The Bothered Mechanic

​​‘Have you tried turning it off and on again?’

‘It’s a car, Jeff, not a computer,’ I sighed, wiping my forehead with a greasy rag. ‘Could you pass me that wrench?’

‘This thing?’

‘That’s a screwdriver, Jeff.’

‘Oh,’ he frowned, putting it back. ‘Right. This one?’

I walked past the pliers he was offering to me and grabbed my wrench off the workbench, returning to my car’s open engine.

‘What’s actually wrong with it?’ he asked.

‘I’m not sure yet,’ I frowned, tightening a loose connection. ‘It isn’t turning over properly.’

‘Right, right,’ he nodded. ‘So maybe you need a brake and clutch service?’

‘Nope,’ I shook my head. ‘Totally unrelated.’

‘Yeah, yeah,’ he nodded more vigorously. ‘Yeah, didn’t think so.’

Head buried in the engine, I whispered a small prayer to any god that would take me.

‘What’s that now?’ Jeff asked, walking over and joining me under the bonnet.

‘Nothing, sweetie,’ I smiled at him. ‘Hey, don’t you have a big client meeting this afternoon?’

‘Nah, they shifted it to tomorrow morning,’ he shook his head. ‘So my afternoon is all free! Thought I’d come and spend some time with you, see what you get up to in this garage all day.’

‘Great,’ I laughed, through gritted teeth. ‘There’s nothing you need to work on?’

‘Nope!’ he smiled. ‘I’m all yours!’

I cast my eyes around desperately, looking for something, anything I could use—

‘Motor oil!’ I burst out.


‘I need motor oil,’ I repeated, trying to rein it into a more casual tone. ‘Would you be able to pick some up for me?’

‘Uh,’ he frowned, scratching his head. ‘I was kind of hoping that we could spend some—’

‘You’d be doing me such a huge favour,’ I lied, batting my eyelids at him. He smiled back.

‘Sure, honey.’

‘Just take that can there,’ I pointed, ‘to that Milperra mechanic near me.’

‘Near us?’ he frowned.

‘What did I say?’

‘Doesn’t matter,’ he sighed.

‘They’ll tell you where to pick it up the easiest.’

‘Wait, they don’t even sell—’

‘Thanks babe!’ I ducked back into the engine. ‘See you in a little while!’


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