Exploring Ringwood

Welcome to the account of my journey across the vast area of Ringwood. I’ve been exploring the suburbs of Victoria one by one for the last few years, driving my trusty Hold On Common Door. I’ve given myself one week to explore Ringwood in its entirety, so let’s get started.

Monday: I arrived in the town of Ringwood with my car sputtering and squeaking. The Black

Lamp (the name of my vehicle) needed urgent repairs. Fortunately, I came upon a mechanic. Ringwood would have to be explored by foot or public transport, as the mechanic needed to take my vehicle overnight to perform the required repairs. So I set out, visiting some of the town’s best cafes and restaurants. I ate more food than I would like to admit. That night, I found lodgings with a local family who mistook me for a homeless man. I didn’t bother to correct them.

Tuesday: After helping Mrs Trish get the kids to school, I headed out to continue exploring Ringwood. I completely forgot to pick up my car from the mechanic. The Ringwood movie theatre was excellent, its reclining seats most comfortable. The local shopping centre was a thriving hub of activity. I shall be returning there again tomorrow. At the end of the day, I returned to the Trish household.

Wednesday: It turns out that all my car needed was brake repair. Near Ringwood, lots of people forget to pick up their cars, so the mechanic wasn’t surprised that I had failed to turn up the day before. It seems the local population is very kind. Although I had originally planned to sleep in my car, I have been enjoying my time with the Trish family. So I parked my car a few streets away and returned to their home, still continuing my facade as a homeless man.

I shall update you about the next few days soon. Tomorrow I plan on visiting the local swimming pool and returning to the shopping centre once more.

Best Car Repairman

Well, I can confidently say that was the best, smoothest, most hassle-free repair service I have ever received in my life. This repairman is a real pro, truly the best in the business, and he doesn’t even get half the credit he deserves for it. He certainly doesn’t seem like your average, everyday repairman. I’d wager that if you saw him on the street, you wouldn’t be able to tell what his profession was. You might not even think he has a job at all!

Thanks to Mr Repairman, I can focus on the next stage of getting my life together. I’ll be heading down to a mechanic around Glen Iris tomorrow for some high-quality car repair, to make sure I’m back on the road in no time. After that, I’ll be making sure my boat is in top shape for the holidays, then working extra hard to get my big promotion at work. It will be a busy few days, but we’re off to a good start thanks to the repairman.

Well, I suppose he’s not really a repair man, per se. You know, it’s super strange how there hasn’t been anybody reporting about this helpful sentient car offering to fix houses for people. Surely there should be a news headline about it by now. “Car repairs Hawthorn resident’s house, completely free of charge”, or something. I feel like that would sell papers or get clicks. 

It’s just crazy that my house needed repairs in the first place. Being in Melbourne, I thought we had built in just about the safest place on Earth. But then the other day, the winds started howling and picking up, and the next thing I knew, a tornado had swept through the area and destroyed half of my home. I know it sounds made up, but it’s not. Thankfully my car wasn’t damaged. Although I suppose it wouldn’t have been the end of the world, as I need some minor repairs anyway. But still, complete repairs for my car and my house may have just been a little too much for me.

Been a While

It’s been a while since I jumped on the old computer and typed up a post for this site. I’ve almost forgotten how to do it! Hopefully, this post doesn’t turn out like the one from last year, after I returned from my Christmas break. I was supposed to tell you all about the mechanics I visited over my holiday, but I got sidetracked and wrote about the best fish and chip shops in Queensland instead! How embarrassing.

I don’t really have a topic this time, although I suppose I should touch on special car maintenance, like diesel tuning, as I promised I would cover it last time. Basically, diesel tuning is when you make changes to a diesel engine to improve its performance, through many different aspects. You’ll need to go to a mechanic who is comfortable with auto electrical, but that shouldn’t be too difficult.

My favourite auto electrical shop near Toowoomba is this one with a really nice bakery next to it. The bakery has the best pies, made fresh each day. Back when I used to work at the restaurant, washing dishes, I would go there every day for lunch. I remember sitting on the bench outside, just chowing down on these delicious steak and mushroom pies. If I ever got bored of the pies (which was rare), I could go to the fish and chip shop and order something there instead.

Oh boy, I love me some fish and chips. It’s just about the best food in the world. Look, I know it’s not exactly the fanciest cuisine out there, but sometimes less is more, you know? If you don’t like lots of deep-fried food, you can always get a souvlaki or burger. There’s something for everyone, really. Even if you don’t like meat, just get some delicious chips.

Drat, I’ve done it again! Why do I always keep getting distracted when writing these things? And why do I always get distracted by fish and chips? Maybe next time I’ll be able to tell you more about auto electrical work!

Auto King’s Man

I was shaking as I entered the Auto King’s lair, knowing things couldn’t go well for me. I hated being the messenger, especially when I had to deliver bad news. 

The Auto King was lifted high in the air, currently being worked on by a team of professional mechanics. It seemed like they were giving him a full suspension service. The slick black car looked down at me and frowned. 

“What is it, Nathaniel?” he asked.

I tried to slow my breathing and stop the trembling but had no luck. My voice shook as I spoke. “My lord, I’m afraid to inform you that Operation Sneaky Fighters has failed. Somebody found out about it and single-handedly destroyed the base. Rufus was found there. He is dead, my lord.”

The Auto King was contemplative for a moment. “Is our plan to take control of all Ringwood automotive services still intact?”

“It is,” I said. “Do you want to go forward? It’s a dangerous plan without the sneaky fighters there to help manage it.”

The plan involved taking control of all the auto shops so that every sentient car would be exposed to our campaign for autocracy. With all the sentient cars thinking about it, either consciously or subconsciously, they’d be more likely to join our resistance and our fight against the Church of the Tinted Flock. 

“Do it,” said the Auto King. “I don’t want there to be any vehicle inspections within Ringwood or its surrounding suburbs without our influence. It is crucial that this part of the plan works, with or without the sneaky fighters there to help. Do not fail me again, Nathaniel.”

I bowed low and retreated out of the room, my hands still shaking. When the Auto King got mad, he kind of reminded me of Dark Invader, the villain from the Space Battles movies. But at his core, the Auto King was a good guy. He had to be, right? Because I definitely wasn’t one of the bad guys or serving one of them. Autocracy was what the world needed, not democracy with humans. We were the good guys. Right?

Great Auto Conspiracy

I was going to get to the bottom of this conspiracy, even if it was the end of me. I didn’t care if I lived to tell people the truth. I just wanted to know what was actually going on. What did space flight engineers have to do with car repair? Why had I been mysteriously sent a note saying to find a mechanic in space? 

My latest lead brought me to a mechanic workshop in Brighton, where everything seemed perfectly normal. I entered the reception with a shortsword on my hip and an automatic crossbow in each hand. The receptionist almost leapt out of her seat, so shocked to see me. After a moment she recomposed herself.

“Is this a Brighton auto electrical shop that offers services in space?” I asked.

The woman wiped her brow and seemed relieved. “You’re here for the tryouts, then? Want to be one of the Auto King’s space crew? You were supposed to bring your own lab equipment, but I suppose what you have there will do for now. Head on in.”

So the Auto King was behind this, huh? He was building an army of science bandits for some nefarious purpose. That explained why this whole operation was in Tasmania, and why they needed car workshops involved. If the Auto King needed tyre replacement around Brighton, he could come straight here. And if they needed transportation through the Bass Strunnel for their crew of lab staff, it only made sense to enlist some workshops.

The receptionist pointed me through the back door, and I headed there without thinking it through further. I’d already come this far. No turning back now. Somehow, I had to destroy the Auto King’s army. And it seemed I was doing so from the inside.

I hoped it wouldn’t take too long. My wife was going to have dinner ready in twenty minutes, so I had to dismantle this operation quickly and head home. This definitely wasn’t how I expected my day to pan out, I’ll admit.

Cyber Mechanics Go

Now that we’ve officially made it to the fabled realm known as ‘the future’, I have one question. Surprisingly, it has nothing to do with hoverboards – from time to time, I do wonder what’s holding those up, but I wouldn’t bother putting forward questions about it. No, what I want to know is this: in the present day and age, are auto service centres an essential service? Or are they a luxury?

Now, before you answer, consider that there are people who don’t hold the same opinion as you. How do I know this? I’ve spoken to people on both sides of the fence, and many of them feel quite strongly about it. At first, it seemed self-evident to me that this type of service is indeed essential, and I was quite vocal about that, only to be argued down by a cyclist friend who insisted that anything to do with motor vehicles is a luxury. That then seemed like the obvious position.

But then an indignant neighbour, who’s an ambulance driver, countered that point with the smart-sounding quip that ‘necessity is determined moment by moment’. Now I don’t know what to believe. Maybe it is all relative. For example, in Toorak, car service is less necessary than it is in Alice Springs. At the end of the day, it probably still counts as a luxury even in the desert, but I guess that’s arguable depending on what you need to get done.

Why am I so hung up on this, you ask? Well, it all started after I had a lengthy chat with a particularly gruff mechanic near Glen Iris a couple of months back. He seemed to be deep into some conspiracy theories about global pandemics, and was adamant that business as we know it would irrevocably change sometime this year. As a result, he was pretty grim about his job prospects, which is how I got talking to him in the first place – as a barber, this is the sort of stuff people bring up with you.

Anyway, this guy has another appointment coming up this week, and I feel I need know where I stand on this issue by then.