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Mountain Sledder Magazine | June 27, 2017

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Mechanics — the Most Interesting People in the World

Mechanics — the Most Interesting People in the World

| On 16, Apr 2017

Mechanics — the Most Interesting People in the World

 

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“I don’t always wash my hands, but when I do, I prefer Fast Orange.” Photo and hand by Colin Wallace

 

I’ve never met a mechanic that wasn’t really interesting in some way or another. There’s a certain mystique, an intangible quality, a je ne sais quoi about mechanics and their special abilities that is hard to define.

 

What is it that makes mechanics just so damned interesting?

For starters, did you know that there are only two types of people in the world that wash their hands before they go pee? Doctors and—you guessed it—mechanics. That puts them in a pretty elite group right there.

But besides their backwards personal hygiene routines, there are other comparisons between mechanics and the second-most interesting people in the world.

Mechanics possess a sacred wisdom; like doctors, they have the ability to understand something that 99.9% of humanity does not—in their case, the motor vehicle. Not unlike the human body, the inner workings of the motor vehicle are shrouded in mystery. And like practitioners in the medical community, it can take years of immersive study and practice for the mechanic to attain mastery of the intricacies of the automobile.

You’d think that such rare and valuable knowledge would put mechanics amongst the wealthiest and most powerful individuals in our society. Unfortunately that is not the case—for now, at least. But things will change in the despotic regime of the post-apocalyptic future, where mechanics—with their sacred knowledge of how to keep crappy old rustbuckets alive—will rule the world.

 

One day, mechanics—like Immortan Joe from the latest Mad Max move—will rule the world.

One day, mechanics—like Immortan Joe—will rule the post-apocalyptic world. But for now they’ll focus on Nascar and maintaining a nice lawn.

 

Here are a few other factors that set mechanics apart from—and above—ordinary citizens.

 

Mechanics are really good at smoking. Have you ever seen how far down a mechanic can dangle a dart? They can hang a butt so loose that you sometimes can’t even see lip skin attached. The best mechanics’ cigarettes have actually been known to defy gravity. And they make smoking functional too; heavy-duty mechanics have been known to take a big haul on a smoke for a little extra light when they’re out doing a field repair in the dead of night. Genius.

 

Put some coveralls on this guy and you get the picture.

Slap some coveralls and some grease on this city slicker and you get the picture.

 

 

Mechanics are also excellent swearers. They know more subtle variations of the f-word than Inuit people have ways to describe snow. Sailors take note. But where does this wealth of profane knowledge come from? Is it a theoretical component of the apprenticeship program? Or does the depth of a mechanic’s swear-cabulary vary in relation to the number of black fingernails they’ve given themselves over their career?

 

Mechanics make great hockey players. Even if they can hardly skate, they are still the best sort of teammate; the kind you can hit up for for free advice about the varying issues of your crappy, broken-down vehicle that you’re too cheap to take in to the repair shop. The mechanic is the most popular guy in the dressing room! They might not score too many goals, but they still get figurative points for willingly dispensing their sage wisdom.

 

Donnie from Kal Tire doesn't score a lot, but he shows great leadership in the dressing room.

Donnie from Kal Tire doesn’t score a lot, but he shows great leadership in the dressing room.

 

 

Mechanics have excellent auditory perception. They can diagnose a vehicle’s problem without even seeing it. They only need listen to the owner’s attempt to reproduce the sound of the issue.

For example:

Owner: “It goes, ‘wwwwaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!’ when I’m driving.”

Mechanic: “Easy, that’s your left rear wheel bearing.”

or

Owner: “When it’s cold it sounds like, ‘whirrr-duh-duh-duh-duh-duh-duh.'”

Mechanic: “That’s piston slap. Turn up the radio.”

 

Colin Wallace Photo

Colin Wallace Photo

 

 

Mechanics are incredibly adaptive. Need a new Powerstroke diesel engine installed? That’ll be $10,000. The exhaust pipe on your Subaru is falling off? That’ll run you one can of Campbell’s soup, two hose clamps and a case of Bud heavys for the labour. Mechanics can work on your $2M helicopter or your $500 GMC Astrovan, no problem.

 

These are just a few of the things that make mechanics more interesting than your average Joe. Their special talents are the grease that keeps the cogs of modern society in motion. So next time you get the chance to hang out with your favourite mechanic, crack and beer and stick around… they’ll probably have something interesting to say!

 

— Pat

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