Friday, September 2, 2011

Cousin Joe...

I have an amazing cousin Joe.

He is known by many names depending on who you talk to. Apparently I had a hard time saying Joseph when we were young and pronounced it Jo-Fuss. It didn't take long for that to be shortened to Fuss, as in, quit your fussin'. In Idaho I always introduced him as, "my cousin Joe." This also was shortened to "Cousin Joe." That's what all our friends called him, now Meagan does and that's how he's listed in my phone.

He was then and is still well known for his car skills. He is a mechanic by hobby, trade and the will of God. I spent many summers with him working on motorcycles, four-wheelers, cars and trucks. I have learned quite a bit from him. The best thing I learned from him was his phone number. I call him with questions about cars, and even though he is 600 miles away, he is able to help out and even diagnose my car problems over the phone. Amazing.

This is my car Missy. Short for Miserable Mitsubishi.

If you take away the hub caps, the front grill and most of the hood paint, she's a dead ringer.

A few years ago, I was having some stomach issues that required an endoscopy. That's where they stick a camera down your throat to see what's wrong. It requires general anesthesia. (I spelled that right on the first try without looking it up or spell check)

They told me not to drive for 24 hours until the drugs wore off.

Because of our all day stay at the out-patient center, Meagan ran out with Carson to get some pizza for dinner while I stayed home and passed out. While there, the battery died on Meagan and she was a little panicked. She had hot pizza, young Carson, a sick Husband and now a dead car. She called me and asked what she should do. She had called her Grandpa, but he wasn't home. So I told her I was feeling okay, and I would come get her. This would be the beginning of the end for this car.

When I got to her car, I was tired and wanted to hurry and get home. I was lazy and will take full responsibility for what happens next. When I hooked up the cars to jump them off, I hooked up to Missy backwards. It blew the battery and fried all the electrical. This would lead to a series of very frustrating events.

Several phone calls to Cousin Joe and several hundred dollars later, she was up and running again. Not quite the same as before, but she gets me from point A to wherever she decides to die. I was so tired of putting money into the car, that when no one could figure out why the speedometer wasn't working, I bought a GPS and called it a day. Now I know exactly how fast I'm going.

I have now taken this car apart so many times, I know her intimately.

This leads me to my most recent encounter. One day last week, I was on my way to work when I started hearing a very loud and fast clicking under the dashboard. It was mind-numbing. No amount of radio volume could drown out the clicking. On my day off I set out to once again disassemble Missy's Dashboard and figure out the problem. No such luck. I had not yet decided to call Cousin Joe because I was deteremined to figure this out.

When it came time to run errands, I realized that Meagan's noiseless van was just sitting at her carpool buddy's house, free for the taking. I had endured this for 2 days and I needed some peace and quiet. So the swap was on.

I informed her of the trade and told her I would come trade back after school so she wouldn't have to endure the noise. She told me no to worry about it, it was only a few minutes home. I felt bad and grateful for her all at the same time.

She called me as she was on her way home and asked about the clicking. When I described it to her she told me she couldn't hear it. I thought she was putting me on until she held the phone up and there was nothing but blissful silence. I didn't understand. I asked what she had done and she told me that she just turned the a/c a little warmer and the clicking went away. I love you Meagan.

Don'y worry cousin Joe, you are not being replaced. I'll still call you when my cars break down and I can only afford the family advice. In fact, you should expect a call from me on my next day off because when I turn the dial colder, the clicking comes back...