2. I'm a glutton for punishment. after the incident with my tundra, i swore i'd change my own oil from then on. But my next oil change was due right as i was getting ready for a long trip in my dualie. i tempted fate and took it to a different quickie lube place to save time. the service was good and i had high hopes that the transaction would be a success. My hopes were crushed by a skinny 19-year-old kid "technician" who pulled my truck out of the work bay and without even glancing in the side mirror, cut the corner too sharp and wiped out my left side rear dually fender on the side of the bay door. the dude didn't even get the truck halfway out the door before cutting to the left to make the turn. he had no shot at making the turn. all i could do was watch in horror as fiberglass did battle with concrete and lost badly.

Clearly, this kid had never driven a long truck with a crappy turning radius before, or more to the point, any '88-'98 fullsize Chevy. Just as clearly, the guy who hired this kid to work on customers' pride and joys wasn't very thorough during the interview process. it took three weeks to get the shop to have my truck repaired, and now i've got an off-white colored truck with one gleaming white fender. nice.

3. i got a little bit smarter (just a little) and took my next truck to the same dealer i bought it from and abandoned the quickie lube joints altogether. sure, the oil change cost a bit more at the dealer, but with real factory-trained technicians working on my truck the job was sure to be done right. Well, the job did get done correctly, but the service manager locked the keys in my truck, stranding me for a few extra hours until a locksmith bailed them out. i was late for work again.

What does it all mean? Is changing your oil the right thing to do? Is it so wrong to trust others to do the work for you? Can't you have faith in your fellow man to operate a strap wrench and a 14mm socket? Does God really exist and is he in cahoots with my mom in a dastardly scheme to teach me a lesson and pay me back for all those weekends spent on the couch when I should have been cleaning my room or doing chores? Or is an $8-per-hour "technician" simply not qualified to drain and replace the lifeblood of your sport truck? Think about that while I think about something else to write for another column. See ya next month.