|Thank you Graphics Fairy for the wizard image.|
Let me just apologize now. I had some wine with dinner last night. Here’s the problem when you have a glass of wine, the voices in your head become very convincing. “Go on, Ellen,” they said rubbing their imaginary hands together, “Take that boring story about changing a fuel filter on your diesel engine and turn it into a whimsical fairy tale. Everyone is going to love it!”
I had another sip of wine, mopped up the rest of my spaghetti sauce with some bread, decided the voices in my head were right - it was a brilliant idea - and this is the result. You might want to have a glass or wine while you read this - it will probably make more sense that way.
Once upon a time, there was a fair maiden with mousy brown hair named Ellen who grew up in tiny hamlet near the Great Lake of Erie. It was a peaceful childhood. She frolicked in the brisk air, playing in the creek during the summer and building snow forts during the long winters with her younger sister, who had lovely flaxen hair which she secretly coveted.
She was surrounded by loyal companions who taught her the value of friendship, tolerating the quirks of others and the necessity of daily allergy pills. Sunny, a beautiful black and white longhair who suffered postpartum depression after her kittens wouldn’t stay in their box and then spent her remaining days sitting in a corner and wondering where her life had gone wrong. Alice, a petite tabby, who, although ladylike in appearance, suffered from terrible gas. And Scamper, a feisty tortoiseshell, who had been possessed by a demon which caused her to hiss and brandish her claws whenever anyone approached too near.
She was tutored in the fine arts of algebra, Ohio history and English literature. While there were times that she questioned the importance of knowing that there are 88 counties in the Great State of Ohio, how to use a quadratic equation and deciphering the ancient text of The Canterbury Tales, she came to have faith that this arcane knowledge would serve her well in the future.
As she came of age, she went off to pursue more arcane knowledge in the capital of her country’s land, learning about important things like the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, fungible currencies and structural-functional theory. Later she met and married a prince from the kingdom of Dakota du Nord and traveled overseas to faraway islands with him. Their life was full of good fortune and happiness. She thought she was the luckiest girl in the world.
Years later, she found herself living on a boat in the middle of a swamp filled with alligators, turtles and fish. They reminded her of her loyal companions of childhood. The alligators were like Scamper – feisty and threatening at times. The turtles were like Sunny – they kept to themselves and retreated into their shells to ponder their lives. The fish were like Alice – sweet and good natured, but stinky on occasion.
She lived happily with her new friends of the swamp until one day a terrible tragedy befell her. An evil sorcerer cursed her boat’s Great Machine and caused it to stop working. Each time she tried to start the Great Machine, it would refuse to fire. She could hear the evil sorcerer cackle every time the Great Machine made sputtering noises. Without the Great Machine, she wondered, how would she move her boat when Mother Nature's winds were absent from the skies?
The Great Machine was a menacing creature made out of chunks of metal and rubber gaskets. Normally, it was locked away behind a door in a dark chamber in the middle of the boat, where it feasted on large vats of oil and diesel soup and muttered to itself about injectors and glow plugs.
One day, she worked up her courage to open the Great Machine's chamber and look upon it. She stared at the Great Machine and sighed as she recalled her studies as a young maiden. If only her tutors had taught her magic instead of algebra, she would be able to revive the Great Machine, but, alas, she was helpless.
In despair, she searched the boat high and low until one day she discovered a book of magic spells written by a great wizard himself, Sir Nigel Calder - The Encyclopedia of Magical Boat Incantations. Sometimes it was referred to as the Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual, so as to disguise its true nature from those who were ignorant of the magical nature of the watercraft who travel the seas. Sir Nigel was a truly clever wizard - a name like the Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual would be so dull and boring to the average mortal that they would never bother to open the tome's pages and discover the magical spells it contained.
Sir Nigel was so powerful of a wizard that he called the Great Machine by its true name – the Darkly Dangerous Diesel Engine. She herself didn’t dare speak its true name for fear that she would be beset by another curse, like water leaking from the stuffing box. She read through the magic spells by candlelight, while drinking glass after glass of wine, desperately seeking a spell that would remove the curse from the Great Machine and allow her to take her boat back out to the sea.
Here’s the other problem with having wine with dinner. It makes you sleepy. So sleepy that you don’t want to finish your blog post. Plus, it’s way too long already. So, I’ll just leave you hanging until another day. Will the fair maiden be able to successfully cast a spell and bring the Great Machine back to life? Or, will she herself be cursed by the evil sorcerer and trade her sailboat in for a trawler with a brand new Great Machine crafted by elves from the realm of Yanmar?
Are you a DIY type of person? Do you fix things in your house, boat or RV when they break or do you call in an expert instead?
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