Last weekend, I had what I will call a mechanical miracle.

Actually, it’s a two-part miracle. I made some simple car repairs and I didn’t bleed.

I’ve got to admit, I’m not mechanically inclined. I’m sure this is not true and I’m sure this could spark some discussion, but I believe there’s some theory that if you know how to write a news story, then it’s automatic so to speak – you know nothing about mechanics. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

However, I occasionally tackle a project – a mechanical project – but only if necessary. This necessity was way overdue, so I decided I would replace a headlight and wiper blades on my car. That’s as simple as it gets. Right? Well, if you think that’s simple, you have never written a news story, have you? You know about mechanical things and this news writer does not. Please go back to my theory stated in the previous paragraph.

I could accomplish these tasks because I had help. I went online and asked two questions. Firstly, “How do you replace a headlight on a 2013 Kia Soul?’ Secondly, “How do you replace wiper blades on a 2013 Kia Soul?”

It didn’t take long at all. With the help of an online video and some step-by-step instructions, I have a low beam headlight that now works and wiper blades that make a smooth, quiet motion across my windshield.

I’m so proud. I have such a tremendous feeling of accomplishment.

Not only is the project complete, but the skin on the back of my hands is intact. I did not shed one drop of blood while performing these mechanical duties.

A little history here. As you have probably learned already, I am famous for bleeding. If I perform any so-called mechanical duties or any home projects, the project is not complete until I bleed. If I do yard work, I bleed. For some reason – I’m sure age has nothing to do with it – I always bump the back of my hands on something and then I bleed.

For the last few years, I thought the reason I bled immediately after bumping the back of my hand against something was because I had “Hardin hands.” I remember my dad had the same problem and so I thought this was something I inherited. I am going to stick to the “Hardin hands” diagnosis. I’m resisting the feeble explanation that the skin on the back of my hands becomes thinner with age. Not accepting that at all.

My favorite bleeding event happened about three years ago when I was much younger. Son Isaac was visiting and asked if I could help him change a headlight on his Chevrolet Trailblazer. Of course, I could. I tried, thinking it would be a simple process. It wasn’t, for me anyway.

At one point, of course, I hit the back of my hand on something and began to bleed.

That’s when Isaac and I decided to go inside and see if we could find an online video that gave step-by-step instructions on how to change the headlight. We found one. We watched and we listened. We had followed the steps that the person in the video demonstrated – right down to the part where he hits the back of his hand against something and bleeds.

Yes, I am serious. He bumped the back of his hand and bled at the very same place I bumped my hand and bled. So, after all that, did we end up changing the headlight? No. He returned to Longview and found a mechanically-inclined friend to help him – yes, a friend who had never written a news story in his life. Please go back to my theory in Paragraph No. 2.

I believe I’ve bled enough here today. I will save my yardwork bleeding events for another day. With those stories, I go beyond hand-bleeding. I will elaborate on how I almost cut my legs off with one of those weed wacker yardcare tools.

I believe it’s time for this mechanically challenged man to write a news story.


Jim Hardin may be reached at