TOADLENA, NM Last night,
Lou Benjamin and two of his neighbors gathered in the Benjamins’ garage to figure out
just what’s going wrong with that 1989 Pontiac Grand Am of his.
calling the meeting to order, Benjamin opened his miniature refrigerator and retrieved a
bottle of beer for each man in attendance. Then the real business could
“So what seems to be the problem?” asked Glenn
“Well,” began Benjamin, “I don’t quite know. We were driving
along yesterday when it just started shakin’. Then it made this klunka-klunka-klunka
sound. And then it just went thunk. And that was it.”
George Orvis. “Let’s take a look under that hood.”
So the men got out
their shiny red toolboxes and brought them to the front of the car. Benjamin popped the
“Hmmm…” they all said thoughtfully as they stared at the big pile of
metal and plastic. They each took a few gulps of their beer and looked at the engine
from a number of different angles. Then they went back to the fridge and got a few more
bottles of beer.
“Huh,” commented Benjamin pensively, while smacking a
wrench on a big plastic thing inside the engine compartment.
“I think this
could be your problem,” said Orvis, who pointed a Phillips screwdriver at a medium-sized
metal gizmo. “I think this thingy could be in need of some stuff.”
black stuff?” asked Benjamin incredulously.
“Nah. The green stuff,” Orvis
“Huh,” noted Harper.
“I don’t know,” began
Benjamin. “It looks to me like it’s needin’ some attention over here.” And he smacked
the big plastic thing with the wrench again.
“Could be right,” said Orvis.
“Ya might wanna tighten up that doodad.”
“Hmmm…” the men replied in
The three men continued to stand in the garage, wandering around
the car, drinking beer, and smacking miscellaneous auto parts until Orvis’ wife informed
him that it was time to come home.
This morning, Benjamin’s wife picked up
the beer bottles and called Rudy, the mechanic. He says that he should have the car
fixed by the end of the day.