July 16th, 2006, 5:37 pm PDT by Greg

As frequent readers know, we, with some pain, bought a car shortly after we got here. This car is a piece of shit. But we knew that—we are just hoping it’s a POS that will get us groceries for two years. On that front, so far so good. There are apparently several patron saints of automobies—any Catholics, I’m just that desperate.

Anyway, recently the trunk latch stopped working. The trunk key has never worked: all we got with the car was a valet key, but at least the little lever opened the trunk. Eventually, I figured out that I could put down the back seat, crawl in, jam a screwdriver in just the right place and pry to release the latch.

Since that hardly qualifies as “working”, I decided to fix it.

Now, I’m well aware I’m unqualified to fix, say, the transmission: I think I know what a transmission does, but I have no idea how. But, I figured a trunk latch was within my skill level. How hard could it be? When there is a little piece of metal in front of the other, it’s locked; move one of the little metal pieces and it opens.

Long story short: After I fixed what I thought was wrong, crawled into the trunk, and unlocked it the hard way a few times, I started to wonder if I was retarded. Once again: two pieces of metal; one has to move out of the way.

On about the fifth try, I realised that the bar that is supposed to go to the key thing (that doesn’t work anyway) has fallen off, and was eventually giggling to the “lever locked out” position. It turns out the trunk latch is a relatively subtle mechanism. When one little piece slides an eighth of an inch to one side, the latch won’t work.

Solution: a zip tie to hold that piece to the left. If anybody else ever takes that trunk latch off, they’re going to think I am retarded. But, my trunk works, dammit.

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