The Karma Mechanic


Here’s to the honest mechanics out there. So often we hear the horror stories of taking the Chevy in for an oil change and bringing it home with new tires, air filter, wiper blades, radiator hose and spark plug wires. That didn’t happen to me today.

 I picked up a nail in my tire the last time I drove my car not realizing it and when I went to leave for work the other morning, found my front tire was completely flat and sitting on its rim. It’s actually what every Chicagoan hopes for at 6:30 in the morning in negative temperatures.

So as I venture out to tackle the joyous occasion of changing my tire and bringing it in to be fixed, the garage door to the auto body shop that my building shares an alley with opens and a man walks over and asks if I need a hand. “I would love some help, man. Thank you!” He takes a look and walks back into the body shop without saying anything and returns with an air hose hooked to an air compressor. At this point I am doing imaginary fist pumps and realize I am going to get my morning back.

Because there is a nail hole in my tire, it doesn’t hold much air, but enough to get it over to the shop where the guy has all the tools to do a proper repair and check the air of the other three tires, bringing those to factory recommended levels as well.

I tried to give the guy some cash for his help and he refused to take it. I tried again, and he refused again. While I couldn’t give him any cash this morning I brought a twelve pack of cold beer over to the fellas who work there. Where I come from, that’s how we say thank you. Your money is no good in Glandorf, when it comes to helping your neighbors. A twelve pack of beer and a genuine “thank you” goes a long way. Sometimes paying a good deed forward and being a decent human being is all it takes to put life in perspective.

For example, I was leaving the gas station the other day and was stopped by a family frantically trying to get money for gas. The dad and his daughter approach me with a story of how he was in the hospital and they were trying to get back to Springfield. The daughter, around 10 years old, was crying and pouring it on. (I’m a sucker for kids) I should have known better but I gave them $20 and my business card and wished them good luck. They tore off in their Jeep without stopping at the pump… I got hoodwinked and probably deserved it – but today – it came back around.

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