Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Ballad of Marty's transmission.

It had begun so innocently. I was trying to get to a bon voyage party for a curling friend who was leaving Canada for an overseas teaching position. I crossed the border and my car stopped 'pulling', that is, going forward. A hose had ruptured in a transmission line, spewing transmission fluid everywhere and leaving my van immobile. C'est la vie. It happens.

That issue was calmed soon enough. A friend on that side of the river recommended a mechanic who could fix the problem. And he did, for $325 Canadian, including the tow from the Roseland Curling Club where I left my van to his repair shop. A good price, honestly.

I drove her from July until two weeks ago, when my van again stopped pulling near Muncie, Indiana. But two quarts of transmission fluid later, C'est la guerre, she pulls once more, all the way to home to Detroit.

Then she, my 2000 Chevy Venture, stops pulling right as I was about to get onto the ramp in Detroit from where there was no re-entry into these United States. I managed to get her off the expressway and onto a side street, where I might have her towed to my mechanic. He, my mechanic, found the same hose had ruptured as before. He fixed it, and all seemed well.

Then last night, for it is last night now, as I returned from my Monday night curling game, I could not pull away from the customs booth on the US side as I returned from curling. Now as I've complained much about US customs, it is only fair that I give them credit as due. They cleared me, quite succinctly and deferentially, as I hoped. But then my van would not move. And the guards saw that I had a transmission leak. And they pushed me beyond the toll booths so that I might have an easier time with a tow.

That tells me that the border patrol are not really bad folk after all. I'm not so ready to think the NSA evil anymore. They rushed to help a US citizen obviously innocent of any crime to simply get home.

And that is why I am dismissive of the fears of my libertarian and progressive friends. Innocence breeds trust. It's as simple as that.

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