The Knights of the Auto Order Proudly Present:
THE AUTO BODY ESTIMATE: Vol. II, #34, July 1998

My literacy is wholly dependent upon spell-checkers. If on January 1, 2000 my spell checker no longer works, I'll have to quit my job and go work where my incompetence goes unnoticed: I guess I'd look up Dan Quayle. I've configured my work e-mail to automatically check my spelling before any message is sent. Since I'm in "Quality Assurance", those two words are often in my messages, and "assurance" is frequently misspelled. This brings to mind several questions: 1.) Would Alanis Morrisette think it ironic that the Manager of Quality Assurance can't spell Assurance? 2.) Should Melville fans be amused when a spell checker suggests they substitute Fishmeal for Ishmael? 3.) Should anyone be amused by a spell checker?

I mention the end of the millennium. Some people feel that the world is going to end because computers are unable to recognize the difference between 2000 and 1900. While I'm not too concerned (I've yet to buy a gas-powered generator for my bomb shelter), my dog gave me an idea which may be helpful when all the computers go down. Gizmo knows the sound of my car (even if I drive past the house his head perks up) and he can distinguish it even from other cars of the same make and model. I suspect his superior hearing detects minor variations in the engine's sound beyond our comprehension. I say we train dogs to replace expensive automotive diagnostic electronics. Imagine pulling your car in front of a bank of dogs: a poodle trained to respond to lifter problems, a beagle to the sound of bad compression, etc... Whichever dog perks up to the sound of your car will indicate what your problem is. Not only are dogs Y2K compliant, and cheaper than current diagnostic hardware, but they're also more fun (and safer) to take swimming.

Before all the planes crash on 1/1/00, I'd like to stick up for airline food: it just isn't THAT bad. I mean, it's DESIGNED to be bad enough that you're not bothering the flight attendants for second helpings, but not so bad to make you sick: they don't want you pressing the attendant button while holding a waxy paper bag full of warm, lumpy liquid any more than you do. But airlines do name things strangely. A lunch can be 19 peanuts. When offered the choice between a fajita and pizza, I chose the fajita. I decided my elderly neighbor was a space alien when she surprised me by asking what that was. When the food came, I realized she was not alone. The"fajita" turned out to be shredded meat on a sourdough roll. (You should see what Microsoft's spell checker does to "fajita"!) My other neighbor was reading something called "The Ellis Island Immigrant Cookbook". I was appalled. Who'd eat those people? You have no idea where they've been!

On the subject of "where have they been?", The Auto Body Experience will be playing at Lee's Liquor Lounge (101 Glenwood Ave N, Mpls - 338-9491) on Tuesday, July 28. Joining us will be Harmonica and our old friends Machinery Hill. We'll be in the middle, probably starting shortly after 10:00. Finally, if you'd like to save our empire a few cents, and would just as soon receive these missives electronically (or perhaps not at all), let me know via e-mail at

-Scott Yoho, Grand Pooh-Bah, Knights Of The Auto Order

Return the Estimate Index...