“It’s no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction… Fiction has to make sense.”
– Mark Twain
And people tell me I’m not right in the head…
A Quick look at the Über Stupid
Day in and day out we all do stupid things… Chronic stupidity is part of the human condition I suppose. I believe this because the only “people” I’ve ever known that weren’t chronically stupid were cats, so basically what I’m trying to say is this isn’t about run of the mill stupid things people do or say…
This is about the Uber Stupid: Those people that do things that are just beyond any reason or explanation and seem to do it with purpose.
Lying to Your Mechanic is Uber Stupid
Jerry has been bringing his car into the shop for many years and I have finally figured out there is zero point in asking him anything about what’s going on with his car… Because he just wont tell the F***ing Truth about it… If you want the story about what happened to his car you have to ask his wife. For the longest time I figured Jerry was just stupid (the chronic human condition of stupid) until this happened:
Jerry’s BMW was towed in as usual (he only brings the car in after it actually quits) and explained that it just wouldn’t start… The problem appeared to be obvious on the face of it because the battery was dead as a door nail. And after interrogating him he explained that yes, the car just wouldn’t turn over this morning and he thought it was a bad battery. After charging the battery (the battery it’s self tested just fine) I found that the car cranked, however, it did not “fire”… Well $h1t… So it’s about 10 am and I call him on the phone to see if I could squeeze any useful information out of him and of course the story changed…
“Well it wouldn’t start yesterday but then it wouldn’t turn over anymore” and my following questions were: Did anything out of the ordinary happen up to that point? Were there any warning lights? Any other symptoms prior to it not starting? He assured me that the answer was “No” …
Starting from the most logical end with the information I had, I stepped into a nightmare of improbable and illogical wiring faults in totally unrelated systems… Rather than bore you with the next 10 phone conversations spanning 2 days to the tune of about 12 solid hours of tearing my hair out…
This is what really happened:
1. Jerry washed and waxed his car in the driveway. After this the car would not start.
2. Jerry got on the Internet and found out that many BMW owners (Maybe 1 or 2) had problems with their cars main computer getting wet due to leakage into the box that houses said main computer.
3. Jerry found and removed the computer, and finding it was not really wet at all assumed that the water must have seeped in, so he used a hair dryer on it for a while and re installed it… And tried this half a dozen more times before deciding…
… That putting the computer in the oven at 350°f for 20 minutes or so would get it good and dried out…
No Kidding… 350°f ?
You can’t make this $h1t up.
This ended up costing $3300+ dollars to diagnose and fix… If he had simply explained the series of events as they actually happened the total bill would have been about $2000… If he’d stopped at the hair dryer or if he had simply towed it in to begin with???
He did manage to put five gallons of gas in the thing before he had it towed in though…I wonder if that’s what was wrong in the first place…
I’ll never know.
This Kind of Stupid is No Mistake
I can’t even imagine what kind of step by step logic going on in Jerry’s head through this… I mean… This idiocy took at least 10 acts of stupidity to happen.
Looking at just this one stupid situation you can see multiple decisions that prove this guy is dumb as a brick. He probably just ran his car out of gas and being parked on an incline when he was washing it accentuated that fact. Rather than looking at the situation with any kind of logic he immediately started making stupid assumptions:
1. It’s the very last thing that happened that is the cause of a failure 2. The internet can diagnose your car and 3. regardless of what you find, the first stupid assumption is the right one. 4. 350°f is a reasonable temperature for electronics 5. A little puff of smoke from under the dash when you plug the freshly baked ECU back in is normal. 6. If you crank it till it won’t crank no more it’s probably the battery. 7. Put gas in it before you tow the car so the mechanic 8. so he won’t suspect that’s the problem and 9. keep everything else a secret because the mechanic will never find out how stupid you are and 10. will charge you less.
And people think I’m not right in the Head…
I think the next tool I’ll invest in is a Polygraph.Article copyright © 2011 The Village Idiot – All rights reserved.
I later found out that Jerry’s car had a problem with an intermittent fuel level sending unit, of course he didn’t fix it, he opted to put a piece of tape marking on the gauge at about 1/4 where the tank was actually was empty and wound up towing the car in 2 more times because it had run out of gas.
You know, cars have never been so sophisticated and complex. I have been a BMW mechanic for well over 30 years and man oh man have I seen some changes the days where you could fix your car in your driveway on a Saturday afternoon are long gone. I strongly recommend that if you aren’t highly mechanically inclined and very familiar with electrical and electronics that you just stay out from under that hood for any reason other than to check your oil level… Well that is if your car even has a dip stick.