Sunday, October 30, 2005

Of surgeons, mechanics and magicians

Dr. Kazem wasn’t wrong when he recommended surgery for a couple of prolapsed discs, especially when they’d already been rebellious for more than a year.  Besides, this patient didn’t seem so patient anymore.  You could say that the patient was losing his patience.  He made his decision based on his own knowledge, experience and expertise.  It was up to the patient to find another opinion, if he could only bear it a little longer.  Anyway that story’s been over-sawn from the logs now.  To tell more of that would be sawing saw-dust.  (yawn...)


So, let’s take the same scenario and apply it to a car when it has mechanical faults.  If your car makes unearthly noises that doesn’t sound like a normal engine running you take it to a mechanic.  If it doesn’t run straight or it makes unearthly wheel turning noises, you take it to a tyre shop; he’ll re-balance and re-align all the tyres.  Or he’ll want to change absorbers or some other things and try to narrow down the possibilities.  All these actions will be based on his knowledge, experience and expertise or lack of, depending on who gave him his brains, or where he got his training from.


Naturally you can’t discount some not-so-transparent characters in different trades.  I came across one such tyre-shop man who did a quick slight-of-hand on me when he recommended a camber screw for my front wheel once when I complained my car loved running off to the left side of the road even when I’m holding on to the steering wheel with both hands.  He installed a fake camber screw while I wasn’t looking.  I mean, I was eager to find out what that much hyped screw really looked like, but he distracted to me to the other side of my car while his assistant quickly got one out from somewhere and drove in the piece with his air-powered nut driver.  By the time I got back to see what’s going on, the wheel was already fitted back in.  That little lop-sided screw wasn’t cheap either.


I only discovered his ‘magic-show’ trick when I took the car to another shop because the side veering problem came back after only a couple of months down the road.  This shop man not only solved the veering problem, he showed me how I got ‘screwed’ by the previous tyre man.  I also learned that this screw does nothing much for me.  It is beneficial only to the tyre shop man, on both counts.  He makes a profit out of selling that ‘gadget’ and it makes his work easier next time you need to readjust the camber angle of your wheel.


You can bet your bottom ringgit I’ve been and I’d keep telling anyone who needs a tyre changed, not to go that ‘magician’.  Last I heard, his business was ‘going south’ (less idiots going to his shop to get fleeced) and he was ready to pack up to go elsewhere.  That explained why he’d moved up north all the way from Malacca just some years ago.  Some businessmen are truly short-sighted even if they have their glasses on.  I guess he’ll never learn about the policy of honesty.  Such a pity, when one has to depend on satisfied customers to keep business going.  He obviously screwed them once too often.




Here’s one about having parties in Bolehland:


Before midnight it’s called dance party.

After midnight it can become a head-shaking party

After 2.00am if your luck runs out, you get a raiding party.

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