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Opinion: Column: That of Which I'm Most Proud
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Opinion: Column: That of Which I'm Most Proud

Not ending the title of this column with a preposition?

Not starting either of these sentences with a "so?"

Not beginning any of the first three sentences with an "especially" or an "and" (although I do begin many sentences with "And," just none of these so far)?

No, of what I'm most proud, at least in the context of the nonsense I've presented so far, is my ability, going on a few months now, to ignore the illuminated warning lights on the dashboards of both of our cars: "Maint Req'd" on one and the low tire pressure icon on the other.

Typically, these kinds of non-stop reminders would have bothered me – like having an itch you can't scratch or a stone in your shoe.

Not anymore. These dashboard reminders barely register a blip on Kenny's radar.

I place the key in the ignition. I turn on the car. I see the various dashboard lights illuminate. And after the engine has begun idling, I see the remaining lights.

No problem. I just place my foot on the accelerator and go.

Though I might give these "idiot" lights a first thought and a second look, I will not be giving them too many more thoughts or looks as I drive around. Nor will they bother me in arrears when I arrive at my destination. Out of sight and out of mind, "totally," to quote my late mother.

As you may have discerned from reading the two preceding paragraphs, as it involves cars, I'm not exactly a hands-on person. More like, hands off.

Granted, this lack of interest and, dare I say, manliness, has no doubt cost me thousands of labor-rate dollars at the dealership/mechanic.

But it's just not me. It's never been me. I'm a sports and chocolate person. The only thing I want my hands on is the television remote or something sweet.

And tools? To quote your favorite Italian mobster: "Forget about it."

Definitely hands off, literally, especially if there's a car in the driveway. As far as I'm concerned, that's the danger zone. Nothing good will ever come from yours truly entering it.

In fact, I'm almost positive the repair will end up costing me more if I do it myself (which I couldn't do anyway). Throw in the frustration and perspiration involved, and you have a match made nowhere near heaven.

Heaven will have to wait, I suppose.

Spending the repair dollars I have over the years doesn't thrill me either. But I have no choice. I can't do anything about my lack of abilities.

To quote the great philosopher, Popeye the Sailor Man: "I yam what I yam." And I have to pay what I have to pay. I remember always dreading the repair cost when a dashboard warning light would appear.

I knew that light (like the wedding invitation George received in a long-ago Seinfeld episode) was going to cost me hundreds of dollars. Hundreds of dollars which I did not have. That warning light, to invoke George from the same episode was "a bill." But as I've proved recently, that's a “bill” I've been able to ignore.

I know, ignoring a warning light seems stupid. Where's the future in that?

The repair is unlikely to fix itself, and unless the bulb illuminating the warning light burns out, my negligence/ability to ignore it is likely making a bad situation worse. Unfortunately – or not – however, I don't have a Pavlovian response to seeing that light. Seeing it doesn't make me instinctively react anymore.

It's not like banging one's knee with a "doctor's hammer." My wallet doesn't just open when the dashboard warns me. I just drive on.

Now if the light starts flashing, that's a different story, and one I haven't written yet, and I hope I never do. Because if that light does start flashing, I won't be able to ignore it, and likely, not be able to afford it, either.