Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Third Job I Should Be Doing: Mechanic

That Morthos Stare writes:

As I'm the one who posed this silly question you'd expect that I would have some gripping answer such as 'World Fleshpot' or 'Garlic Greaser' and that I would come up with some marvellous story about just why this is third on the list. Instead I'm going to be rather boring and admit that third on my list is 'car mechanic.'

I've always wanted to be a mechanic. There is nothing more time consuming and fulfilling than taking something apart and then rebuilding it, preferably with fewer pieces. As a child (still a child) I would dismantle toys to rebuild them. I suspect that this is the reason why I've performed open heart surgery on my iBook twice. Opening it once was fun enough; opening it up the second time was even better. Like the proverbial cat and his box I need to know what lies inside. I imagine that being a mechanic would have been my fate had I not gained this improbable accent (bewildering to all who encounter me in either hemispheres) which, in turn, made me so utterly pretenious that the idea of getting grease on my hands now sends shivers of distaste all along my spine.

So, yes, mechanic. I'd probably work at the garage in Devonport and drink down at the Masonic most Friday and Saturday nights. My girlfriend would be a Shore Girl, my car... Well, I don't know, really. A Nissan something? As I didn't turn out to be a mechanic it doesn't really matter to me. I'm an academic first, a PA second and might well have been a mechanic third.

I suppose that the 'mechanic' part of my soul (not that I believe I have one, being a Materialist) ties into my academic interest in systems; how and why they work - why and how people 'use' them. Systems are, dare I say it, metaphorical engines. Academics work with inference engines; you input data into their respective theories and they produce correlated information as a result, some of which you hope to be novel and useful. Both mechanics and academics are puzzle solvers and I like puzzles.

Which is why job number three is 'car mechanic,' even though the person I have become isn't even vaguely interested in the things.

Just thought you should know.

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