Saturday, July 06, 2002


Underwent radical excision of residual urban pride last week when on Monday morning I went out to start my new used scooter and go down to the station and the scooter wouldn't start; wound up calling the shop in the city where I'd bought it, he said sounds like water in the gasoline. Tried everything, sampled the gas, looked in here and there, checked it all, no go, so as the next resort took it to a local shop in the country where the guy tried it a couple times, then in lieu of something technical, STUCK A LONG WIRE INTO THE EXHAUST PIPE (for crying out loud, these country mechanics, when it's water in the gasoline!) WIGGLED IT AROUND AND PULLED IT OUT (some kind of hayseed dowsing hocus-pocus?). Out fell two fat green caterpillars, stashed in there by hunter wasps as food for their eggs in the nest they had built in the muffler over the weekend, leaving it blocked by Monday. The city shop guy never thought of this because there are no hunter wasps in the city; the country shop guy thought of it first thing, said it happens all the time this time of year, and more this year than last. He got the caterpillars out and it started at once. Thus it turns out that in repairing motor-driven vehicles, it pays to have a little entomological know-how. I see just a little bit better now how it all ties together, and how when it comes to the country there're a lot of holes in what I used to think was knowledge.