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Dr. Porsche, a 944, and a Bottle - Dear Hanzy

John R. Killion
Jun 21, 2010
Illustrator: Tris Mast

Mein Hanzy:
As you know, my beloved 944 fatally chomped its factory-installed, rubber-nucleus clutch while hopelessly peddling its way around the Speedway last fall, and I had no choice but to park the car for the winter while I worked up the gumption required to solve the problem.

Epcp_1007_01_o+porsche+944 Photo 2/4   |   Dr. Porsche, a 944, and a Bottle - Dear Hanzy

Ever unbolt a 944 transmission before? Ever conjugate a nasty word at the top of your lungs in all its possible and varied forms? There are BIG bolts holding that monster in place, intimidating bolts, and after jacking my car into the springtime air, I began to contemplate the magnitude of my mission. Fortunately, liquid encouragement can fill the gap in actual talent, and in no time at all I was strutting around my work bench, confident, when all of a sudden there was the ghost of none other than Dr. Porsche, resplendent in his white techno-geek apron with the obligatory blue pen stain spreading across his chest pocket.

"So," he said to me. "You sink you can fix zat heap vis your hammer und Craftsman locking wrench?"

"Hey," I cleverly responded. "How did you get in here?"

His eyes were quickly and efficiently scanning the walls at my assortment of tools and nudie-girl pictures, and he said, "Never mind zat, Knucklehead, vee have more important sings to consider here."

Feeling briefly offended by his unkind characterization, I said, "I think I have everything under control here. Oh yeah!" And I tried not to think about those big bolts.

He mumbled something under his breath in German and reached to turn the volume down on my CD player, which was blaring some hillbilly rant about some poor slob losing his truck, his dog, and his wife- in that descending order of importance-and apparently that was just too much for Dr. Porsche to bear. Frustrated by the dozens of tiny buttons and lack of intuitive dial knobs, he seized the power cord and yanked it from the socket while saying, "Zees audio machine is from zee end of zee dog you do not pat."

Epcp_1007_02_o+dr+porsche Photo 3/4   |   Dr. Porsche, a 944, and a Bottle - Dear Hanzy

So I asked him, "Do you think I can jam this 11/16-inch socket onto those 17mm bolts?"

He groaned loudly, and turned to face my 944's stablemate, an-arrest-me-red 928 S4, and said, "Zat car nearly cost me my house." He picked up my bottle, took a deep slug, and said, "Schnapps it isn't. But Saint Peter is pretty tight about what gets past zee gates zees days." He took another swig and I could see a warm and fuzzy glow beginning to envelope his otherwise austere and composed persona.

"So," I asked, "security's tough in Heaven?"

"Ja," he lamented.

"Too many heathens trying to sneak in?"

"Nein," he exclaimed. "Too many of us trying to sneak out."

I was shocked. "Trying to sneak out? Why would anyone want to sneak out of Heaven?"

"Sink about it, Knucklehead. Vat is there to do for a fellow like me? Everysing verks perfectly in Heaven. Zee car, it always starts und runs vell. Zee oil never gets dirty, und zee gas gauge is always on full. If I sink zee tires need an extra pound of pressure, zay already have it before I even finish my thought. I feel useless."

I considered his problem. "Well, perhaps you should import an early Boxster."

Epcp_1007_03_o+liquid+courage Photo 4/4   |   Dr. Porsche, a 944, and a Bottle - Dear Hanzy

"I thought of zat too," he said, defeated. "But I can drill holes in zee crankcases and zay still von't leak. I can even run zem without any oil at all. Nothing breaks in Heaven. Ever." He took another pull from my bottle. I warily looked over at my partly dismantled car, dangerously teetering on mismatched jack stands. Sensing a rare opportunity, I handed him a wrench and invited him to join me. Now Hanzy, let me tell you, he scampered like an elf under my 944 with an agility I never would've expected from him, and his hands moved so fast I could hardly even see them. Within moments, my transmission hit the floor with a heavy thump and I felt a strong wave of satisfaction roll over me, so I let loose a whooping victory cheer (which I knew would greatly annoy him). As my joyful WooHoo! vaporized into the same chilly air as all my previous and hideous obscenities had, I looked around the garage, but Dr. Porsche was nowhere to be seen. And, sadly, neither was my bottle.

By John R. Killion
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