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.