Just Two Screws…

Just Two Screws after the break…

Just Two Screws…

Look, I get it – I’ve got it fairly nice. I live in a country that’s not an ethnic tinderbox waiting to erupt. I can flip a light switch & expect electricity. I can write something & not expect the secret police to arrest me in the middle of the night because some government or monarchial or or religious or dictatorial figure thinks that I am insulting the power structure.

Still, even we in the so-called “privileged” part of the civilized world can have it fairly tough by our standards.

Take, for instance, the mere task of changing the bulb in a headlight on an automobile. Not the toughest of assignments. A high school student could probably accomplish that or even a talented student from a middle school.

A few days ago, part of the bulb from one of my headlights burnt out. I’ve got one of those cars where both the high beams & the regular beams are all inside one bulb.

OK, fine – I go to a store & buy a replacement bulb. I figure that the entire operation will take me 60 minutes… 90 minutes at the absolute most from the time I step outside towards my car to the time I begin to walk back inside after completely finishing the job.

Nope. Not even close.

See… In a perfect world, I remove two screws, the headlight pops off, I take out the old bulb, put in the new bulb, put the headlight back in, screw the two screws back in and… I’m done. The end.

That’s the perfect world. The one that you & I so rarely live in.

Today, those two screws are absolutely corroded. Want to try turning them? Good luck. Hey, here’s a hint – Not happening in your lifetime or mine.

Crap. OK… Fine. I have to take out the entire headlight assembly. How hard can that be? Start laughing now because it’s going to be awhile. First, I have to remove the front bumper. Yeah, it’s going to be that kind of day. But, before you remove the front bumper (Just the plastic cosmetic part, not the part that actually stops your car), you have to remove the some other parts TO GET TO the parts you need to remove the front bumper.

OK… FINE. I get to the front bumper &… There are some plastic pins who’s only job in life are to snap apart the moment that they are handled. Ugh.

FINE! I can replace those little f@!*&ers with actual nuts & bolts. So, I get the headlight assembly out & actually (surprise, surprise) replace the headlight bulb.

However, since it’s already taken a minor miracle to get to THIS headlight assembly, why not replace the bulb in the other headlight assembly? The screws on that assembly are also rusted to heck so I’m just going to have to go through all of the carnage to replace that bulb when/if it ever goes kaput.

FINE!! Let me drive to the nearest auto parts store to get a second AND MATCHING headlight bulb. By the way, while you’re out, can you pick me up some…

So, after hitting seven some-odd stores even though I need only one for the headlight bulb, I come home, put the second bulb in & I’m ready to…

Not so fast. While you’re there, why not clean off the contacts of your battery? They sure need it. And what about the air pressure in your tires? Oil? Transmission fluid? Windshield wiper fluid? Steering fluid? Brake fluid? Grapejuice? (OK, the last one doesn’t count but, by this point, if someone had said that then I’d probably look around the engine for the “Grapefruit” dipstick for about five minutes before catching on).

Oh, and while you’re at it, why not vacuum out the car as well.


Six hours later, I’m done.

I’m tired. My back hurts. Good night.


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