably figure out how to disconnect it.