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Sunday, September 20, 2020
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Of this and that

You know the old story. You take your vehicle to be inspected because you hear a noise, or feel something shake, or a thump when you land in a hole.
 
Well, you say, I’ll fix this thing, and it will probably cost me $70.
 
Then the mechanic removes the bad part and tells you that another part is bad. He removes that, and then points out another part that is gone. By the time he is finished, you need to change five or six parts, all of them badly worn, and you may have to sell piece of your house to pay the man.
 
Funny thing, the vehicle didn’t drive that badly to you. It was only the annoying noise, shake or thump that drew your attention. So how can so many parts be so badly worn and the vehicle is still drivable?
 
I think the answer may be that so many people are so used to driving 3rd-hand, 4th-hand, even 8th-hand and 10th-hand vehicles, and they don’t know how a new vehicle (or one in proper condition) should drive.
 
We become used to feeling the jolts and the shaking, and hearing the squeaks and rattles. Actually, I think some of us would worry if we ever drove a vehicle that was in such good shape it was practically noiseless.
 
Apart from the sudden, serious hit to the wallet, most of us, after the vehicle is repaired, go about our way and don’t visit a mechanic or an inspection shop for years until again, we hear or feel something that alarms us.
 
When you’re licensing your vehicle, all the inspector checks for are brakes, lights, horn and wipers. He doesn’t check for bad tires or misaligned wheels, which can cause skidding on a smooth road, or under wet conditions. Therefore, a vehicle in a dangerous state of disrepair can be licensed.
 
These thoughts come to me because every week, or maybe sooner, I hear about traffic accidents, which are nearly always fatal. I know that many of them are due to drunk drivers, and a number due to sober people who just like to speed.
 
What we don’t know, and probably will never know, is how many accidents are due to vehicles that are in a terrible state of disrepair. As far as I know, after an accident the police don’t check for bad brakes, worn ball joints, loose tie-rod ends and other bad parts that could have caused the accident.
 
If they ever did, I am sure that we would have a different licensing procedure in place, and hundreds of vehicles would be pulled off the road.
 
I almost ended this little piece without mentioning that a vehicle inspection only costs about 10 or 12 bucks, and you only need to do it probably once a year. You don’t need to fix everything; you can prioritize the repairs. There will be lots of drinking and travelling during this Christmas season. If your vehicle isn’t in shape, drive sensibly, especially on bad roads. If we really knew the condition our vehicles were in, some of us would think twice about driving round the block, instead of “squalling 90” on the highway. As the saying goes, the life you save could be your own.
  
XXX
 
Oh yes, I never could understand these banks. Long lines, and just a few tellers. I’ve seen lines get longer, and the next thing you know, instead of more windows opening, a window closes, and a sign is put there saying “use next window.” Hell, man, we needed another teller, not one less.
 
Yes, I know it’s the lunch hour, but surely a system could be in place that has some staff being given time to eat before the rush comes.
 
It’s crazy standing in a long line, with lots to do otherwise, and only two or three tellers to handle the pressure. For customers who suck up the time with large deposits, give them a special teller. These customers are not many, but they really can keep the rest of the line waiting. Like I say, all the banks do it, but it’s not sensible, or courteous.
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