It’s not that difficult really… it’s just that I can’t do it.
Life constantly throws its difficulties at me, and being frugal – I know that’s not the word my detractors use – I attempt to deal with them myself rather than pay an ‘expert’ to sort it all out for me.
Take my alternator – a subject as dry and tedious to me as it is to you. It’s making a noise; I remove it; put it on the dining table; Linda asks me to take it to the workshop table; I loosen the four bolts which undo its casing – allowing you to get at it’s bits… I’m stimulated – I congratulate myself on the fact that I’m already beginning to recognise some parts of it: ‘Ooh look!, I say to myself… there’s a bit of wire. And that must be its shaft.’
On the Internet video, it almost falls open when the bolts are out… but mine doesn’t. So I hit it with something – just like you see them do in Planet of the Apes. Then I try to force it open… but nothing happens.
Happily, just at that moment my neighbour stops-by to help. He has an idea. He gets me to hold it while he hits it. Eventually he gives up – for fear, as he tells me, of braking his hammer.
Now, I don’t want to get technical – I know that I have led you far out into deep water already, and that your head is beginning to swim – but what my alternator needs is new bearings. Or if it didn’t when I started, it certainly does now. And I’m not what you would call mean - I am perfectly happy to put my hand in my pocket and buy a couple of Chinese bearings for the thing… though they may well set me back a quid a piece. I might even be tempted to go to three quid and buy British if the technical rep came round here and put up a good argument in favour of it. But he’d better be quick because already the cost of the job is beginning to escalate – I now see that my exertions have snapped four pieces of copper wire that look as though they were doing something important.
But the thing about me is that I’m like a terrier – I never give up. I always get to the bottom of the problem; and I know that that alternator will be singing along merrily before we all get too old to enjoy, once again, the inestimable advantage of having something that gives you 12 volts of free electricity.
You see, I’m a great believer in the old adage – The more you do, the more you can do. Yes – it annoys me, of course it does. I wish stuff wouldn’t break after twelve years of faultless service… but I’m aware that God broke my alternator for a reason – so that I would learn to make do and mend, and to develop my can do attitude.
But now that I have – I’d be grateful if he could fix the bastard… because it’s beginning to get on my nerves.