I hate making mistakes.
Hey, as long as it’s not my fault everything’s copacetic. And if I know whose fault it is, well then, so much the better, because then I have someone to BLAME. It’s a great feeling, having someone to blame when things go wrong. What a relief. But God do I hate being blamed myself. I hate it when it turns out that it’s my fault when something goes wrong. Sometimes I think that I’m going to lose my mind. Any time I even begin to suspect that I’ve made a mistake, that I’ve done something wrong, I can feel the panic start to creep over me.
Fer instance, just the other day I was in the can when Mike came by to pick up his wheels. When I came out I noticed not one, but two lug nuts on the garage floor where Mike’s car had just been. Now, if anyone’s going to take a sharp curve at eighty miles an hour five minutes after pulled out of the garage, it’s Mike. OK, so of course I really reamed Mal out. I mean what would you do in my shoes, for crying out loud. “How could you forget to put all the lug nuts on!!!” I really laid into him. Of course, as always, Mal had a ready and reasonable excuse. In this case, it was that Sula had called just as he was putting the tire back on, and Mike had come in while he was still on the phone. Mike was his ever-impatient self and gave Mal his patented I-don’t-think-I-like-you look and then followed it up with an I’ve-got-better-things-to-do-than-sit-around-in-a-garage-all-day glare. This had the desired effect on Mal and then some. He hung up on Sula and hopped to, but as he pleaded in his defense, Mike made him so nervous that he plum forgot about the leftover lug nuts and just handed him the bill along with his keys. Then Mike said, “the check’s in the mail,” laid a patch and was gone in a cloud of dust. And that’s when I came in. Now, I mean, it’s not like I think Mal’s trying to put anything over on me. Hell, Mike even makes me nervous, and that’s saying something, but someone’s gotta take the fall if something goes wrong, and I just didn’t want it to be me.
Then, on the other hand, I supposed that I could say that it was Mike’s own pushy nature that had gotten him into this predicament of cruising around two nuts shy of a solid connection. I was mentally preparing myself for the call I would make to Mike to explain the situation to him, when I got to thinking about what if I didn’t get a chance to make the call, if instead I got the call, saying that Mike had indeed popped the tire and totaled his pride and joy. I started to get kind of queasy. As much as I was wishing that I could pin the blame on Mal or Mike, I could start to feel the grip of panic at the back of my neck. I was starting to think that it was my fault, that I had to take the responsibility. Right then and there I told Mal that from that day forward he couldn’t let anyone take their car out of the lot without going over a checklist that we would work out together. No exceptions. Mal’s the one who slipped up that day. Who’s to say I won’t be the one to flub the next time around?
Well, to make a long story short I called the barbershop and boy let me tell you was I relieved when Mike picked up the phone. I told him that he had barged out of there before Mal had had a chance to finish the job-- I wasn’t specific-- and that it was his own damn fault for always being in such a big hurry. I told him, “Mike, you’re your own boss for Christ’s sake! What’s the rush?” I figured that’d put him on the defensive, at least a little. Then I sent Mal over on his bike with the lug nuts and a wrench. I didn’t have to tell him to avoid letting Mike see him if he could. He knew Mike would give him an earful if he got the chance.
Anyway, Mal made it back unscathed and that was that. All’s well that ends well. Then I sat back and tried to figure out whose fault it was. I asked myself, could I, in the final analysis, pin the blame on any one of us alone; Mal, Mike, or myself? I couldn’t. And you know what? I really believe that if you think long and hard enough, that’s pretty much the case most all of the time. It’s pretty darn hard to pin the blame down on one person alone when something goes wrong. Just like it’s hard to find an occasion when all the credit can go to one person when something goes right. In both cases, you’ve got to spread it around. Whether it’s the credit or the blame, no one can take it all. And that works out just fine for me, because I hate making mistakes, and I really hate being blamed when something goes wrong.
So, what can I do for you today? If you’re looking for Chevys in the two to three K range, I’ve got a lot of nice ones to choose from today.