Now that we’re on the road to destruction here at WMMCM passing slowly through the Gates of Edam, I fear we may have awakened some dark spirits or something like that. This past Friday was Friday the 13th of course. Now I’m not one usually worried about things like passing under a ladder or dodging the odd black cat’s path but this Friday the 13th seemed to have caught up to me.
So far this years summer has actually been pretty mild. Just a few days here and there with the weather hovering around 100 degrees, that is, until this past week where we were dealt with three days in a row with the temperatures hitting 114 in the well thought out shade of the steel roof that I must work under. My little Honda Accord had been plugging along quite nicely through it all even with – as I discovered – Thursday afternoon, the engine cooling fan wobbling around like a drunken sailor whose coat had been caught on a poll. Not to worry I thought. It had been fine at 114 degrees going up the 2000 foot climb through the pass at 114 degrees so 95 degrees and cloudy shouldn’t be a problem.
Right at the top of the pass the little Honda was complaining and starting to overheat. Off the freeway I go to the wonders of Mariposa which doubles as an escape ramp in my neck of the woods, (as if there were woods…) Shut the engine off at the stop light, wait for the green and start the Honda up and sail forth up to 65MPH and shut her off to coast the next three miles all the way to my turn. (I’ve had to do this before…)
As it turns out, the drunken cooling fan was still wobbling as properly as a fan can wobble and the culprit was the heretofore undisturbed radiator cap which had exploded allowing all the coolant to run out of the radiator and onto the freeway and street no doubt saving the city hundreds of tax dollars on weed abatement.
I was able to limp, as in coast, the Honda to a parts store and I purchased a brand new shiny radiator cap to be installed the next morning after everything has cooled down. Friday morning, the thirteenth of July, I get out early and duly fill the radiator/weed sprayer and install the new radiator cap and head off to work. Alas, it was not to be. I reached the freeway, about a mile away, and the little Honda was starting to heat up again.
Undaunted, I return home to where the water is to try to cool off my uncooperative Honda. After nearly a half hour it’s finally cooled down and the radiator is filled and now – an hour late to work – I head out once more. Well, not really.
Now my Honda will start and idle and sounds just fine. Until you give it gas.
At which point it does something that is really quite rude for a car. Every time you give it gas the computer shuts the fuel off. The usefulness of a car that shuts itself off whenever you give it fuel is somewhat in doubt.
As a back-up, I do have my Pontiac GTO in the garage that I only drive from time to time as it takes ownership of a small middle eastern country to be able to keep fuel in the thing but, I need to get to work and what’s a little thing like money to interfere with that? The GTO has a dead battery. Not a typical everyday dead battery that you can put the charger on and get the car rolling, no this is a dead battery that – if it was environmentally sound – you could use as an anchor perhaps to keep the drunken sailor cooling fan company with as they both sink slowly to the bottom of Hesperia Lake.
I need a battery and now I have two dead cars that I can’t drive to the parts store with. After a fruitless two hours of wasting electricity trying to charge what cant be charged, a friend was able to ferry me over to the parts place to acquire a new battery. By this time it’s after two in the afternoon and I would normally get off work at five. And, it’s an hour drive each way. Needless to say, I did not work this Friday.
Perhaps that’s a good thing. If I had made it to work there just might have been a major fire followed by flooding with a shower of locusts thrown in for good measure when I got down to Riverside. (They should thank me for not heading their direction.)
In keeping with our current theme here at WMMCM, as well as fitting nicely with my past few days, here’s something right up this alley.
This is Megedeth of course and those who know their thrash metal also know that lead singer and songwriter Dave Mustaine was once a member of Metallica. In fact Mustaine had written “The Mechanic” while still a member of Metallica and after his uncerimonius departure from Metallica on the eve of their first album, Mustaine soon formed Megadeth and reworked “The Mechanic” into, “The Mechanix.” This reworking was minor and only really seemed to be the misuse of an x at the end of the title. That however, isn’t the end of the story.
Metallica kept Mustaine’s song, with or without his permission depending on who is doing the talking, and reworked it once more into the concert staple, “The Four Horsemen.”
From Metallica’s debut album, Kill ‘Em All, “The Four Horsemen” is a song that pretty much defines what the thrash metal bad boys were all about in those days. It’s got a barely understandable lead vocal from James Hetfield, big bass and overblown drums all filled out by delightfully unnecessary amounts of guitars doing things that were once considered wrong. All in all, it works rather marvelously as a statment of what thrash metal was in the early 80′s.
Melody is almost an inconvenience through most of the song but they make up for that by a tight musicianship that shows of their playing abilities rather than their melodic sense. The only real surrender to melody is a wild guitar solo by Kirk Hammett that Mustaine still complains about as being stolen from him.
As time went on, Metallica became more melodic and wildly more successful than their former guitarist’s band, Megedeth. Perhaps a song about a possibly demonic mechanic wasn’t as good an idea as a song about the Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse?