Ben and the Art of Landrover Maintenance

On Friday Ben the Mechanic, an old school Cape Townian with a bar in his garage, smoking a pipe at 9am, spent 3 hours showing us how to deal with potential problems that could arise with Mpandangare the Great:

eg.
White smoke coming out the bonnet at a slow speed
White smoke coming out the bonnet at a fast speed
White smoke coming out the bonnet at start up
Black smoke coming out the bonnet at a slow speed
Black smoke coming out the bonnet at a fast speed
Black smoke coming out the bonnet at start up
Grey smoke… etc

The permutations were daunting but Ben (actually his name was Dave) gave us brilliantly useful tips on how to troubleshoot none of which I understood and all of which I have already forgotten.

Although I maintained an enigmatic silence throughout, Dave at one stage drew a little diagram and said “Lisa, even you will understand this”. I mumbled something unconvincing about sexism.

Anyway I loved his teaching style – to debunk engineering myths by asking us rhetorical questions eg. “Is a Landrover always in four wheel drive?” with a nifty preemptive response: “Up yours!” Maybe I will try his technique when home-schooling the girls …

Below – means to an end.

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