I am a 60-plus-year-old kid that still works as an IT consultant. I hope to write a humorous, slightly apocryphal column with some real life insights.
You thought I was talking about food, didn’t you? Well, carburetors are my weak points mechanically. I remember trying to fix my first car carburetor, and I was proud of myself. Then I started the car and gas was spewing out of the darn thing. So I got on the horn and had the car towed to my friendly mechanic.
But I am a go getter mechanically (more carb stories later). I can take anything apart and sometimes I will do it for free. I remember taking apart my defective electric hedge trimmer. I didn’t pay attention to how all the parts fit together, and then one piece or two didn’t make the final rebuild. So I started up the hedge trimmer and it was a shocking experience. I had never been “tased" before.
I just have problems with small screws and especially those small springs. I have no idea why those carburetor designers have a curly spring fetish. I either mangle the hook at the end of the spring, or the spring shoots off into an unknown camouflaged space. And don’t get me started on missing gaskets and rubber seals. Why does the floor smell like gas?? Oops, so that is where the rubber piece is supposed to go.
Due to my valorous attempts at mechanical resuscitation, I have a small engine bone yard in my garage. Three weed whacker engines there, two lawn mower carbs over here, and a few snow blowers in various conditions. I love the smell of gas and oil in an enclosed space. It brings me to a dreamlike state where I actually have clean finger nails and a shiny new working mechanical device.
Someday, when I am retired, I plan to take a small engine class. You are probably asking yourself, why I would bother with all my mechanical talent. I like to challenge myself. If that teacher can help me take off springs without denting, stretching, mangling, or launching them, then my one last deficiency will be conquered. I could open up a repair shop. I hope that I don’t have to explain to you why there is a constant gas smell in your electric weed whacker!