The continued existence of this site depends entirely on contributions from its readers. If you're able to, please consider donating or subscribing to CF. Thanks!



THIS is Africa

And, as African expat Kim DuToit always says: Africa wins again.

Sometime in the late 70s or early 80s, I had the opportunity to work in Senegal for several months. My very first experience in-country was that the rental vehicle wouldn’t start. While the friendly and talkative mechanic repaired the jeep, he inquired if this was my first trip to Africa. “No,” I replied. “Ahhh!” he said, “then I don’t have to explain the meaning of ‘TIA’ to you.”

But I’d never heard that term or what it meant. When I asked, he explained, saying, “This is Africa; nothing works!” Indeed, in my travels, it was much the same in Latin America and other places I have lived, worked, or visited back in the day. When I returned to the U.S. it was a joy to drop a quarter into a payphone and hear a dial tone, or find that the nearest toilet always had toilet paper at hand.

But, in 2023, in Biden’s America, the acronym takes on a whole new meaning. Last week my wife’s car wouldn’t start, and after several return visits to the dealership, the problem remained undiagnosed. The service tech apologized and said, “it’s TIA.” I asked him what that meant, and he said, “This is America; no one knows how to fix things anymore.” Talk about a reflective moment.

Yep. And as I always say: that’s neither accident, nor coincidence, nor happenstance. It’s part of a plan.


3 thoughts on “THIS is Africa

  1. There are auto problems difficult to diagnose. Generally, failure to start is not one of them.
    Frankly, I don’t believe it. How did they get the non starting vehicle to the dealer? Was it towed there? When did it “wake up” and begin working normally?

    While there are many things wrong in this country, every failure isn’t evidence that things are going downhill. I can make a list of exceptional items along with professionalism and superb engineering that show the complete opposite.

    There are always anomalies, the problem (car or otherwise) that is difficult to solve because it is intermittent in nature and hasn’t been seen before.

    Let’s put this in perspective:
    Cars in 1960 were usually worn out by 100-150K miles. That is now just the warm up/ break in period.
    Cars in 1960-1970-1980 needed a tuneup every 10K miles or so. I replaced the 120K spark plugs in the 300K mile Avalanche a couple months ago. 120K, and they looked just fine. Automatic transmissions going 300,000 miles and shift fine, work fine, and don’t leak a drop?

    Sorry, not buying it. Any fair analysis will show that things are much better now than ever before.

    1. Shoot, it had probably sat out there so long the damned battery had died. Or been stolen, maybe. It’s definitely true that mechanics aren’t mechanics anymore; nowadays, they’re “technicians,” and if your car can’t be fixed by hooking it up to a diagnostic computer first to tell them what to do, they can’t do it.

      1. Very likely. Cars these days have a parasitic draw that discharges the battery faster than the old days. When I know we’re going to be on the coast for 3 weeks or more I’ll disconnect the battery cable on the vehicles sitting at home or put them on maintenance charger. If you’re battery is a bit on the weak side you might not get three weeks…

        It’s true that they are “technicians” now. I recall a story from years ago when one of the car magazines did an interview with GM ICE engineer, a man that knew the engines inside and out, and they asked him what would be the first thing to do if his car died on the side of the road. Paraphrasing his answer from memory it was “I wouldn’t even open the hood. I’d call for the tow truck since the only way to diagnose the system is with the computer diagnosis”. I’ll say that was a bit over the top since I can figure out most things without the computer aid. OTOH, such things as a minor “misfire” issue are much more difficult to solve than back in the 60/70’s. You really do need the diagnosis tools to do that. The good news is that the stuff is so damn good that it rarely fails.

Comments are closed.

Latest Posts

Latest Comments

CF Archives


Comments policy

NOTE: In order to comment, you must be registered and approved as a CF user. Since so many user-registrations are attempted by spam-bots for their own nefarious purposes, YOUR REGISTRATION MAY BE ERRONEOUSLY DENIED.

If you are in fact a legit hooman bean desirous of registering yourself a CF user name so as to be able to comment only to find yourself caught up as collateral damage in one of my irregularly (un)scheduled sweeps for hinky registration attempts, please shoot me a kite at the email addy over in the right sidebar and let me know so’s I can get ya fixed up manually.

ALSO NOTE: You MUST use a valid, legit email address in order to successfully register, the new anti-spam software I installed last night requires it. My thanks to Barry for all his help sorting this mess out last night.

Comments appear entirely at the whim of the guy who pays the bills for this site and may be deleted, ridiculed, maliciously edited for purposes of mockery, or otherwise pissed over as he in his capricious fancy sees fit. The CF comments section is pretty free-form and rough and tumble; tolerance level for rowdiness and misbehavior is fairly high here, but is NOT without limit.

Management is under no obligation whatever to allow the comments section to be taken over and ruined by trolls, Leftists, and/or other oxygen thieves, and will take any measures deemed necessary to prevent such. Conduct yourself with the merest modicum of decorum, courtesy, and respect and you'll be fine. Pick pointless squabbles with other commenters, fling provocative personal insults, issue threats, or annoy the host (me) won't.

Should you find yourself sanctioned after running afoul of the CF comments policy as stated and feel you have been wronged, please download and complete the Butthurt Report form below in quadruplicate; retain one copy for your personal records and send the others to the email address posted in the right sidebar.

Please refrain from whining, sniveling, and/or bursting into tears and waving your chubby fists around in frustrated rage, lest you suffer an aneurysm or stroke unnecessarily. Your completed form will be reviewed and your complaint addressed whenever management feels like getting around to it. Thank you.

Ye Aulde CF Blogrolle–now with RSS feeds! (where available)

"Mike Hendrix is, without a doubt, the greatest one-legged blogger in the world." ‐Henry Chinaski

Subscribe to CF!

Support options

Shameless begging

If you enjoy the site, please consider donating:

Become a CF member!


Email addy: mike-at-this-url dot etc
All e-mails assumed to be legitimate fodder for publication, scorn, ridicule, or other public mockery unless specified as private by the sender

Allied territory

Alternatives to shitlib social media: A few people worth following on Gab:

Fuck you

Kill one for mommy today! Click to embiggen

Notable Quotes

"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards."
Claire Wolfe, 101 Things to Do 'Til the Revolution

Claire's Cabal—The Freedom Forums


"There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters."
Daniel Webster

“When I was young I was depressed all the time. But suicide no longer seemed a possibility in my life. At my age there was very little left to kill.”
Charles Bukowski

“A slave is one who waits for someone to come and free him.”
Ezra Pound

“The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.”
Frank Zappa

“The right of a nation to kill a tyrant in case of necessity can no more be doubted than to hang a robber, or kill a flea.”
John Adams

"A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves."
Bertrand de Jouvenel

"It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged."
GK Chesterton

"I predict that the Bush administration will be seen by freedom-wishing Americans a generation or two hence as the hinge on the cell door locking up our freedom. When my children are my age, they will not be free in any recognizably traditional American meaning of the word. I’d tell them to emigrate, but there’s nowhere left to go. I am left with nauseating near-conviction that I am a member of the last generation in the history of the world that is minimally truly free."
Donald Surber

"The only way to live free is to live unobserved."
Etienne de la Boiete

"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid."
Dwight D. Eisenhower

"To put it simply, the Left is the stupid and the insane, led by the evil. You can’t persuade the stupid or the insane and you had damn well better fight the evil."

"There is no better way to stamp your power on people than through the dead hand of bureaucracy. You cannot reason with paperwork."
David Black, from Turn Left For Gibraltar

"If the laws of God and men, are therefore of no effect, when the magistracy is left at liberty to break them; and if the lusts of those who are too strong for the tribunals of justice, cannot be otherwise restrained than by sedition, tumults and war, those seditions, tumults and wars, are justified by the laws of God and man."
John Adams

"The limits of tyranny are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."
Frederick Douglass

"Give me the media and I will make of any nation a herd of swine."
Joseph Goebbels

“I hope we once again have reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts.”
Ronald Reagan

"Ain't no misunderstanding this war. They want to rule us and aim to do it. We aim not to allow it. All there is to it."
NC Reed, from Parno's Peril

"I just want a government that fits in the box it originally came in."
Bill Whittle

Best of the best

Finest hosting service

Image swiped from The Last Refuge

2016 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

RSS feed

RSS - entries - Entries
RSS - entries - Comments

Boycott the New York Times -- Read the Real News at Larwyn's Linx

Copyright © 2024