When I was accepted into Madame Vroom’s highly secretive and prestigious academy for motor repair and car maintenance, I think I remember being excited. I was seven years old at the time, so it’s all a bit fuzzy. I liked cars, I had a passion for them, and I knew I was good at the whole thing. All the very best auto mechanics Ringwood has ever seen have been through the academy. So once any garage sees a certification from the academy, you’ve basically got a job, because they know what you went through to get it.
People come from all over Australia to attend the entrance exam. Apparently, I aced mine… and that was all the positive reinforcement I got for the next three years.
It’s an exclusive place, behind an iron gate and a set of stone walls, all covered in vines and ivy and overseen by Madame Vroom, a stone-faced older lady who wears a wine-red evening dress in a 1780s style and threatens to beat you with a tire iron if you get something wrong.
I never did quite understand where she was from, aside from ‘the past’. Anyway, she has a massive warehouse-like basement that contains probably every car ever made, and we were required to understand how to perform car services of all kinds on ALL of them. All the specifics, too: log book servicing, brake repair, Victorian roadworthy checks. We studied for many hours a day, six days a week – sometimes well into the night if Madame Vroom didn’t think we were doing a good enough job. All the better to give the best roadworthy inspections Ringwood residents could possibly desire.
So yeah, I’m not a mechanic anymore. I guess some people can’t hack it. I’m one of them, and I have no qualms about getting my car serviced by some normal person. Realistically, a normal mechanic hasn’t been up until 3am trying to break an oil change record while being threatened with a old-fashioned tyre iron.