It all began a decade ago. We had just bought a new car, one that accommodates strollers, prams, and car seats way better. This new marvel came equipped with all the latest gadgets, including a lamp that lights up when your car feels the sudden urge to check its oil level. Not the ominous red one that screams “STOP or you’ll go broke,” mind you. No, it’s a cute little orange thing that just thought a breath of fresh air for the dipstick would be nice.
So, there I was, convincing my better half to pull over her shiny new car, popping the hood open. To my great surprise, there lay a lady’s glove atop the oil dipstick. A fancy suede glove that looked brand spanking new. No woman in the family claimed it, and since they’re all strongly suspected of not possessing the magic to open the hood, I had to look elsewhere.
Not the auto shop, mind you, because I meticulously checked everything after we got it back the first time. They managed to dent the side without even noticing it after fixing numerous hail damages. So, I was pretty confident I was the only one meddling with the Zorro (it’s an Opel, and the logo looks like it was crafted with three quick swishes). And it definitely wasn’t my glove. Like many times before, I had to give up on finding an explanation and file the incident under religion, UFOs, and ghosts.
Now, my archive of bizarre events has grown quite impressively in the past year. While most incidents can be attributed to our cat and our one-year-old daughter with monkey-like skills (she can reach anything up to 1.5 meters high with the help of a nearby chair and talk on the phone without actually talking), some things just don’t fit the “normal” category. Like Rockwool confetti materializing out of nowhere, dead birds that come and go, cats the size of dogs that find our property irresistible (hence the decision to buy a sandbox with a lid so our guests don’t think we’re overly welcoming), bird skeletons in the attic (which is a closed space), and the sound of tiny feet tiptoeing from an indeterminate direction at night.
And then yesterday, things hit a new high. MY car had a bit of an eye problem, so off to T. Hansen at the end of the hill to buy a new headlight bulb. Drawing from past experiences with H1, H2, H7, and other H-distractions, I dismantled the car under a streetlight in front of the store (unfortunately, just before closing time). Proudly entering the shop in my fine work attire (I usually sit in an office with polished shoes), which had now undergone some interesting design modifications, I asked for a bulb identical to the one I had expertly captured in the non-functioning headlight. Simultaneously, I inquired about the purpose of a 20cm, 2kg meat bone with the marrow halfway chewed out and a few strands of meat dangling in dried blood lines. Not being a mechanic and usually leaving all manual labor to others, there must be an unknown reason for this meat bone to reside between the battery and the left headlight.
The friendly guy behind the counter assured me that diesel cars aren’t typically carnivorous, even though they’re often accused in the press of being gluttonous. Since he apparently didn’t have a good technical explanation, I began to wonder if, unbeknownst to me, I had a secret career as a hit-and-run driver and if there might be other interesting body parts hidden around the car.
So, since T. Hansen couldn’t provide any explanation, and a thorough search for other body parts in the car yielded no results, I started changing the bulb. Although I usually refrain from anything that can’t be fixed from a computer, electrical work usually goes smoothly. However, I couldn’t get the two wires from the old bulb to fit onto the new one, where apparently only one wire could be attached. Now, since I had given my old burnt-out bulb to T. Hansen, I started to disassemble the rest of the car to finally get the bulb out of the other side. It was NOT like the one I had just bought, and now I had no lights on the car, except for the one from the streetlamp.
The light from the store had dimmed, and my phone had just notified me that dinner was served at home. I slowly began to regret paying my license fee; had I still been a black-and-white viewer, I might have had a chance to drive home in pitch darkness with only turn signals and the cabin light for illumination.
The next day, I called my mechanic to inquire if he had a dog missing a bone. In the meantime, I had found out that the engine compartment had been opened here last, and unlike my wife’s workshop, I never check my own workshop. The helmet hadn’t been up since it was painted a couple of months ago after some boys scratched it and wrote “HAHA” in the lacquer on April 1st. The workshop, however, had no dogs, mice, or rats in the attic, said the friendly man, so we’re probably back to the gnome theory.
I hope it’s a friendly gnome because I really wouldn’t want to find a bull’s head in my bed next time…