Monday, January 16, 2012
Columbus Day Saved My Life
Yes, I realize that the day I'm writing this does not happen to be the day the coincides with the celebration of a white Italian man who set out to discover a country that already had native inhabitants and who didn't ever set foot on this continent; but happens to be celebrating a black man who rallied the troops (by troops I mean lay citizens) to demand equality in their country. However, it's a post that has been in my head since Columbus Day - 10 October, 2011.
I'm a government worker. A state employee. There are some pretty nice benefits that come with this position. One of them is the opportunity to take off those obscure federal holidays which I normally only recognized as those days which closed down banks and the post office, but were of no good to me. Now they're good to me. In fact one of them saved my life. It was Columbus Day.
My car has had a rough year. It started with my yearly inspection which I did in August. I can't remember what it was, but something major had to be fixed. Then came September and something else major had to be fixed. Then comes October. The end of the first week in October (the week before Columbus Day) I had been smelling gas while driving my car. I couldn't take it in any time that week, but would have time the next Friday - a week away - and decided I'd just do it then.
Then came Columbus Day. Co-workers told me that we'd have that day off. I was thrilled. Mostly because it was a day that I didn't have to go to work. Then I realized that I would be able to take my car in four days earlier. So I did.
I got the 'diagnosis phone call' later that same day. It went something like this:
awesome-mechanic-who-has-known-me-by-name-for-way-too-long-because-my-car-is-really-old: 'That thing you were smelling, it's not gas, but oil.'
me-who-knows-close-to-nothing-about-cars: 'Oh... well...'
amwhkmbnfwtlbmciro: 'Well, they're both petroleum, so you were close.'
mwkctnac: 'Oh... well...'
amwhkmbnfwtlbmciro: 'Yeah, you have an (insert mechanics technical language which sounds like he's swearing at me in another language here)... and the oil is dripping onto the exhaust. Now, I don't want to scare you, but if that doesn't get fixed, it could catch fire while you're driving.'
mwkctnac: 'That's bad... Yeah. Let's get that fixed.'
And we did. He fixed it. And my car has yet to catch on fire (hopefully it will never happen).
And that is how Columbus Day saved my life.
And no one can convince me that it didn't.
So thank you, Christopher Columbus, for not setting foot in America. And also for being awesome enough that we want to celebrate you anyway.
(nice article here about the silliness of celebrating this day. posted by hannah on columbus day)