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Reflections — 8 Comments

  1. The owner of a ship had a problem with his engine. It didn’t run. He didn’t know why. He asked a mechanic to fix it. The mechanic came, looked here and looked there, gently tapped with a small hammer here and there, hummed to himself, tapped a little more and finally gave an almighty bang with a hammer somewhere. The motor sprang into life, purring like a well-contented kitten. A week later, the ship owner got the bill from the mechanic. It said: 1.000 €. The ship owner couldn’t believe it and wrote a letter to the mechanic, complaining that the only thing he did was giving an almighty bang with a hammer, and that this couldn’t possibly cost 1.000 €. Could the mechanic please send a new, specified bill, please? A few days later, he got a new bill. It said: Giving a bang with a hammer: 5,- €. Knowing exactly where to give an almighty bang with a hammer: 995,- €.

    My respects, Grandad, for being able to kick the rearview mirror. I’m a bit younger than you but I’m sure, I wouldn’t be able to give such a beautiful kick in the height of an average wing-mirror. It would end with my lying on the ground, next to me the wing-mirror, beyond all repair. 😉

    • I used to work as a fault technician [would now be called an engineer] and one of the first things I learned was where to thump a television to discover the location and nature of a fault.  One of my previous cars had a dodgy starter and by the time I sold the car, the starter motor was very nicely dented from the lump-hammer.

  2. Fairy Liquid (or any washing up liquid, I guess, but I’m told Fairy is the best) can be found in most car workshops. It is invariably used for fitting new rubber hoses which would otherwise refuse to fit over the bit of engine for which they are made. Fairy is also found on building sites. Bricklayers mix a squirt in with the mortar which apparently makes it much easier to work with. I use it when I’m fitting hoses on gas fittings. And of course, it’s invaluable for establishing if you have a leaky valve or puncture on your tyre, due to its viscosity and propensity to make bubbles. I’m sure it has other uses. Oh, yes – washing up. I almost forgot.

    • Another time it’s great is when screwing into wood – just run a dribble along the thread.  I have also used it in the past when trying to inflate a tubeless tyre that has gone flat.  Apply a tourniquet around the circumference of the tyre, having made a sticky soapy “seal” around the rims.  Great stuff!

  3. I’ve actually used the same technique on main frame computers to much success (even though it shouldn’t really work). In fact, I’ve clubbed and kicked all sorts of machine type things back into life or back into place so much so that the toes on my right foot are shorter than my left. I can’t kick things with my left foot though lest I fall over.

  4. A lady acquaintance of mine, many years ago had a fucked n/s mirror on her Ford Fiesta, so I accompanied her to the local breaking yard (giving her directions of course, she had never heard of the place) and we trudged around the site looking for a wrecker to take one off, eventually we found one and I (I brought my own improvised tool-kit) managed to get the bugger off, then you check into the Portacabin on the way out to pay for your reclaimed item, and the bloke behind the counter said he stocked new ones.

    So the lady bought a brand new one, and then I attempted to get the old one off and the new one on, must have took a fucking hour, had to rip the door linings out then attach the adjustment knob thingy and figure out where all the arm bits mounted, but I eventually overcame it, that’s about the last time I was trying the gallant gentleman act for a lady friend…

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