Darrell Petska, 1/5/2015

Current Occupation: Family Guy/Writer/Wayfarer
Former Occupation: Engineering copywriter and editor
Contact Information:  Darrell Petska worked more than 30 years as an engineering copywriter and editor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Before academia he worked as a psychiatric tech/caseworker and nursing home evaluator. His writings have appeared in San Pedro River Review, About Place Journal, Lummox, HEArt Online, Blast Furnace, and elsewhere.



Small Business

Customer wheels in, shady sort, wants an oil change

OK we'll call when it's done

No he has urgent business somewhere, needs it fast

I'm thinking ex-con all tatted up, Larry's got a brake job on the hoist, Jiffy Lube's just down the road

Hey can-do's my middle name, we'll have you out of here in no time

Larry drop that Buick, run up the Camry

Wouldn't you know that cranky old hoist won't take her up

Guy spouts off, threatens to go to Jiffy Lube

Larry back out his car, drain the oil, let's get this gentleman on his way, ratcheting the guy down a notch but now the motor won't turn over

He's all christs and dammits, we throw in a new battery, bingo

Larry backs out, scoots under the chassis, pops out fast swatting yellow jackets, grabs a spray can, blasts away, gets to work

I'm looking up part numbers, the guy's pacing, glancing out the window

Larry shouts motor's been running on residue, hardly any oil in it, pulls a tub out from under, shows a couple cups of sludge

That's all you had, surprised it got you here

Guy swears he's never met anyone so slow in all his life

Larry's steady, finally time to settle up, damned if a cop doesn't pull in

Guy tears out side door, I wave cop around back

Culprit's trying to scale my fence, cop nabs him, slaps on cuffs, loads him in cruiser and gone

Just our luck he stole that piece of junk, out goes new battery

We're scratching our heads awhile over the hoist

Cab drives up, fellow hops out, police called him, it's his car, they need him at the station pronto, back in goes new battery

He pays, speeds off, there we stand, a pile of work orders going nowhere till we get the hoist fixed, that's midnight

7 A.M. we're back, suit waltzes in, wants an oil change right now, wonders what's so funny

Long story, Larry see to the gentleman's car
Crossed fingers on that hoist

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