17 January 2011


"I don't think I brought the right kind of clothes to change my oil," I said.

"That's fine," N. said. "My dad has plenty of overalls in the shop."

"You might have to help me," I said.

"Nope," N. said. "You are doing it by yourself. There are only three steps."

"Drain the oil," I said. "I have actually done this before, just not since 2002 and never on this particular kind of car."

"Right," he said, "and then change the filter, and then put the new oil in."

"I don't mean that you have to do it for me," I explained. "Just maybe you could at least come out to the shop and supervise?"

"Nope. I am very busy. I have to sleep, and rest, and relax, and read the paper."

But of course he did come and direct. He held the light while I crawled under the car.

Waiting for the oil to drain, I stood there next to the car and started laughing. I laughed and laughed.

"What's so funny?" N. asked, and I just kept laughing.

"What?" he asked again, now starting to laugh himself, helplessly, as one does when someone else is laughing.

"Just look at me!" I said, holding out my arms. I was wearing coveralls that zipped up the front, with the hood of a ratty old sweatshirt (also not mine) over my head to protect my hair, covered pretty much from head to toe with oil and goo. Taking the plug out of the oil tank did not go well.

But my car did not overheat on the drive back to Universe City, nor did the oil light come on, so I proclaimed operation oil change a success.

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