I found this in my disaster of a hard drive. I thought it was funny then, and funny now. I wish I knew who wrote it...
Forget the Snap-On Tools truck; it's never been there when you
need it. Besides there are only 10 things in this world you
need to fix any car, any place, any time.
1.Duct Tape. Not just a tool, a veritable Swiss Army knife in
stickum and plastic. It's safety wire, body material, radiator
hose, upholstery, insulation, tow rope, and more - in an easy
to carry package. Sure, there's prejudice surrounding duct tape
in concours competitions, but in the real world, everything
from LeMans-winning Porsches to Atlas rockets use it by the
yard. The only thing that can get you out of more scrapes is a
quarter and a phone booth.
2.Vice Grips. Equally adept as a wrench, hammer, pliers, baling
wire twister, breaker-off of frozen bolts and
wiggle-it-til-it-falls-off tool. The heavy artillery of your
tool box, vice grips are the only tool designed expressly to
fix things screwed up beyond repair.
3.Spray Lubricants. A considerably cheaper alternative to new
doors, alternator, and other squeaky items. Slicker than pig
phlegm, repeated soakings will allow the main hull bolts of the
Andrea Doria to be removed by hand. Strangely enough, an
integral part of these sprays is the infamous Little Red Tube
that flies out of the nozzle if you look at it cross eyed (one
of the 10 worst tools of all time).
4.Margarine Tubs with Clear Lids. If you spend all your time
under the hood looking for a frendle pin that caromed off the
pertal valve when you knocked both off the air cleaner, it's
because you eat butter. Real mechanics consume pounds of
tasteless vegetable oil replicas just so they can use the empty
tubs for parts containers afterward. (Some of course chuck the
butter-colored goo altogether or use it to repack wheel
bearings.) Unlike air cleaners and radiator lips, margarine
tubs aren't connected by a time/space wormhole to the Parallel
Universe of Lost Frendle Pins.
5.Big Rock at the Side of the Road. Block up a tire. Smack
corroded battery terminals. Pound out a dent. Bop noisy
know-it-all types on the noodle. Scientists have yet to develop
a hammer that packs the raw banging power of granite or
limestone. This is the only tool with which a "Made in
Malaysia" emblem is not synonymous with the user's maiming.
6.Plastic Zip Ties. After 20 years of lashing down stray hose
and wiring with old bread ties, some genius brought a slightly
slicked-up version to the auto parts market. Fifteen zip ties
can transform a hulking mass of amateur- quality wiring from a
working model of the Brazilian Rain Forest into something
remotely resembling a wiring harness. Of course it works both
ways. When buying a used car, subtract $100 for each zip tie
under the hood.
7.Ridiculously Large Craftsman Screwdriver. Let's admit it.
There's nothing better for prying, chiseling, lifting,
breaking, splitting or mutilating than a huge flatbladed
screwdriver, particularly when wielded with gusto and a big
hammer. This is also the tool of choice for all oil filters so
insanely located that they can only be removed by driving a
stake in one side and out the other. If you break the
screwdriver--and you will do just like Dad and your shop
teacher said--who cares, it has a lifetime guarantee.
8.Baling Wire. Commonly known as MG muffler brackets, baling
wire holds anything that's too hot for tape or ties. Like duct
tape, it's not recommended for concours contenders, since it
works so well you'll never need to replace it with the right
thing again. Baling wire is a sentimental favorite in some
circles, particularly with the MG, Triumph, and flathead Ford
9.Bonking Stick. This monstrous tuning fork with devilish
pointy ends is technically known as a tie-rod separator, but
how often do you separate tie-rod ends? Once every decade if
you're lucky. Other than medieval combat, its real use is the
all-purpose application of undue force, not unlike that of the
huge flat-bladed screwdriver. Nature doesn't know the bent
metal panel or frozen exhaust pipe that can stand up to a good
bonking stick. (Can also be use to separate tie-rod ends in a
pinch, of course, but does a lousy job of it).
10.A Quarter and a Phone Booth. See tip #1 above.