Monday, July 09, 2007

Shhh...Don't Tell, But the Magic Words Are "Houdini Lives"

Remember the entry from last month about the oil change fiasco? It's back. The leak itself hasn't returned, but my punishment for going to that one particular dealer certainly has (I won't mention the dealer, but they are the Chevrolet dealer in Ow*ng* M*l*s, MD).

I checked my oil level the other day, and while it wasn't down enough to need more oil, it was down a bit. So I decided it would be prudent to carry some oil with me. I know, I should have been doing that all along, but I haven't been. So I checked the manual and wrote down the type of oil I needed: quality rating of CJ4 and grade of 15W40. Then I looked at the window reminder sticker the dealer had put on (you know the one that shows the date and mileage of your next oil change), and saw that it said 5W30. So I go to the auto parts store, but I can't find anything that matches up. So I asked for help. The clerk said he never heard of 5W30 being used in a diesel, and it didn't come in CJ4. He has only known people to use 15W40. But he wasn't sure, and said a Chevrolet dealer was two doors down, why didn't I go check with them? So I did.

The dealer told me 5W30 was only for extreme cold temperatures. He said, "Get it out of there as soon as you can."

So I took it to a Jiffy Lube. GPS has become my BFF when traveling -- try finding a Jiffy Lube easily without it when you don't have an Internet connection handy and you are in a strange city and are having an Oil Change Emergency (OCE).

I explained to the very nice man at Jiffy Lube that I might have 5W30 in the car (I'm not sure because I don't really know what they put in after all the oil leaked out), and he said, "You can't do that!"

So my poor truck has just over 8000 miles on it, and just had its third oil change (fourth if you count the oil leak as two).

FYI, oil changes for a diesel are EXPENSIVE.

So what does that have to do with the "Magic Word"? Nothing really, except it all happened as I was on my way to the Houdini Museum in Scranton when it happened, and "Houdini Lives" IS the magic word there. Despite my OCE, I did manage to get there, and found the museum was in an old, small house crowded into an already densely packed block of houses. Parking was "in the rear" but the lot was so small that cars had to block in those who were already there, or only four cars would be able to park. They put a helpful sign there that told you to do just that because everyone would be leaving at the same time. Of course it didn't really work out that way, because a lot of people didn't know there was a certain time they should be there, so they were late and wanted to stay after the rest of us were done. But they were very nice about moving their cars.

They do a three hour tour and magic show, and will probably be filmed for any TV shows you see about Houdini as they are a prime source of Houdini material. The magicians were Bravo the Great and Dorothy Dietrich. Dorothy Dietrich's claim to fame is doing the Bullet Catch and escaping from a straight jacket while suspended upside down from a burning rope. No, she didn't do either of those today!

The magic show was really geared towards kids, and most of the illusions were "oldies but goodies." Scarves and coins disappearing and reappearing, card tricks, and illusions involving animal assistants were plentiful. One levitation, and one wayward bird that insisted on walking along a wire from the front of the room to the back, despite its ability to fly. It was a fun way to spend the afternoon, and I got to see a lot of very well preserved Houdini artifacts. Worth an afternoon if you're ever in Scranton.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Too bad we didn't know about the Houdini museum while my Dad was alive. Since he was a magician himself, he would have enjoyed going there.

I hope you are writing a letter to the manager of the dealership in OM. I think you should at least get your money back for their incompetence and the aggravation it has caused you. The service manager is Bruce Know and his email is

Shades of my mom - writing letters!!!!