For Want of a Nail

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a nail.

The stakes might not rise to a matter of national security, but with temperatures in the high nineties, the stakes seemed near that high, during my commute. The Toyota relay, pictured with this post, in and of itself retails for about $100. Diagnosis of the problem with my car’s air conditioner and other incidentals raised the total to almost $400. As with any intermittent automobile electrical problem, I’m taking the repair shop’s diagnosis on faith. Also, as with any large outlay of cash, the subject is automatically deemed to be worthy of blog fodder.

Most people I know do not relish the act of car repair. I have long since abandoned all such notions. Fewer still enjoy interacting with car repair shops. You can count me firmly within that camp. About the closest that I get to car repair these days is listening to NPR’s Tom and Ray on Car Talk. I take firmly to heart their near constant advice never to trust car mechanics. That advice and their diagnosis of a caller’s car problem earned them my undying loyalty, but then again I have never driven in Boston. They diagnosed this caller’s problem with their Camry. I had a Camry with the exact same symptoms. Both cars would operate fine in good weather, but once it rained, the car would run rough and frequently stall. Tom and Ray explained that the Camry’s unusually deep spark plug wells, allowed water to pool in them and with any little crack in the spark plug wires, a short would foul that plug. The Camry was the best-selling car in America at that time, and this was supposedly a fairly common problem, why did I have to listen to a radio show to learn what had been ailing my car? 

Part of the enmity emanating from this post is because, less than a month ago I paid this repair shop to inspect my air conditioner, because I suspected that there was a problem. A month ago the A/C was just part of a laundry list of things to look at, which they cursorily did and didn’t find anything wrong. Rather than question the latest bill, I think that I will asked about the last two of them and ask for my money back for the A/C, on the previous bill. It is not much, not as much as I have just out laid, but it will help to assuage my feelings.

PS – After proofing this post, Anne made the following observation: if you combine the article a, with Toyota [and ignore spaces] you have a palindrome.

PPS – Belated birthday wishes to Rey. Sending you two, extra-innings, walk-off, Albert Pujols home runs for your B-day. Plus, they were against the Cubs.

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