Sometimes You Have To Do Things Because “You Are The Man”

Not like, “You Da Man! but because you are the man of the family and something needs to be taken care of that nobody else can deal with efficiently.

It comes way too early for some after the loss of a father. Sometimes when you grow up in a broken home and have younger siblings, you have responsibilities beyond your age thrust upon you. Sometimes you just seem to collect these responsibilities as you age.

It is what it is and every guy has to come to grips with it at some point whether they like it or not.

Those that can’t or won’t cope with it have their own demons to deal with and I won’t bother going into it.

In my case, it started at the tender age of 8 when my parents split up and my dad got custody of me and my little brother.

He worked, partied and chased a lot of tail so it was up to me to take care of myself and my little brother for a long time before the rest of the family put the ass on him and he tried hiring babysitters.

We went through a few because by that time I was a full fledged wild boy and we pulled shit that you would think were only possible in movies.

My youngest Aunt was finally tasked with trying to tame us and keep us in line.

Trust me when I say she only had limited success.

Then my dad remarried and the new wife also had two boys, both younger than I am.

Long story short, there was the expected dick measuring and pissing contests because me being the oldest didn’t sit well with some people and at the tender age of fifteen I said Adios.

Not quite like that, it was more like shove it in your ass, I’m out of here to be exact.

So I have been older than my years for a long fucking time.

Speaking of time, a lot of it has passed since then and almost all of my immediate family on my mom’s side, including her, are long dead now.

My dad kicked the bucket six or seven years ago too

That pretty much leaves me, being the oldest son, as the Patriarch of what is left.

My wife’s parents had 3 girls and no boys.

Since her father is in his mid to late 70’s and has been diagnosed with Alzheimers, that leaves me as the De Facto Patriarch of that whole family now also.

It is what it is.

So Wednesday night, as I am literally getting undressed for bed, the Wifely Unit springs on me that I have to go over to her parents and attempt to get one of their vehicles through the Smog test so it can get license plate tags put on it.

I won’t go into the entire scenario here but needless to say this is no small feat that needs to get done and I have until one o:clock this afternoon to do it.

It is almost 8 AM right now, for some reason I popped awake at 5:30 this morning and have been sitting here going through EMails and what not kind of waiting before I drive 35 miles to get this shit show started,

The very first thing I have to do is investigate some new concern with this vehicle that has something to do with “two pieces that wouldn’t move under the back of the rig in the middle” that wouldn’t let the vehicle move when put into gear.

Some of the most awesome information a mechanic could possibly get.

My first guess is the Emergency brake cable system binding up. We shall see. Then I have to take it to a Jiffy Lube and get the oil changed because it was black and filthy an entire year ago and hasn’t been changed in that time period, because Old Timer’s Disease.

Then and only then, can I take it fifteen miles away to the testing station and roll the dice.

So it’s these kinds of things that a guy has to do “Because he is a man”.

No sweat, challenge accepted.

It is what it is and I will do the best I can under the circumstances.

Because that’s what we do.

Every damned day.

14 thoughts on “Sometimes You Have To Do Things Because “You Are The Man”

  1. Good luck man. May Murphy be on vacation today. Thankfully, in Ohio, the smog tests stopped over 15 years ago, what with computer controlled cars, oxygen sensors, etc. pretty much not letting the things run down the road unless they’re running clean. ? You would know more about that. I really appreciate that because dealing with the yearly hand job of getting a smog test is on a par with getting a colonoscopy. For me anyway.

    Not as bad as when I lived in Pittsburgh 45 and longer years ago and also had to get a mechanical inspection sticker slapped on the inside windshield corner that certified the brakes would work for another year. On a car that in those days was always a piece of shit more or less given what we could afford as kids. Like paying a tax but having to jump through hoops and get a prostate exam in order to make the payment beside. Hey, I’m feeling pretty decent know realizing I don’t have to deal with all that bullshit anymore.

    Well, good luck, and hopefully only a vacuum hose needs to be reattached.

    Something that won’t let the vehicle move when put in gear. Man, that’s a new one and as indicated I’ve driven some real pieces of shit.


  2. Ah, you have the same model of Wifely Unit I have, I see. She informs you that you have to do something vital tomorrow morning/tonight/right now. And it’s NOT something she can do, either. And it’s NOT something that can easily be put off. And it’s NOT something easy, either. And it’s something that is going to take parts or equipment you probably don’t have. And… you know the drill.

    Here’s hoping, as kidme37 said, Murphy takes a holiday. You have or can get the necessary tools, parts, and knowledge to fix the problem. You don’t bust anything vital. And most important of all, you don’t get screwed up physically (or mentally?) in your mission. Because You Are The Man.


  3. If you have time, which you apparently don’t, get some seafoam cleaner from the local auto parts store, and drive the car for awhile to clean out the fuel system, that might help with the smog test.


    • For the smog test, if you have a tailpipe emissions test, I have always used Heet in the yellow bottle, about 3 bottles in the gas tank. Using that has always helped with emissions.


  4. Been there, fucking done that. At 17, I had my first full-time job. My mom and dad
    were divorced for a decade. The minute I got the job, I was paying half the rent,
    half the groceries, and half the utility bills. I stayed with my mom until I was 21
    and her minimum wage job did not allow her time to look out for my baby step-
    sister. I worked as a restaurant cook on the swing shift and the graveyard shift
    at the same nursing home/nuthouse she did as a day shift nurses’ aide so I was
    always there for my little sister for two fucking years!

    I too did a lot of sketchy shit when I was 14. I smoked pot and was popping
    bennies while listening to Jimy Hendrix and the Doors. The one thing that
    stopped this downward spiral was family. Phil can attest to this fact after
    the Email I sent him last night. I will not get into the details, but Phil knows
    far I am willing to go to protect my family!


  5. Big brother, isn’t really the accolade it sounds like. When my parents divorced, I had to be the man of the family, at 16?. Well, I did a lot of shit way before that anyway.My sister and brother were spoiled little trolls. And I didn’t get no respect.


  6. I freely admit that I was 26 before I got my head out of my a**. And it took a lot longer for my redneck roots to really come out, but they have with a vengeance.
    As for smog testing, we had a mechanic who would tweak a carb to pass the test. He’d then take it to DEQ, get the test himself, return to his shop, and set it back to run right. Loved that guy. His shop is in an anonymous industrial park, no name over the door, no yellow page listing, and he’s always booked three weeks ahead.


  7. When I was a teenager my grandfather once told me the following, “As you grow older I’d like you to remember a very important fact regarding all of this equal rights garbage the broads will keep trying to brainwash you with; Women may have choices, but men will ALWAYS have responsibilities.”


  8. In Texas you have to take your car in for what amounts to a safety check it costs $7.00 and same for motorcycles $7.00 bucks and they check the blinkers and brake lights no smog tests but we have cars no later than 2017 the Harley as you know is 1998 just for comparison


      • Oh it’s worse than that. Much worse. First, it’s only Portland metro area and Medford. We had to test in Phoenix, my brother in Gold Hill does not. Having moved out of that area, we no longer have to test.
        It’s even more discriminatory. Vehicles older than 20 model years are exempt. My 2008 F250 had to test, buy my beater backup is a 1991, and is exempt. So you can drive in traffic with rigs spewing blue smoke, and they’re exempt. Just a scam to rip off another $10 every two years for the victim class.


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