I was busy with the morning paper work when the front door swung wide open, as if a strong wind had just come up. A fumbling young lad comes bolting through the door like a linebacker. Two steps into the lobby and he trips over his own two feet, stumbles and manages to catches himself with his chin on the bar stool at the front counter. He took a few seconds to compose himself, then pops up straight and tall, and does a full body shake like a dog after a bath.
"Hi, how u doin'?" he says, still adjusting his jacket from the collision with the bar stool.
Quite a first impression, don't ya think? Trying to keep my composure I answered, "Just fine, you need some help there, buddy?"
"My truck, you know… that red one out there in the parking lot."
Now, I've heard some stories in my time, but this guy had a good one. His Chevy truck problems seemed to run the gauntlet of weirdness. One blank work order wasn't enough to write it all down. I ran out of room rather quickly and resorted to a yellow legal pad. It was turning into a full blown novel.
It's the headlights, no… it's the blower motor, no not that either, it's the wipers, oh, wait a minute it's the transmission… wait, wait… the door locks. Nope, must be the engine, could be the radio, shucks no… it's the HVAC. I can't tell. The more he talked the more I kept writing. I wasn't sure if he was only adding as many things as possible so he could get it ALL looked at one time, or he was just making stuff up as he went along. I don't even know if he was keeping track of what he was actually talking about. It didn't matter… the weirdness got even weirder.
"They've been tweaking my truck," he tells me.
"Tweaking? What do you mean by "tweaking" and who was doing the "tweaking?" I said. (Bewildered and confused, but I had to ask.)
"The guys who stole my truck, they were tweaking it."
"Sorry to hear it was stolen. Did the cops get it back for you?"
"No, I found it."
"That's super, where did ya find it?"
"At my friend's house, I pulled it back to my apartment with my motorcycle." (I would have loved to have seen that!)
This keeps getting stranger and stranger. My legal pad was filling up. I gave up writing things down, and decided I'm just going to listen to this debacle for awhile, see where it leads. You know, sometimes I think there should be a psychiatrist on call for people like this. I think this stumbling-motorcycle-towing-tweaker needs a little tweaking of his own.
"So …," I'm hesitant to ask, "You want me to "un-tweak" the truck?"
"No, I need you to tweak it better. You can do that right?"
Now exactly what this guy is referring to is still a mystery to me. At this point, I think Mr. Tweaker has gone from just plan nuts to certifiable.
Not only did none of it make sense, but this guy didn't even want anything fixed. No seriously, he didn't…. Because, oh you'll love this… all of the systems he mentioned … WORK! Everything was fine; what he really wanted was his truck to be better than factory. The stolen part was as bogus as the rest of his story; he was using that as an excuse to gain an advantage over his insurance company. Oh sure, the car was at his buddy's house, and I think he did tow it back, but after talking to him it sounded like he owed his buddy some money for doing some repairs. ("Tweaking" I guess.)
Not only was his suggestion of claiming it stolen questionable, old "Tweakie" forgotten a few important steps to his master plan. He didn't file a police report, notify his insurance company or… pay his last premium. (He told me that after I informed him his plan wasn't going to work.) So not only was his little caper to turn his truck into a Chevy pickup on steroids by "tweaking" the factory specs an idiotic plan, but his method of paying for the whole thing was completely illegal.
"Ok buddy, you're done here. You can take your truck and head down the road. I can't help you with your silly little adventure. You've got more issues than I care to deal with, and most of them are not with your truck."
He stood at the counter for awhile as if he was in shock. Blinking several times like he was staring at a bright light, then shook his head as if he just took a huge shot of 100 proof Scotch… stared at me some more, then looked at me as if I was the crazy one. He stepped straight backwards into the same bar stool he just hit his chin on. With some not so graceful moves he spun around the bar stool, clanking his shoes against the legs, and made his way to the lobby door.
I stood there about to break into uncontrollable laughter watching this klutz fumble with the front door trying to figure out which side would swing it open. When he did get it right, he threw the door open with all his might, swinging the door wide, and glared at me as he barged through the opening, only to have the door swing back at him nearly smacking him in the head.
After jumping into his truck he backed out of the parking space and dropped the clutch to lay some rubber. The tires gave a quick little chirp just before the truck stalled. Then I heard… crank, crank … crank, crank … crank, crank… vroom!!! With the motor still coughing from the rich mixture, he crept away from the shop bucking and jerking till the engine cleared its throat, and then drove out of sight down the road.
Oh, the wonders of the automotive driving public in this world we live in will never cease to amaze me. I hope there are a few more "tweakers" out there who haven't made it to my shop yet … do me a favor… stop on by… I really enjoy a good comical start for a morning once in awhile.
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