I have many compulsions. If I started counting them, I'd have one more. But among these compulsions is my desire to have my car rolling in to the dealership for its 5,000-mile maintenance as close as possible to the actual 5,000-mile mark. I'd managed to get it as close as one mile (below) in the past, but last week I managed the ultimate in driving just far enough: after the last stop light going toward the dealer I rolled over to 40,000. The dealer guy doing the check in noticed and remarked, that never happens. I'm so proud.
It was the usual sort of service. As usual the TV in the waiting room was blaring. I'd rather it be off, at least in this case. I admit I tend to leave the TV set on as background noise (bunny_hugger tends to leave it off, or put on music, bringing to mind one of the less-noticed but more generally applicable quotes from The Manchurian Candidate), but this was, as ever, too much noise. There was just one other person waiting, so I thought to ask her if it was all right to turn it off, and then I realized I could make it more complicated: I volunteered that if she wanted to watch something else, that was fine by me.
She said she wasn't watching it, and I said in that case I'd rather turn it off. She wasn't sure we were allowed to do that, which I shrugged off with something to the effect of, what would they do about it?
Here's what they could do: They could drop in and point out the set was off, and ask how it came to be off. ``We turned it off,'' I said, and the first guy checking in said he just wanted to be sure it hadn't gone off by itself. A second dealer-employed person stopped in and asked if we didn't want the TV set on. No, but thanks. A third person also poked his head in and tried to get us to say what we wanted to watch so we could turn the TV on. Before much longer my car was ready, even though the other woman waiting had got there first, so I don't know if she got to finish the wait in peace or whether she gave in and turned the TV on.
The dealer did think my windshield wipers were worn, but I'm fairly sure that I can get that replaced at less than dealer cost, what with wiper blades being not that expensive and simple enough that even I've managed to change them on my own in the past.
Trivia: Detroit's first baseball teams, in 1860, played on the city square, the Campus Martius. They broke so many windows in the nearby RUssell Hotel they began paying the proprietors a flat rate. Source: But Didn't We Have Fun? An Informal History Of Baseball's Pioneer Era, 1843 - 1870, Peter Morris.
Currently Reading: Germany 1945: From War To Peace, Richard Bessel.
PS: Illicitly Counted Coins. I got away with it ... this time. Also I got away with using the phrase ``wide-lapel polyester jacket of a problem''.