I hit a pig with my car.
At least I think it was a pig. It darted out in front of the car as Paula and I, along with our son Andrew, drove west, at dusk, on a country road in south Florida. There are a lot of feral hogs in that area.
I felt really terrible about hitting the critter, and if I were really honest I’d have to admit that I also felt a little bad about the damage it did to my beloved Scion xB. There were pieces of bumper hanging on by a thread and some bits rubbing against a tire. Two hours from home. We squared it away the best we could and limped very slowly back to Orlando.
The next morning I took the car to Tuffy Auto in Apopka FL. We had recently started going to them for oil changes and so forth and had a good relationship going. They’re friendly and honest, and they know their stuff.
The counter man at the time was a garrulous fellow named Greg. Very knowledgeable about cars, and very good at sharing his knowledge. More than you wanted sometimes, so we had that in common. We got along great.
“Hey Greg, can you have a look at this? The underside of the car is kinda torn up.”
“Naw, we’re not a body shop. You need to go to a body shop.”
“Screw that. I know you guys. I trust you guys. Just go have a look.”
A little more high level back and forth like that, and his curiosity got the better of him. Pretty soon the car was up on the lift and Greg, along with one of the crew, was scratching his chin and considering.
You could see the wheels turning as they started improvising a fix. It involved wire, solder, a couple of bolts, and if I’m not mistaken, some peanut butter and a little wd40. Well of course there was wd40! Did you think we were going to get through this story without it?
“Ok, you’re all set.” Well, actually he said a lot more, but I’m cutting to the chase here. You’re welcome.
“Greg, thanks, that’s awesome! What do I owe you?”
“No charge, go ahead on.”
“Well, hey, l told you we’re not a body shop. There’s nothing in the price book about soldering and peanut butter. It’s cool.”
So I went home with the good news. Paula said, “I know! I’ll make them some brownies.” So she did and we took them over there. Party time at Tuffy! Ever since, for several years now, she’s made brownies for the crew at Tuffy pretty much every time we’ve been there. There are guys working there now who don’t even know the story, but they expect to be fed brownies when we show up for a new battery or an oil change. You know, like alligators.
Greg has since moved on, bless you brother. Ron B, Mark, Brandon and Tyler along with their bay crew continue to run the best shop you could hope for. We’ve since bought a couple of cars through Ron, Mr. Go-To-The-Auction.
The Scion? It ran for 320k, improvised fix intact. And to this day I feel sorry about hitting that pig.