Puppies and oil changes

Today’s the last full day I get to enjoy having four Guard Beasts playing rent-a-cop around the house:

Let me assure you that I actually do feel safer with the extra two around, simply because Maynard counts as 3 of Nell and Jaden just looks like a badass—though both of them have spent more time barking at dogs walking on the sidewalk outside than at people who’ve come to our door (read: 100% more time).  I’m going to miss seeing their eager, attentive faces every morning as I prepare breakfast:

*Note that the only two actually paying attention are not mine.  Can you tell which of these 4 are food-driven?

In other news, this is the man that showed me how to change the oil in The Beast this weekend:

This is why I married him.  Because he oozes manliness and mechanical ability.  I heart this man.

Since the Malibaby and The Beast both needed oil changes, and because I got a rare, random desire to learn how, he showed me how to do it first on the Malibaby and then I did it on my own for The Beast.  Which provided me irrefutable proof of why The Beast is so much better than the Malibaby:

  1. It’s a truck and therefore high enough off the ground to not required lifting of any type.
  2. The oil filter is conveniently placed right next to the oil pan and in a vertical position, so there’s no contorting of the arms/body/implements to get to it and screw it off.
  3. Sheer kick-assedness because it’s a truck and not a Chevy POS.

Ok, maybe that last one wasn’t a new fact since I’ve been claiming this ever since he got the Malibaby.  But it’s still relevant, if for no other reason than the fact that we didn’t almost kill ourselves with a plastic tire ramp while working on The Beast’s oil. 

So since the Malibaby is low to the ground, Clayton informs me that first we have to jack each side up and put the front half of the car on jack stands.  I see two tire ramps sitting forlornly in a corner of the garage and ask why we don’t just use them, and Clayton patiently explains that the floor of the garage is smooth cement and the tire ramps are cheap, so they slide.  To keep them in place while Clayton drives the car onto them, I’d have to hold one steady and he didn’t want me to risk it.

However, I am fearless in the presence of logic and argue that he’d let his brother do it.  And how am I supposed to learn Manly Garage Stuff if he keeps trying to babysit me about it?  Besides, I argue most convincinglyest, it’ll be more work to jack each side and jimmy the jack stands under than to spend two minutes driving the car up some ramps.  He reluctantly agrees and we position the cheap tire ramps.

I use my foot to hold one in place and, with tension in the air (him b/c he’s worried I’ll mess this up though he’s too nice to voice it out loud, and me b/c he keeps giving me this warning, don’t-eff-this-up look), I hand motion him up the tire ramp.

He hits the gas, goes up the ramp I’m steadying, and when the tire’s in the ramp dip where it should be, I say, “Whoa!  Stop!  You’re there.”

He brakes suddently and glares at me in a way that makes me think he’s considering strangling me.

Me: “What?  You’re there on this side.  What’s your problem?”
Him: “You put your hand up!”
Me: “So?”
Him: “I thought something was wrong!  NEVER tell someone to brake when they’re driving a car up on a ramp!”
Me: “But you were there on this side!  You want me to let you drive off the end of it?”
Him: “I may be good on that side, but how’s the tire on the other side?”
Me: *after taking a look* “Not there yet.  The ramp must’ve slipped forward a little.  Give it more gas.”

I hear four things almost simultaneously: Clayton grinds his teeth, the engine roars, there’s a quick squeal as the back tires peal out a little, and then a massive THUNK!  The car is essentially in the same spot as before, with the wheel on my side up on the tire ramp where it should be–my immediate reaction is to wonder what just happened, since the car’s supposed to be up on both ramps by now.  Clayton’s reaction is to wring his hands on the steering wheel, glare so hard he looks like his eyes are shut, and firmly curse under his breath. 

I walk around to his side of the car and see that the tire ramp, which was formerly in front of the tire, has somehow shot behind the tire and is now firmly wedged underneath the car in front of the REAR tire.  Clayton gives me another murderous glare.

Me: “WHAT!?  Why are you glaring at me?  How did that happen?”
Him: *in a low, purposefully-controlled voice* “Because I hit the brakes.”
Me: *derisive snort* “Not likely.  The laws of physics say that because YOU GASSED THE ENGINE, it made the tire sling the ramp back underneath the car.  You shouldn’t have done that.”
                *Clayton’s glare could now cut glass.*
Him: “Because. I hit the brakes. BEFORE THE TIRE WAS ALL THE WAY ON THE RAMP.  The car.  Had to work.  HARDER. To get. Up. The ramp. And the TORQUE. Shot the ramp. Under. The car.”
Me: “….Oh.”
Him: *glareglareglare*
Me: “Looks like we should’ve just jacked the car and put it up on the stands, huh?”
Him: *spontaneous heart attack while his brain explodes, then death*

So, I got more lessons after that, such as:

  • how the hydraulic jack works,
  • the proper place to jack the rear corner of a car to remove a slightly-dented tire ramp,
  • how to properly fit the jack stands under the cars, and
  • the fact that you should shake the car before you start working under it so that if it’s going to fall, you know before you’re underneath it. 

After that, both oil changes went without a problem.  I was surprised at how easy it was, though I was pretty proud of myself afterward.  And, besides from feeling empowered that you can fix something on your own car, apparently working on a car makes you feel like Megan Fox from the Transformers, just without the short shorts.  You may not actually LOOK that kind of sexy outside of your imagination during that half hour that you’re doing the car work, but no self-respecting guy is going to have a mirror in his garage to prove you wrong.  So, theory not disproved = reality.   

And I figured out that I may not always look good in makeup (since I lack a certain fashion sense regarding complimentary colors and flawless application techniques), but l look damn good with a few grease marks on my face.  It’s like mechanic’s blush.  Unfortunately, something tells me that said look will not successfully carry over into the workplace.  Though the coveralls WOULD look pretty badass in our conference room.


1 Comment

Filed under cars, disasters, dogs, dogsitting

One response to “Puppies and oil changes

  1. R. Prachel

    lol, speechless, i used to just slide under the big ass truck and then your mother and i spread kitty litter everywhere for the spilled oil as she moved the pan before the engine had fully drained…..(says this with the same teeth clenched heart palpatations and then the brain aneurism explodes a mans brain and thats why we die before women) clenched teeth smile of increduality, Clayton recently experienced. He loves being your husband……….

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