A longtime enemy and critic of mine responded via email to my Sunday column about my destroyed ball joints courtesy of the West Virginia Division of Highways and the City of Huntington and their historic inability to keep roads in good shape.
He said I only complained about the ball joints because I wanted a new automobile. I rarely respond to his invectives, but I decided to give him a thrill and reply.
I used a four-letter word in my response and he responded that, like a typical liberal, I had to use a four-letter word.
I guess he thinks four-letter-word Trump is a liberal.
In further tirades, he told me that I lied about state inspections because the law doesn't say the inspection should include a look at the "front end."
I replied, chapter and verse, the part of the law that says mechanics must inspect the front end as part of the total inspection. And ball joints are part of the front end.
He replied that his vehicles had undergone inspection for 30 or 40 years and not once had a mechanic "crawled under" his vehicles to inspect the ball joints.
I replied by asking him to give me the names and addresses of these mechanics so I can report them to the proper authorities.
I wrote that sarcastically since he always ends his emails to me with a sarcastic "Best regards."
I finally got his goat, as we mountaineers say.
He told me that everyone knows mechanics don't inspect anyway. All they want is the money for inspections, of which a part goes to the greedy state and a part to the greedy mechanics.
I had mechanics that inspected the underside of my old car for 12 years, maybe because I always had inspections done along with an oil change. It means the car is put up "on the rack" so the mechanic finds it easy to inspect the front end.
One of West Virginia's clueless delegates (can't remember his name; clueless delegates are legion) recently suggested we do away with state inspections. At least he has the common sense to know a significant number of state inspections are ripoffs.
It's high time my perennial emailer and everyone else demand real inspections. The fact my mechanic told me I had majorly damaged ball joints may have saved my life.
When a ball joint fails, it could mean death for the occupants.
Alas, I predict state inspections will be terminated. But if that happens, I will continue to have my car inspected at least once a year by an honest mechanic. I want to know my car is safe to drive, state inspection or no state inspection.
I don't know. Maybe it's just the liberal in me.
Dave Peyton is on Facebook. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.