I am writing this post on a Wednesday. It’s last Wednesday of the month, to be precise. And since it is both a Wednesday and the final Wednesday of the month, it is also “Vehicle Maintenance Day”. I established the day specifically to meet the needs of my rusty, somewhat neglected old pickup truck. I know it needs a bath and that the fluids need to be checked. It probably wouldn’t hurt to vacuum the seats or Armorall the cracked dashboard either. And all of this will be accomplished today – on my newly established, monthly “holiday”.
The need for this special day is evidenced by the fact that for me, vehicle maintenance is a bit like flossing my teeth; it’s something that I know ought to be done (and probably needs to be done), but is so frequently crowded out by things which, quite frankly, are just more interesting. Given the choice between cooking a gourmet meal and waxing my truck, dinner wins out. Faced with the choice between a bicycle ride or vacuuming the interior of the cab – well, who doesn’t want to be peddling along a pathway on a sunny day like this? Offered the option to play my guitar or get my hands greasy… you get the idea.
Of course, I justify my vehicular neglect by pointing out that as soon as I wash my truck, a good gust of wind will blow bits of a farmer’s field all over it. And those growing rust spots are as good as an alarm system! After all, who’s going to steal a vehicle that looks like the engine may drop out at any moment? It’s all part of a plan: a very well calculated plan that usually results in my sitting on the couch with a good book rather than actually standing in the driveway holding a sponge.
I admit that I’ve been able to assuage some of the guilt I feel by ensuring that, at least once a month, I read a good book about auto maintenance. (Or something similar. Today it was a bicycle repair manual.) This gives me the sense that I have some expertise in the neglected matter without actually demanding that I do anything about the problem. I may not take the time to tighten those squealing belts, but at least I know that the belts are the source of the obnoxious noise.
Still, there it sits in the driveway. My little white “baby” pickup, its bright white paint marred by the orange rust colonies building around the wheel wells. It’s a bit windy today, but I won’t let that stop me. After all, I planned for this. It’s a monthly holiday and I will soon begin celebrating with a bucket of soapy water, a garden hose, and the latest episode of Car Talk. Long live “Vehicle Maintenance Day”!