Wednesday, August 19, 2009

On assembly being the reverse of disassembly

On assembly being the reverse of disassembly

The Haynes manual.

Those wonderful hardback books for motor enthusiasts which allow you to take your car apart, fix the shonky cam-biscuit and put it all back together again, as good as new.

My Austin Allegro owes its prolonged survival to the Haynes Manual, along with a petrol lawnmower which was found to possess a number of parts compatible with its throbbing 1750cc engine.

Alas, the Aggro limped its way to the scrapyard in Twyford and the Haynes for the ensuing Fiat Strada consisted of one hurriedly typed page which read "You utter twat".

Years pass, and those curs at Haynes no longer confine themselves to car manuals. They do loads of stuff that have nothing to do with motor maintenance, such as DIY, the Apollo 11 lander and - oh God - health and well-being.

Of course, they brush over the fact that the Apollo 13 crew flew to near disaster with only an out-of-date Apollo 11 manual on board, and frankly, on a beast of that complexity, assembly is not necessairily the reverse of disassembly.

And now - there's a genuine, official Scaryduck Haynes Manual.

Of course, they had to dress it up as Build Your Own Website, but the entire publication revolves around the revelations of page 62, which boil down to "You might as well give it up mate. That genius, gentleman explorer and small bets placed has it all stitched up."They also cropped out the word "slattern" for reasons that don't particularly surprise me.

As luck would have it, the book gives full, detailed instructions for stripping down, lubricating, servicing and re-assembling your very own Scaryduck.

I tried it myself, but was rather put out to find that I had a couple of useless nuts left over at the end.

I scavanged a few parts from an old lawnmower, but now I get a stiffy every time I see a compost heap.

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