I have actually taken a break from working in the garage, because I thought I needed to talk about a situation that I am sure many of you can relate. I was getting ready to work under the dash of my Squarebody, and now I’m contemplating how I should proceed with my next move. That might not sound like a big deal, but my next move could very well result in me getting stuck in a very uncomfortable position – literally.
Although working under the dash of the C10, is not a particularly hard task, the problem for me is that this repair requires me actually getting under the dash. By all accounts, this requires becoming a contortionist to get to where I need to be. Since I am about as flexible as an Oak 4×4, it is definitely not a position I am happy to partake.
Yeah, I know, I’m talking about getting old again, but it bothers me that there used to be a time in my life when such a proposition didn’t cause a cold sweat, a nervous twitch, or the obligatory groan of disappointment. I mean, c’mon, I don’t remember it ever being that hard to get under the dash of a vehicle – 20 years ago. But now things have changed.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the work that bothers me, nor is it the getting under the dash that worries me. My concern is that once I do actually get under there, I might not be able to get back out without help. Let’s face it, I’m large enough that when trying to do something like fit under the dash of a vehicle, it’s often compared to looking like someone is trying to push a marshmallow through a french fry cutter – it’s not a look the ladies would gravitate toward if you know what I mean. Regardless of the mental picture I have bestowed upon you, I wedged myself into place.
Like many of you guys, I enjoy my alone time in the garage. I turn on the radio, grab a cold beverage and the tools that I think I’ll need, and get to it. Usually though, as soon as I do get under the car – or in this case, dash, I realize I didn’t grab all the tools I need on the first trip. Well, that happened again, and that means I needed to come back out from under the confined location that took a while to get into. “Back in the day,” it was no big deal to climb out from under the dash and walk to the tool box – multiple times. Now however, that is not the case.
Even lying down on the floor now worries me, because I know that eventually I’ll need to get back up – or at least convince myself not to take a nap while I’m there. And we all know that getting up isn’t as easy as it used to be. Go ahead and laugh, but I know I’m not alone here.
I’m sure that many of you guys have been under a car, and instead of climbing out from under said car to get a needed wrench, you either A) yell for the wife to come out to the garage, B) actually wait for someone to come out to the garage, or C) if you’re like me, don’t go to the garage anymore without backup. Yep, it’s come down to this – I need a chaperone when I go to the garage. I have learned to hide my intentions by calling the evening a “hang out” session so the chaperone(s) don’t realize my true motive.
This “chaperone” is not only there to be an on-hand wrench go-getter, this person also needs to keep me from doing something stupid that I will inevitably write about. But, if they’re not able to keep me out of trouble, at least they can be an integral part of it.
While getting old does have its pitfalls, I’ve learned to live with them, and will not stop working on cars. I have also inevitably learned that there is another benefit to having a chaperone in the shop with me. I now have someone I can blame when things don’t go quite as planned. — Randy