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definitely not bringing a pig with me

October 21, 2011

So today I took my car into the shop to have a headlight replaced, and I figured while I was at it I should probably have them discover the reason for the recently illuminated check engine light. I did this with misgiving, because it costs them 125.00 just to check, and 125.00 is still a lot of money for me. However, one cannot just continue to traipse merrily about without heed to one’s check engine light; it is not enough that I almost never drive anymore because San Francisco is a bustling hell hole of angry law flouting impolite speeding maniacs and my delicate system cannot handle this without the aid of the cigarettes I no longer smoke. So I sucked it up sucked it in, and let it begin…I handed them over my keys and I signed away 125.00 dollars of my life on the little electric clipboard, and I went away hoping very very strongly that the check engine light was just having a little fun with me and nothing whatsoever was the little matter. Of course it is silly to assign the personality of Ashton Kutcher to one’s check engine light, but…a girl can hope.

And then of course the dude just called me back and informed me that my check engine light is on because one of my oxygen sensors has failed, and that will cost me 325.00 to replace. My immediate response to this is to cry in the middle of the street and viciously resent the bucket drummer on 4th and Market for noticing. I pull myself together and very calmly ask dude what exactly this means, the defunct engine sensor. He gives me very vague answers that equal exactly nothing but doom doom doom when all is said and done, and he says that he does not have the part and I can come get my car with its lovely new headlight and bring my car back next week for the new oxygen sensor. This shoots a ray of whispering hope into the center of my brain; if they are willing to give me my car back and let me drive around in it while one of the oxygen sensors is dead, then perhaps the oxygen sensor is more like Ashton Kutcher and less like Bruce Willis than previously thought. I agree to his terms, and we part tele ways, and I go straight back to work and google oxygen sensors. Then I experience outrage.

Turns out that all newer cars have a set of oxygen sensors to achieve the perfect mixture of gasoline and oxygen, so as to utilize fuel most efficiently and pollute as little as possible. This is what oxygen sensors do, and they do not keep you from blowing the bang hell up, and furthermore there are three of them and so the slacking of one or the other is not going to cost me say my life or limb. Also they are located just inside the exhaust pipe and unless you previously had universal sensors, which require wiring, and said wiring has malfunctioned and soldered itself to the exhaust pipe, they are very easy to replace one’s own self. Finally, they cost 71.00 online. I think we can all see where this is going.

In the interest of not becoming a pixley story, I am

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