Check Engine Light
The kind of comedy I love best is the kind that sort of points out the flaws in human beings, the kind where we can recognize and laugh at ourselves or at the foibles of our society in general. Keeping Up Appearances does this well. It’s a British television show, and it could probably never be remade in the United States because, for one thing, the humor is gentler than American humor. I like the kind of stories where you can tell on yourself and laugh. Or tell on someone else and laugh. That’s good, too.
Damian Carson, the subject of two blog posts back, is one of the few men I’ve ever known who was good at this kind of humor. He didn’t mind being the butt of his own joke. He had a self-deprecating sense of humor, which I would say is generally a trait that women share. Men, not so much.
I don’t hear a lot of men willing to make fun of themselves. I think it’s probably something about our culture that doesn’t encourage this, like little boys have to be strong and perfect. Maybe it explains some of the examples of misandry that are found in popular culture today. Men won’t make fun of themselves, so we do it for them.
Damian told me a true story once that was hilariously comic. Perhaps it was so funny because it was tragic. Frequently, there’s an element of pain of some kind in the things we laugh about.
Damian had a Plymouth Neon, back when they were called Plymouth Neons and not Dodge Neons. It was a hatchback. He had a girlfriend he was dating at the time. They went to New Mexico so that he could go on a job interview for this opportunity that would have been a big raise for him. He made it a date, too, and brought the girlfriend along.
The trip was to Albuquerque, a beautiful and scenic destination. Damian and his date decided to take a drive up the Rocky Mountains to do some sightseeing. They were a ways up the mountain when the check engine light on his car came on. Naturally, this was the summer. They were nowhere near a filling station or anything of the kind. He decided to drive on and risk it.
When his engine actually started smoking he decided to stop driving and pull over. He left the girlfriend in the car. He could see that his engine needed some fluid, some kind of coolant. But they didn’t have any water in the car. They hadn’t even brought a bottled water with them to drink.
So, what does he do? Maybe you can see this coming. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, he whips it out and pees under the hood of his car right in front of his shocked date. He lets that sit for awhile. You can just imagine how pleasant that smell must have been in the middle of the summer in the middle of the Rocky Mountains in the cab of a car with no air conditioning. I don’t think this chick’s date with Damian worked out as well as mine had.
After what he felt was a sufficient amount of time, Damian tries to turn on the engine again and finds that it will not start. Actually, it will never start again. Maybe if he had stopped at the moment when the check engine light first came on it might have. But because he waited so long when the car finally got to a mechanic the mechanic told him that he might as well buy a new car because the engine had to be completely replaced.
You might wonder how Damian and his date got down from the mountain. Well, here’s where the date might have actually improved. Fortunately, he did have a cell phone and was able to call for some kind of mountain rescue. So, in the end they got a helicopter ride over the Rocky Mountains, which was probably very cool.
And the moral of this story is.
- Don’t ignore the Check Engine Light.
- Take water with you before heading for the mountains.
- Don’t pee in your car.
- Just pay for the helicopter ride over the Rocky Mountains. In the end, it’s less expensive.