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Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

As these things go, machines break.  At least mine do. If not today, tomorrow. And I have no aptitude for repairing broken machines.

A few weeks ago, I got into my car on a sunny Friday morning, turned on the key, and the windshield wipers started wiping. Thinking one of my pals was playing a little joke, I turned the switch every way possible. Nothing. The wipers kept on wiping. Driving up 12th avenue to work, with my windows down and my wipers going like crazy, I felt a little conspicuous. And the back-and-forth motion of the wipers did not have the courtesy to keep in time with the radio.

So, I took action.

I took the offending machine to our hometown mechanic, Marv’s Tire, down on Lake Shore Drive because they can fix anything. And they did. For a little while anyway. Until last week when the wipers started randomly wiping again. I took it back down to Marv’s and the mechanics were perplexed. Which is what has always been charming to me about Marv’s. The mechanics always look perplexed. Regardless of what they are working on. A lot of head-scratching but usually a workable solution. Maybe not the best marketing for them, but when you drive the type of cars I do, perplexed works just fine.

No matter.

Marv’s did everything they could, including changing out the switch, for a second time. But to no avail. The wipers had a life of their own. And they wanted to work, rain or shine.

“You need to take this down the street to J******”, he has a machine that can trace out the problem”, said Wyatt slightly perplexed, but not defeated. I think Wyatt is a relative of Marv himself.

If you have ever been west on Lake Shore Drive, you know that there really isn’t anything down that road but cows and crops. So laughingly, my wife in her car following, we headed west. And now I was the one looking perplexed. For there sat a once proud sign, buried in weeds, announcing J******.  That is all you could see, J*****, no phone number, no idea of what type of business. Just a name. And weeds. And cars. Cars in various states of repair, some with their hoods up, literally cars all over the place, discarded playground equipment, old tires and batteries, a huge shop, and what looked like a house. For a moment I thought Sanford and Son had moved to Idaho. So, I got out of my car, wipers still going strong, half way expecting a bully breed dog to come out of nowhere and take a hunk out of my rear end. Intrepidly, I started nosing around and stuck my head in the shop.

All I could see in the dim light was a truck up on the rack and a guy with a flashlight in his mouth.

“Are you J******? ”

“No.” he said as he took the flashlight out of his mouth. “What do you need?”, which I thought was better than “What do you want?” So we were off to a good start.

I told him my problem. He didn’t say anything. He just looked perplexed. An expression I was getting increasingly comfortable with. The man went back to work, and I guessed he was either thinking about my problem or he was ignoring me. I couldn’t tell. So, I just stood there for 60 seconds. Perplexed.

“What can i do for you?” I heard spoken behind me. The tone of his question was more annoyance, than service. Maybe even a little bit threatening. I turned and there stood J*****, eating a granola bar, looking like an extra in a Duck Dynasty movie.

I told him my problem, or rather the problem with my wipers and that Marv’s had sent me down.

“I can look at it next week.”

“What am I supposed to do until next week?”

“Pop the hood,” and it was not a request, but a command. So I did.

J***** got busy unbuckling the fuse box with, of course, his flashlight in his mouth. What is it with mechanics and flashlights? If I were a mechanic, I would wear a headlamp all day! This would cut down on my dental bills.

Anyway, he located the wiper fuse, popped it out, closed the fuse box, and shut the hood. “Call me on Tuesday.”

“What if it rains?”  I naively asked.

“Put the fuse back in”, he said matter of factly, with just a hint of unspoken “idiot” all the while putting the fuse box back together and closing the hood. Apparently, he had done all he was going to do.

I got back into my car and left, laughing to myself.

But it is Tuesday as I write this, and guess what, I didn’t go back.

This little interaction taught me a big lesson.

So many of us approach our health and well-being with a “pull the fuse out” mentality. Folks routinely consult our office and want a quick fix that isn’t a fix at all. It is really a stalling tactic. Healing takes time and effort and management and finesse and we, as humans, are capable of all of these. What we are not capable of is being patient. Taking time to figure out where our health has gone awry, where we are out of balance, structurally, emotionally, financially, functionally, spiritually is a process that can be ignored in the short term, but only for a time. Eventually, you are going to have to face the music and find out WHY the wipers keep wiping.

Next time you are out of balance in life, get some help, be patient, and don’t just pull the fuse.

We are here to help.



PS- I’m on a waiting list now for my car’s problem, although taking the fuse in and out as the weather dictates is tempting for sure.

Cheers… again…

12 Join the Conversation

  1. Kellie says
    Jul 21, 2023 at 5:02 PM

    I personally like the turn it off and turn it back on method. Works great on machines….. why not humans?? 🤣🤣

    • says
      Jul 21, 2023 at 10:07 AM

      Good point! Cheers, Kellie and thanks for responding.

  2. Andrea says
    Jul 21, 2023 at 5:22 PM

    Haha.. love the story. Had a similar-ish situations a few years ago. Had an issue with the signal switch. Took it in and when I got it back the signal worked great, but every time I used it, the horn would beep. Final repair was replacing the entire steering column and wheel. 🤦‍♀️🤷‍♀️ Thanks for the analogy :-)

    • says
      Jul 21, 2023 at 10:25 AM

      Great story. I love this. Makes this story really hit home for you! Keep laughing. Cheers, ks

  3. Fotochikyo says
    Jul 21, 2023 at 6:22 PM

    Good luck on your wait list, J***** may have already fixed it by now. He may not have had bedside manner but may have known what he was doing. I've liked taking my car to Caldwell automotive if you're looking for a good recommendation.

    • says
      Jul 21, 2023 at 2:14 PM

      Thanks for the info! Cheers.

  4. Bret says
    Jul 21, 2023 at 6:28 PM

    Always scout for banjoes before entering the unknown.

    • says
      Jul 21, 2023 at 2:15 PM

      True statement. Good advice. Cheers, my friend.

  5. Jeff Finnigan says
    Jul 21, 2023 at 9:58 PM

    Great Stuff Doc!

    • says
      Jul 24, 2023 at 10:12 AM

      Thanks Jeff. Cheers!

  6. Kristin Cromwell says
    Jul 25, 2023 at 4:31 PM

    As a mechanics wife, I'm laughing to hard! I actually have this very same problem in one of our older vehicles. However, my husband does indeed know what it is & how to fix it...just waiting to find the time (mine go off & on at random, intermittent times so im not in a hurry, per se). I'm also dying to know if the J***** is the same guy I'm thinking of. The description fits the bill. Great mechanic, just odd demeanor etc.

    • says
      Jul 25, 2023 at 10:08 AM

      You feel my pain! You have me laughing. I'm sure he is good at what he does for sure. Cheers, Kristin.

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