Neighbour borrows car









I’m going away on holiday for a month and am letting my neighbour borrow my car. Is that weird? Everyone I speak to about this says it’s weird. In fact, my mum believes I should tell absolutely no one about my holiday because it means my house will become a target for theft. I think she’s just being a bit dramatic. As far as the car goes, I had no issue with my neighbour using it. She has a good job and keeps her home in well-kept order. I fail to see how her borrowing my car could pose any sort of a risk. She had a car up until about three months ago when she broke up with her boyfriend. I’m not exactly sure what happened there, but she ended up keeping the place and she let him take the car. I guess there’s great peace of mind that she’s not carless because she’s a poor driver who crashed her car. 

Part of the arrangement for her borrowing my car is that she promises to get the car cleaned before I’m back and that she will also take it for its log book service while I’m away. Ordinarily I’d rather get the service done while I am still here, but the mechanic informed me that he has a backlog of appointments and will be away for a few weeks which meant I wouldn’t be able to get my car in for at least another two months after I return. 

My neighbour wasn’t phased at all about the car service. She was just appreciative that I was happy to let her borrow my car. I guess it does help the fact the mechanic isn’t too far from where we live. I’ve managed to find a really reliable mechanic near me. Moorabbin has several mechanics, but I wanted to pick one who I was sure wouldn’t stuff my neighbour around. While I’m doing the favour of letting her borrow my car, I don’t want her experiencing any hassle while trying to do me a favour in return.

I’m No Hoon

Sometimes, the classic cartoon shows are the best. Petty Car Dealer Sailor Hoon was something I watched every single weekday morning when I was growing up, and this was long before I even knew about animation. I just thought it was an amazing new cartoon, in a style so foreign and wonderful, about groundbreaking new concepts that my young mind could barely comprehend. It was all of that, and so much more, and you never forget your first cartoon binge.

I was even part of a street racing club for a little while when I finished school, although it was less of the illegal street racing and more like… we just set a point on a map and we had to all get there: legally, slowly and carefully. That was how I ended up in need of my first car breakdown repair. Brunswick streets were less chaotic back then, but I was new to driving and the concept terrified me. Still, I was determined to be like Sailor Hoon (without all the illegal stuff) so I pretend I was into it. At one point I was turning right onto a semi-busy street and I thought the right was clear, and it was NOT clear, and someone clipped my wheel as I went past and I skidded into a postbox. This was my Dad’s car so I was freaking out, and that’s how I went to got my car towed. Also, I never drove again.

I learned a valuable lesson that day: your heroes are called that for a reason. Sailor Hoon is an exceptional character, so skilled and compassionate, but skirting the edge of the law with her hoon driving and addiction to a cutesy, made-up brand of instant noodles. I could admire her without wanting to BE her.

I also learned that if you ever need tyre repair in Preston after some idiot blows your hubcap clean off, there are some very nice people who’ll help you out. I assume there are, anyway. I take the bus everywhere nowadays.


The Tachometer

The Mazda 3, seriously? The Mazda 3. How could the Mazda 3 be the one to get the hose? The main guy on the show is an absolute madman. He had a choice to go on a cross-country trip with two cars, and one of them was an X-Trail, so obviously they had a GREAT time, but then this idiot goes and choose to give the hose to the Mazda. Some people just don’t know cars and it drives me insane. Uh, yeah, like, that Mazda is really going to make you happy next time you decide to go off-road in the country.

Gosh, The Tachometer really gets me worked up, and it’s the first bit of reality TV I’ve ever wanted to engage with. Now every time I book my car in for a service with a mechanic near me in Bentleigh, or I fill up with petrol, or when I book my car in for another service because I put diesel in instead of petrol and it needs repairs, I think of that main guy and all the bad car dating decisions he’s making. I wouldn’t even need any auto repairs if it weren’t for the show, because I was thinking about it when I crashed, and all the mistakes that I wouldn’t make if I was the guy, and then suddenly the engine is whining and the car is rolling to a halt and that reminds me, I need to get some recommendations for panel beating places because when I filled up with the wrong fuel and skidded to a halt, a guy went into the back of me. Rude!

Anyway, The Tachometer is a terrible, addictive show and I wish I didn’t love it as much as I did, especially with all the AI business. If it was just a guy taking cars on dates I’d understand, but it’s all ‘talking’ and ‘feelings’ and ‘the car protests when you take it in to get car servicing near Bentleigh.  You have to rip off its wheels and it cries and screams in pain and the whole thing is televised, even the part where it gets rejected by its human and taken to the junkyard.’

It’s a great distraction, though, I’ll give it that.


Learn About Car Servicing

Anyone else think that The Great Australian Trade-Off has lost some of the magic? I know it’s only season 2 and I’m probably expecting too much, but still, I just think…it seems lacklustre. Like, they didn’t cast the right people. The challenges are all very interesting, and I like seeing how they muddle through the various problems, but it’s all ‘argument, getting along, argument, getting along’. Just going through the motions.

I don’t know. It’s still one of those ‘have open in another tab’ shows, you know? Like this week, when they were split into teams of three and had to repair a classic car. It was great to see June taking on an organisational role while Brent used his car expertise, but Camilla didn’t know a single place that does car servicing in Elwood, where she supposedly lives and drives? Then Camilla had the gall to admit on television that she doesn’t really take care of her car and she’s just going to leave it up to the rest of her team. She helped out with the basic stuff, but she just didn’t seem willing to learn the basics of a car servicing procedure. She should’ve been eliminated, is what I’m saying. Instead, Grace was booted from the competition because she tried a bit of impromptu tire repair with good intentions and the thing ended up rolling down a hill into the river. Followed by the car…screeching down the hill with one wheel missing and getting sunk. Okay, that’s pretty bad, but Grace was trying at least. Camilla did nothing. Like, I can tell you a really good garage for car servicing here in Caulfield, like…immediately. Because I drive. And it’s good to know where you can take your car so that it won’t blow up while you’re driving it. SO now I have to watch the show knowing that Camilla is still on it, and she could break down at any time, and she wouldn’t have a CLUE how to fix it.


The Worst-Best Mechanic Around

car service RingwoodI’m really glad I don’t do car repairs any more. That’s because I just got hooked on the video game ‘Over-Botch’.The aim is to do as badly as possible to become the very best at being bad. I haven’t heard of anyone taking up a career in Over-Botch and also doing the same thing in real life, but I seriously think you’d get burned out really quickly. The game is just that realistic that it’d be a serious brain drain coming home and then doing everything you’ve just been doing, but in reverse.

I’m not doing so badly with this whole virtual mechanic thing, either. Which is to say, uh…I AM doing badly. But I’m GOOD at being bad. Number 42 in all of Australia. I’ve set up a nice little place in virtual Ringwood. Good quality car servicing is my main deal, although I offer a wide range of services from brake replacement to log book servicing.

See, if this was real life Ringwood with real life car servicing, you’d get a name for yourself in the community, people would start recommending you to their friends…and all that stuff is important for a car mechanic. Most people are pretty clueless when it comes to cars, so they look for someone they can trust. Whereas in the magical bizarro world of Over-Botch, people are actually just looking for someone they CAN’T trust, so they can get the worst service possible, after which they go and tell all their friends that this guy can’t be trusted, he does terrible work and you should totally go and get car services from him.

As amusing as it all is, I’m glad things work the way they do in our world. So if I ever find myself looking for good log book servicing near Ringwood, or somewhere a little bit closer to home, I’ll be searching for someone trustworthy. As in, trustworthy to do a GOOD job. Probably don’t need to specify that IRL though.


Car Mechanics OUTSIDE the Family

car service BentleighMa and Pa aren’t too keen on getting folks in to do things for them, so we’ve always been pretty independent up here on the farm. That’s what I’ve been taught since I was too young to toddle: the Jacoby family does things their way. Well, that, and ‘if family calls, you come running no matter what’. That’s why there was a great family emergency when we found out that Cousin Kerleen got a guy in to fix her washing machine. First off, the Jacoby family don’t use washing machines…Ma says that’s what the communal lake is for. And second, Carlene actually got a guy in. And paid him.

And now we have family crisis #2, since Cousin Merv let slip that he’d been and gone to a good quality car service mechanic in Bentleigh, because there was a problem with his Corolla motor that he couldn’t fix himself. Something about the crankshaft pulley…I don’t know. I like to garner knowledge, but cars have just never interested me in that way. So now Merv is in double trouble, because Pa LOVES fixing cars and that means both rules have been broken at once: Merv didn’t fix his own problem, and he didn’t call in the family.

I wouldn’t say it out loud at any of our family gatherings, but I’m on Mervin’s side. Pa likes his automotive repairs, but he’s not that good at them. Mostly he just crosses a few wires, hammers some things back into place, slams down the hood and then blames and problems on overseas factory workers when things go wrong. No, Pa, it couldn’t be the fact that you didn’t fix the problem at all, but instead probably made it worse because you think you know stuff about cars when you don’t.

Doesn’t matter anyway, because you can’t apply logic to the Jacoby family rules. Apparently there’s a total ban on all decent services, which is why I’m secretly funneling a good car air conditioning service in Moorabbin to Merv. It’s far enough away that Pa won’t get word of it, so now he gets to think he’s still the hero. Ah, family politics…

-Forrest Jacoby Jr. Jr.