During my 18 years as a reporter and editor, I've written about a lot of different subjects: medical breakthroughs, scientific discoveries, environmental challenges, athletic accomplishments and daredevil feats.
But never once did I consider picking up a scalpel to perform surgery, or grabbing a bat to face Nolan Ryan.
But after a couple of years writing and editing articles about the automotive fixed ops industry, I'm now tempted to pick up a wrench and try to fix a problem on my kids' Jeep Wrangler.
After a recent Michigan snowstorm, one of the wipers froze to the windshield and stripped the splines. Only one wiper works now.
I realize it might not be particularly wise to tell a group of fixed ops folks I'm going to work on my own vehicle. It's kind of like telling the chef at your favorite restaurant you're going to start cooking at home or your barber that you're going to cut your own hair.
To be fair, I did try to take the Jeep to my local Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram dealership, but because it had more than 150,000 miles and had never been serviced there before, the service department wouldn't look at it for liability reasons.
Maybe sitting next to my colleague Richard Truett, who spends a lot of his free time under the hood of one of his vintage vehicles, is rubbing off on me. But in all honesty, a lot of it has to do with the fact that the Jeep was just in the shop over the holidays and the thought of another repair bill depressed me. Besides, the YouTube instructional video makes it look pretty easy — even to a guy whose wife would not describe him as handy.
We shall see. I will update you in next month's newsletter to let you know how it turned out. Till then, be well.