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the dream of dawn

Mystery Of The Century?

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While I was grubbing around in the bilge the other day, I had finally had enough. The engine tray/sump in my E29 drained to the bilge through a tiny 1/4" limber hole. Occasionally, disgusting blobs of oily residue were emitted and could be found floating on top of the bilge water. Worse, the engine pretty much entirely fills its little nest - there isn't room to reach a hand down under there. Consequently, every object dropped into the engine compartment is lost forever. The odd thing is, the sheer volume of stuff dropped down there over the last 46 years surely exceeds the volume available in the tray. Give or take an engine removal.

So I went home and got my largest hole saw and... created access. What mysteries await within? Surely a fortune in small tools and parts will be realized! There has not been this degree of treasure-hunting anticipation since 1922 Egypt!!

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With the sacrifice of a long pair of laboratory gloves, a long-handled windshield scraper, a whole roll of paper towels, and copious quantities of degreaser, the black mass within was transferred to a specialized transport module ( which coincidentally resembled a cardboard box lined with trash bags) and transported to a decontamination facility (the garage.) A chemical-absorbent diaper was laid in the newly-opened space beneath the engine to capture and identify future oil drips.

Meanwhile, the disgusting greasy fibrous mass was carefully (casually) probed for its long-held secrets. Sadly, it turned out to be less King Tut's Tomb and more Al Capone's Vault.
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After discarding all the bits of pure trash, this was what remained. At first, I was somewhat disappointed. There were a couple of items that I know went down there, which I was looking forward to recovering. A couple of small sockets. A stud from the grounding bus. Snap-rings that went flying. But they were not to be found. At least not without getting much more intimate with the sludge monster than I was willing to be. Then I realized that I was missing the bigger picture!
This confirms the existence of the small wormhole that whisks dropped parts off to a distant quadrant of the galaxy! It's just that there must be some mechanism that activates and deactivates it from time to time, somehow. I can't think of any other adequate explanation for these results.

Oh well. Looking forward to a future of a much less noisome bilge.

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Comments

  1. Christian Williams's Avatar
    I dropped a lock washer this week which disappeared between the drip pan and the bulkhead. Let me know if it turns up in your bilge.

    (Variation on the Stephen Reich story: "I moved into an apartment with a wall switch that didn't do anything. I kept turning it on and off for weeks. One night I got a phone call from a woman in Germany who said, 'stop it!'")
  2. bgary's Avatar
    "This confirms the existence of the small wormhole that whisks dropped parts off to a distant quadrant of the galaxy!"

    (laughing) okay, maybe for boat parts (makes perfect sense)... but still doesn't explain why socks disappear from the dryer.
  3. toddster's Avatar
    Now I realize that some of those odd scraps of plastic that I discarded were probably crucial components of the Phrebulizer of an interstellar warp drive, dropped by a seven-limbed (none quite thin and long enough to reach the bottom of the engine compartment) blue hemispherical being who was just trying to get to Santraginus V before the bars close.
    Updated 10-08-2017 at 09:43 PM by toddster