When you love your work, you never work a day in your life. I definitely loved my work: I felt a pull toward it. Helping people had always been my jam, and I guess this fell out as a natural consequence of that. Today, the phone bank was busy, and the call centre could not keep up with it. I had to step in and handle a few incomings, help out a few lives in crisis.

Undoing my rod-bearing-shaped cufflink, I rolled up the sleeves on my flannel shirt and grabbed the handset. On the other side of the line, a shrieking voice rang out: “I THINK MY HEAD GASKETS ARE BLOWN.”

Welcome to just another day at the Seat Safety Switch Subaru Crisis Centre, or 4S2C as we like to call it around here. Every day, Subaru owners from across the world call us in either imagined or real panics about the imminent explosion of their cars’ powertrains. Whether it’s your run-of-the-mill Patagonia customer complaining about the nuked head gaskets on their EJ25D Outback, or a sideways-hat NASIOC poster mistaking their vape cloud for a dicky turbo seal, we can help you.

It all started so many years ago, when I would visit the junkyard and harvest the guts of many fine Subarus to keep my harem of hoopties on the road. On the way out of the yard on one particularly warm spring morning, I saw a depressed couple waiting in line at the pawn counter, clutching hands in their Eddie Bauer performance fleece. Their beloved Forester, Prince Charles, had died that very morning from a common transmission ailment and they had come here to put it down humanely.

Advertisement

I helped those people, placing my grease-stained hand gently on their collective shoulder and leading them to diagnose and repair their own Subaru. With tears in their eyes, they promised that they would send their friends to me for advice on how to fix their rolling garbage barges. Of course, I agreed, out of a naive belief that perhaps I could end up with a cheap shell or two from a single mom in over her head and at a substantial integer multiple of the timing belt replacement interval.

It didn’t quite work out that way in the end, but when humanitarian awards agencies would give me plaques and oversized novelty cheques for my hard work in helping the disadvantaged Subaru community, I grudgingly came to feel that the cars themselves weren’t as important as the people.

Advertisement

But I’d still like to get a mint Legacy SS off of someone who doesn’t want to fix the brakes. Send them my way, ok?