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The Last Muffler -- Writer's Poke #180

I was one of those people who never took care of their car. Why bother? I thought. First, the repair would cost more than the 1978 Oldsmobile Delta 88 was worth. And second, I didn't have the time to sit around waiting for a mechanic to fix my car. I had to live, damn it.

When the muffler finally fell off, though, I knew that I would have to buy a new one. So I took it to Midas, and five hours later, I had a new $400 muffler on my less than $400 car. And I thought to myself, "Great. That's the last muffler I will ever need to buy."

Yes, I was naive, but then again, in a literal sense, that was the truth. Midas guarantees all mufflers for the life of the car, and if I had decided to drive that car until the rust had totally disintegrated it down to the tires, maybe I wouldn't have ever had to buy another muffler.

The real point is, though, that no matter how many times you go to the mechanic, the doctor, the dentist, the grocery store, the mall, the post office, the DMV, and on and on and on, there really never is a "last time."

Errands are forever.

Are there some errands that you don't mind running?

"So much of our time is spent in preparation, so much in routine, and so much in retrospect, that the amount of each person's genius is confined to a very few hours." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson


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