Full Moon

Technically, a full moon is when the earth, moon, and sun 
are in approximate alignment, unlike the new moon when it is 
on the opposite side of the earth. The full moon has the entire 
sunlit part facing us, while the shadowed portion is entirely 
hidden from view.  (A new moon has the entire shadowed side 
towards us.)  When the moon is full the tides can be higher, 
also some say that animals can act differently, and there’s 
talk that some people will act a little weird too.   Is it this 
weirdness caused by the alignment of the planets or 
is there something else to this moon phase thing?  I’m no 
scientist or astrophysics major, I’m just a mechanic… and 
from what I’ve seen even the repair shop isn’t immune to 
its’ affects either.

It’s not just the type of problems that show up, it’s the 
way they are explained at the front counter.  If ever there 
was a reason to second guess what someone was trying to 
tell me, it would certainly be during a full moon.  I don’t 
want to sound superstitious, but somebody is going to have 
to explain to me what else it could be if it’s not due to a 
full moon.  I know it’s sometimes hard to separate the facts 
from fiction when I’m dealing with a problem in a car, or when 
I’m trying to decipher the customer’s explanation.   It just seems worse the closer it gets to that time of the month.   The number of strange customers, bad parts, or weird unexplainable problems always goes up right about then.

Now, I don’t sit around and calculate the time and date of the next full moon, but I can’t help thinking about it after spending a day at the office with a bunch of wacky repairs and even odder customer complaints.  Its kind a funny too; most of these odd problems seem to clear up within a few days, just about the same time the moon passes into its next phase.  

Take this weird situation that arrived at the door one day.  A lady I’ve never met before, or even talked to comes into the shop. She walks up to the counter, and says in a quiet voice while looking around as if someone was following her and says, 

“I can’t leave my car right now. I’m waiting for the aliens to arrive.  I’ll be back as soon as it’s safe for me to drop the car off.” 

She turned and walked out the door never to be seen or heard from again.  I guess the aliens got her, or it could be the aliens fixed her car.  I’ll never know…

Here’s some of the myths the full moon has been linked to:  increased homicide rate, traffic accidents, crisis calls to police or fire stations, domestic violence, births of babies, suicides, major disasters, casino payout rates, aggression by professional hockey players, violence in prisons, psychiatric admissions, agitated behavior by nursing home residents, assaults, emergency room admissions, behavioral outbursts of psychologically challenged rural adults, delusional beliefs that one has turned into an animal, sleep walking, and several other ailments.

But in all these studies no one ever mentioned the effects of this lunar phenomenon on the lonely mechanic.  Maybe it’s time we make it known to these psychiatrists and other professional people who study things like this that they need to add automotive repair shops as another full moon dilemma.  I should have had a psychiatrist at the shop the day this guy brought his cat with him to the front office.  The guy tells me the cat knew where the electrical short was in his truck.  The guy was very insistent so I played along with this cat diagnostics just for the laugh.  We walked out to the truck with cat in hand, he gives the cat a little nudge towards the truck and says, “Find the short kitty” The little feline sniffed and purred around the truck for several minutes then rubbed up against the tires, jumped on the hood and then into the bed of the truck.  This little diagnostic wonder ended its diagnostic journey curled up next to the rear bumper.  
Was the problem there?  Ah, no… it was under the dash… I think the cat was just tired of walking around the truck.  The owner told me I must have confused the cat’s ability to locate the cause because I wasn’t putting out the right “vibes” while the cat was searching for the problem.  As the owner stated, “The cat has never been wrong before.”  Ok, sure… whatever ya say there fella.  There’s a chance there is a lunatic somewhere close…  I know it ain’t me and I don’t think it’s the cat.   

It’s not often that big ball of cheese up there gets me to thinking the entire world has just gone nuts, but on those occasions that someone comes into the shop and tells me their car is possessed, or claims some mail order device is going to save them hundreds of bucks in fuel costs.  I start to wonder about this moon thing.  I, for one, don’t believe in any of this stuff.  I’d like to believe that I’m not affected by some mystic force when the moon is full, but since it seems to give everyone an excuse to go a little crazy once a month, I guess I’ll just play along with the rest of the nutty world.  

There’s something magical about heading out for a scenic drive late at night with that glowing orb hanging low in the sky.  Get out into the open country away from the city lights and you can really appreciate the magical glow of the moon.  Will it affect the car, I don’t think so.  Will it affect the person behind the wheel, well… maybe… just do the neighborhood a favor while you’re looking at the glowing space ball…  try to keep the howling down to a minimum.