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'Twas the Night Before Christmas (car version)

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'Twas the night before Christmas
And all the through the garage,
Problems were stirring.
They were nasty and large.


Last night this Hack Mechanic
Crawled into his bed,
With visions of stainless brake lines
Fresh in his head.


(note: these were actual visions of actual stainless brake lines. I'm not taking an inch of poetic license with this one.)


He tried to bleed the Suburban
So he'd have her when he'd need her,
But he didn't have the right brake reservoir cap
For his Motive Power Brake Bleeder.


So he made one by tapping
A fitting into the cap.
However, the brake fluid 
Found every gap.


And not just in this kluge
He'd created in haste;
There were gaps in the fittings
In the lines he'd replaced.


He pumped up the system,
Prepared to do bleeding,
But it leaked like a sieve.
This clearly was not succeeding.


Rivers of brake fluid 
Ran down the floor.
It was streaming out the cap,
The flared unions, and more.


The slippery mess
Smelled acrid and putrid:
An Exxon Valdez,
Except with brake fluid.


A crushing disappointment
Creating a flawed Yule:
It even leaked at the fittings
Of the ABS module.


(worked hard on that one)


I began with the cap
On that thing brake fluid holding.
To make it hold pressure,
I used a fat rubber O-ring.


(we appeared to have drifted into first person here. work with me. I mean us. and the tortuous twisting of the second line to support to "O-ring" rhyme was absolutely execrable. I must have post-person-shift narrative whiplash. I mean we. crap.)


Next, the ABS module 
Above the frame rail.
I torqued down its fittings 
'Till I could hear them wail.


The unions as well 
Got the snugging I've learned:
"Torque it down 'till it strips, 
Then back off half a turn."


I manhandled those wrenches.
I treated them rough.
I snugged them down tight,
but not quite tight enough.


(astute readers, likely those with children, will realize that I am echoing Bill Peet from the wonderful children's book "The Caboose Who Got Loose")


'Cause it's still dripping fluid.
My unions are weeping.
And I've got so much to do 
Before this Christmas Eve's sleeping.


But then I bled it,
Or at least I tried more.
I could get five PSI
Before it pissed on the floor.


By the end of the day,
I deserved a damned medal.
The truck HAS partial brakes
And some pressure at the pedal.


But there's clearly still air
In those really long lines.
I must do it again
When I'm not so pressed for time.


I've ordered the right cap
for the bleeder I need.
but it won't arrive
'till 2016.


So I've put the damned wheels 
Back on the damned truck,
And I'm stopping, for now, 
This job run amok.


It's close to completion.
So close but so far.
I'm close to the edge.
Close but no cigar.


The 'Burb's back in the driveway.
The Z3's back indoors.
The natural order
Of things is restored.


I'm sore and resigned 
And incredibly dirty.
I should clearly instead 
Work on the E30.


But it's saved from the scrap heap,
this rusty old beast.
I've cancelled last rites.
I've called off the the priest.


In my life full of projects,
I need to take notice.
Way too much of the truck.
Not enough of the Lotus.


As we head into Christmas,
I say this to you:
May all of your dreams 
Of cool car parts come true.


May your projects go smoothly, 
May your unions all hold.
Do not be timid! 
Go big and go bold!


'Cause let's all admit:
It's boredom we fear.
I'll see you all (and the 'Burb) 
Soon in the new year.

Edited by thehackmechanic

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Great poem Rob!  OK here's the deal:  My daughter (DC area) wants to get a new Highlander to replace her burb.  We are also about to purchase an original owner roundtail that needs some mechanical work (won't run and wheels locked up).  We will trailer the car with her burb to your place.  You will get the 02 in drivable condition.  You trailer it back using the burb.  You keep the burb as payment? 


PS  She doesn't know I'm making this offer so all bets are off

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DRedman, my wife has standing orders that, if I even TALK about getting another Suburban, she is to slap me across the face with a big stinking cross-eyed dead fish.

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