Thursday, July 16, 2009

It's a new world.

Pretty much every day now, there are cars broken down on the side of the road. It's such an dramatic difference from last year - where every now and then you'd see someone broken down. You'd always see the drivers on a cell phone, so there was never any need to stop.

Plus, this is California. We don't really do that around here. Stop, that is.

I was always amazed when I lived in Texas, just how many people would stop to help you. If your boat or car broke down, people would almost fall all over themselves trying to make sure you were okay. Not here though. It's been that way as long as I can remember.

So today when I was out, I heard that familiar sound of someone trying to turn their engine over. I hoped they'd get it running before I got done with what I was doing. It was an older woman and her two kids. Which irritatingly made me feel bad for her and forced me to stop. I tried to remember if I had my jumper cables in the car.

I pull over and ask her if her battery is dead. No - she replies. I then ask her if her car is an automatic or a manual. Which I already pretty much knew the answer to. It was some 80's Taurus kind of car.

In the day, you could pretty much get any car to start by jumping the clutch. As long as your battery wasn't dead. No such luck. It was an automatic. She thanked me for stopping and said she'd handle it.

Later though, it made me realize that all those skills I used to have are now sort of dead. I used to have mad skills working on beaters. The cars have too much crap in the motors now for the average person to fix. And anyway, the Internet tells me how to fix cars now.

That probably sucks for all the people who have had to downgrade into 25 year old cars. Prosperity made it so average people didn't really need to know how to work on them. It's not so great now, when people obviously can't afford to take their cars in for service. It's just weird how times change.

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