A Morality Tale
The story I am about to relate has no basis in truth. It is an entirely made up tale. No one in this saga lives on earth. I am quite literally pulling this story out of my ass. Any similarity to people living or dead is purely coincidental.
A long time ago, let's say about six years ago, there was a young woman who was in need of a new car. Her old car, a let's say 1989 Chevy Cavalier, had served her long and well. This car thrived on neglect. It was close, I am told, to 300,000 miles when the clutch finally burned out. This woman also had a child, lets say age 2, at that time. She was starting to worry about behemoth SUV's crushing her and her child in their little Cavalier.
It was decided in this kingdom that a new car was in order for this woman. A bigger car. A brand new car. After all, the man in this kingdom was pimping his Jaguar all over the place, and it was just Wrong for his woman and child to be tooling around in such an unspectacular car.
Now, truth be told, the woman wasn't that interested in the status symbol of the car. For her, they were merely things you drove to and from places. She rarely considered her car, except to fill it up with gas. The man in the kingdom tried, in vain, to get her into a Mercedes SUV - or maybe at least a Volvo. The woman stood fast. She worked at a place where she served families in poverty. It would be unseemly to roll up in a Mercedes SUV. No fancy cars.
The search dragged on. One car, too small and cramped. Another, too big and bulky. One she liked, but wanted a manual transmission. Finally, the man narrowed the choices down to one dealership, with which his family had long and intimate connections.
The woman was brought to test drive the narrowed choices. She was ambivalent. "Whatever", was her general attitude. The man announced he had made a choice. He had chosen the car. "All right", she said.
Now, the woman had always maintained, as previously noted, a fairly laissez-faire attitude about car things. Her jobs entailed specific functions, and these did not include thinking about the car. Ever. This was something that was Not. Her. Job.
Things were pretty good for the first year. Well, maybe not the very first day when she backed the new car into the Cavalier, giving the new car a big dent. The phrase "Can't give you anything nice" may have been spoken. But dents can be repaired.
No, the issue came at about year one of ownership. Upon driving home one night, she heard an odd clicking sound. "Hmmm", she thought, "that sounds different." She mentioned to the man that she heard a clicking noise. He announced he would investigate.
The woman was relaxing on the couch, pondering her existence when the man hauled ass into the house. He seemed distressed. "When was the last time you put oil in the car?", he fumed. The woman turned her rather perplexed face to the man.
"Oil? I don't put oil in the car. That's Not. My. Job.", she replied calmly. "Besides, no indicator light ever came on."
Oh, dear reader. The storm that broke was like none other seen prior to this moment in that kingdom. There were expletives, aplenty. There were accusations. Names may have been called. The woman maintained that oil was not. Her. Job. The man disagreed. Greatly.
The woman came away with the message, however, that she must now keep the car filled with oil - always. She was a little chafed at this, as she still felt that it was not intrinsically Her. Job.
Not a week went by for several months, without some comment being made regarding the checking of the holy oil by the man to the woman. Though the woman is generally a kind and patient creature, this was getting to be a bit fucking much already.
One night she was driving home, and needed to get gas. She knew that the oil question would be asked. Had she checked it? Had she replenished it? Had she made the requisite offerings at the Temple of oil? She grew...Angry. This thought may have crossed her mind.
"I will fill this car with so much fucking oil, I may never have to check it again."
She then may have dumped 4 quarts of some of oil into the car. She may have felt very self satisfied. "Yes, you bossy son of a bitch, I DID check the oil - and there's PLENTY!!!!"
She was not aware of the potential issues which she had just brought down upon her car. Until about two weeks later. The man and the woman and the child were driving home from a trip. The man noticed some smoking from under the hood. He was puzzled. He pulled over and looked under the hood. Nothing seemed terribly amiss. There was some errant oil. It must be burning off.
The woman held her tongue. She did not mention the massive amount of oil which may have been placed into the car. By her. She felt it would all sort itself out.
Alas, the real tragedy did not occur until perhaps year 3, when the woman was driving home on an interstate from a work assignment. Ungodly clanking and noises began to come from under the hood. She called the man on her cell phone and began screaming "CAN YOU HEAR THIS FUCKING NOISE????"
Oh yes. Indeed he could hear it. The woman got back to her office and the car was taken to the dealership. Where it was found that it needed a whole new engine. The engine had mysteriously completely blown. Something about "Sludge" was mentioned.
The woman now knew that she could never, never mentioned the overfilling of oil. She also wrote the check for the 3,000 dollars for the new engine, although she cringed, cause that's some shoes right there. The man raged. He cursed the car gods. He threatened lawsuits to be brought on the corporation who manufactured such a faulty product. But the woman wisely maintained her silence. She knew her own temper had caused this downfall. Hubris, if you will.
orignally published at my blog www.balefulregards.com - which has LOTS of super awesome stories about me (Vermont-white) , my bi-racial badass daughter, and my "raised by Black Panthers in Detroit" Husband. All finding our way.