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That Disappearing Breed

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That Disappearing Breed

Geoff Maxted
February 10, 2014

Mobile Mechanic
Many years ago I used to frequent the folk clubs of England on a fairly regular basis. I went not to listen to earnest, bearded young men nasally singing about being a Wild Rover so much as being on a campaign to meet girls. The assumption was that folk club chicks would be, how can I put it, a little more liberally outgoing. Outcomes were mixed.

On the other hand my scrambled eggs are legendary. Short-order cooks around the world speak in whispered awe at the magnificence of these clouds of fluffy yolk and albumen. Sorry, the recipe is secret. No, not even for money and that’s an end to it. The point of this is that we can’t all be brilliant at everything.

My old friend, the Artful Bodger, can fix anything. When the Large Hadron Collider breaks down he is their go-to man. He will turn up with some wire and a claw hammer and soon science, like a Higgs Boson particle, will continue its relentless pace. Stan has repaired many cars - a lot of them mine. He has forgotten more than I will ever know about automobiles. Sadly, he doesn’t live close enough to fix my cars now which is why I’m always on the alert for a super-talented spanner spinner, because the one-man-band mechanic seems to be a disappearing breed.

I’ve got a bloke who can fix house stuff and a computer genius on call at very reasonable prices but I don’t yet have a mechanic to call my own. Even my car bodywork guru doesn’t know anyone he can recommend with any solid confidence. Classic car owners are lucky. There’s a whole army of helpful folk out there willing to chip in; but with modern cars this isn’t the case.

The problem is that cars now are very complex. They are run by computers and will only speak with their kind. Car dealers know this which is why we pay astronomic prices when a light bulb goes out. It is true to say though, that the independent garages are catching up fast and many now have the best diagnostic equipment. Increasingly, we are seeing very good, transparent deals on car servicing especially from the big chains. So it’s all good then, you might think; but it isn’t.

The problem is the little jobs. It might be squealing brakes or a mysterious knocking noise. You might just want a simple oil change or need a new radiator hose. Go to a garage and you’ll turn pale and start to hyperventilate when the quote is revealed - when the boss has finished booking his next holiday in the Maldives, obviously.

So don’t wait until it is too late. Get out there now and start scouring the land for that sainted spanner spinner and get his or her number into your device. It pays to plan ahead. If the ideal candidate lives anywhere near Swindon (Gateway To The West) then count me in, BTW.

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