A disgruntled nephew and a very confused son (recently graduated from high school) walk into a bar. The punchline? Er… I’m not sure, except that the bar is actually my kitchen, and the son is demanding to know if it’s true what his cousin has been telling him – that he’ll need to do special training if he wants to acquire a complete knowledge of auto mechanics.

Sigh. What’s a guy to do? Of course, Dave is right, to an extent – Harry probably isn’t going to be able to learn the whole shebang from books. But Sheryl and I have gone to great lengths to teach him that no knowledge or skill set is unattainable to an open and dedicated mind, regardless of formal education. I want to uphold that, but I didn’t expect Harry to go off and attempt to fix his new car’s motor unassisted.

So, yeah, Dave has a point. Also, it was wrong of me to assume that he would be up for helping Harry learn how to fix the car – I just thought that Dave would know all about that, given how much he loves his motorsports. Thanks to me, he claims, he’s become the laughing stock of Hobart. Auto repairs, he says, are something to be dealt with by qualified technicians , and he doesn’t want to be associated with any of this novice nonsense (those weren’t his words, exactly, but I gather that this is roughly what he meant).

Clearly, Dave is upset, and I’ve messed up somewhere along the line. Perhaps we’ve gone overboard in building Harry up to be self-sufficient. He seems to have taken it all very literally, and I’m just now becoming aware of the extent of that. Apparently, he even tried to do his own tyre repair. Hobart traffic being as relatively light as it is may have been the only factor standing between Harry and a major road accident, given that he carried out his repair job using duct tape.

I’ve got to admire the kid’s initiative, but come on.