Friday, November 25, 2011

Three Men & A Radio

My son purchased a new radio for his car on Tuesday. He’s had the car for almost two years now; we purchased it when he got his driver’s license. It’s old, but there was no way we were going to buy him a new car when he was such a new driver. Teenagers and cars equal dings and dangs which are much different than yins and yangs.

 Anyway, his car is old, so things are bound to break, like say, radios. According to me, the radio stopped working at least eight months ago, considering my son was in Army Basic training for four months, has been home now for over a month and the radio wasn’t working for at least three months before he even left for Georgia (I should also tell you that I was not told about the non-working radio; I had found out when I drove the car myself. Only my son knows for sure when the radio really stopped working and getting that info out of him is harder than getting the Super Committee to agree on spending cuts.).  According to my husband and son, the radio hasn’t worked for four or six months. Four OR Six?? The logic between the two of them flummoxes me.

 My son came home from Best Buy all proud that he purchased a new radio for ONLY fifty dollars! My question, “WHO is installing it?” 

“Me and Devin!” My son excitedly announced.

 “I don’t think that’s a good idea. We should have it done somewhere.”

 “Mum, it came with directions.” He waved the booklet at me as if THAT would ease my mind.

 “Since when do YOU read those?” He must’ve forgotten he was a direct offspring of the I-Don’t-Need-Directions-But-Will-Get-Pissed-When-Shit-Doesn’t-Work-King. “Oh this ought to be good.” I rolled my eyes like the teenager HE was and warned, “If you screw something up and your car doesn’t start tomorrow, do NOT even complain to ME!” I had to raise my voice because he was bouncing down the steps to join Devin who was already maneuvering vehicles around the drive-way and garage.

 “Okay!” He shouted back, but it was one of those okays where you just know they’re totally blocking you outI believe my husband refers to it as hearing waves.

 Not even five minutes later, Dalan comes back up to the kitchen, “Dad, can you help us?”

 “I thought you had directions.” I mocked him using my best Dalan-voice immitation.

 “We do, but Dad knows how to do this stuff.”

 I snort-laughed. “Where have you been? He sucks at car stuff.” Which was totally true. My husband is a freaken god with building and fixing anythingexcept cars.

 “She’s right. But, I did change a radio in my car once.” There he went with flummoxing me again.

 “So yeah, you should definitely go into business for yourself changing car radios! We wouldn’t starve or anything because it was oh, only TWENTY-some years ago!”

 “I can read the directions.”

 “Since when do YOU read directions?” What the hell. All of a sudden the males in my household acted like they weren’t allergic to directions. Any other time directions gave them hives or bit them. Tonight, they wanted to READ…DIRECTIONS. I should've gotten a thermometer or called the doctor, they were all ill.

 My husband went to the garage and I stayed upstairs, but about thirty minutes later I ventured down to see how they were faring. What did I find? Dalan and Devin sitting in the front seat of the car while my husband had the radio on the hood of the car along with the directions, which he was trying to read. “Well, how’s it going?” I could see not very well, but asked anyway, hoping they had some good news.

 “These directions suck,” my husband offered.

 “We don’t know what to do,” Dalan told me through the open car window. 

“Really?” I teased yet again. This was just too comical from my vantage point. THREE men and they couldn’t figure out the directions? I had to leave because I knew if I didn’t, I’d torture the hell out of them. I returned about a half an hour later to find my husband and son in the front seat and Devin leaning on an open car door looking into the front seat. Maybe he was navigating the baffledness that was goin on as it was etched all over their faces, worse than when I left the first time. “You still haven’t gotten anywhere?”

 “We got the old radio out,” Dalan told me, sounding dejected rather than cheerful. At this point I didn’t think it was funny anymore. An entire hour had been wasted and all they did was remove the old radio. Then I saw my husband on his cell phone and thought finally, he’s getting radio installation advice! When he got off the phone he said someone was coming over.

Here he called a young guy who works for him that knows cars. Seems Ed (not his real name) works on cars as a hobby and is restoring an old truck. This kid (he’s only 21!) was actually willing to come over at 7:30 at night and install a car radio!

 By 8 pm, Ed was there, along with his girlfriend and her friend. It just so happens that the friend was a gear-head! She helped him install the radio while the rest of us looked on. By 9 pm, it was done—everything worked and the car started right up! I was relieved, my son was extremely happy and my husband was able to go to bed at a decent hour considering he gets up at 4:30 in the morning. He did tell Ed that they’d have an easy day tomorrow. That seemed to make Ed pretty happy.

 All in all, it was an interesting evening and here are a few things that were verified in MY mind:

 Men don’t like directions, even when they do read them.
 Being kind to your employees has more benefits than just a productive business.
Knowing when to jest and when to cease indicates you’re astute.
Yin and Yang do work well together.


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