Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Regular friends of the decanter will recall that Ol’ Robbo has written numerous times here regarding his beloved 2003 Jeep Wrangler rag-top.

La Wrangler and I have been through a few things together.  Some years ago, on New Year’s Day, perhaps still suffering the effects of New Year’s Eve, I backed her straight into the front end of the Former Llama Military Correspondent’s ride, thereby putting an almighty ding in her rear bumper.

At some other point, just after I had replaced her original canvas covering with a new set, somebody knifed through the driver’s-side window panel when I left her parked at the metro and looted what little I had left in her glove compartment. (Which is to say, practically nothing.  Ol’ Robbo is no fool, and my only actual mistake there was locking the door in the first place.)   That gash is still covered with duct-tape inside and out, by the bye, which I have to change about every six months or so, and which I believe gives her a rayther attractive raffish air.

More recently, she developed a case of the dreaded Jeep Death-Wobble which I had to have fixed, and almost immediately thereafter shredded her own rear-differential, which I had to have completely rebuilt.

Nonetheless, although I am hardly the orthodox off-road type, I love my Wrangler.  She’s intensely fun to drive, she’s only got about 90K on her, and she’s long-since paid for.  Plus, if I get rid of her now, I’ll have a very, very difficult time convincing Mrs. R to consent to my buying another such Wrangler (perhaps a four-door?) as a replacement.  (Mrs. R despises La Wrangler.  To her, a car should block out the surrounding environment, while anybody who drives a Jeep knows that it’s purpose is to bring one in closer contact with same.  Even in the harsh, bomb-cyclone conditions we’re currently experiencing, I’ve still got the rear window panel rolled up and intend to keep it that way.)

I mention all this by way of prologue to my latest small adventure: Earlier this week, whilst driving along in the dark of my evening commute, I suddenly noticed that I couldn’t see my speedometer because the light had gone out behind it.  Lord knows how long this had been going on, since I’m so used to the route I drive that I rarely bother to look at it, but there it was.

I’ve replaced numerous brake lights and both headlights over the years, but I’ve never had to tackle the interior components before.

Whelp, as friends of the decanter know, Ol’ Robbo is, as a general matter, deeply suspicious of searching for information on the Innertoobs, and also thinks that Jeff Bezos is preparing to take over the World.  Nonetheless, a quick Google search of “replace instrument cluster lightbulb 2003 Jeep Wrangler” coupled with an appropriate stop over to the devil’s website has set Ol’ Robbo up to rectify this dashboard deficiency his own self with every confidence.  (How did our former, disastrous President put it? “Yes we can!”)  Indeed, I even went so far as to order some fancy-shmancy blue LED replacement bulbs, just to give the thing a kind of updated look.

Yes, this is pretty small cheese, I suppose.  But Ol’ Robbo has never made claim to box above his weight, and I’m looking forward to doing the switch-out.

Aaaaaand, maybe apropos of all of this, maybe just because I served up a dose of Henry Purcell in the post below, and maybe because I’m a hopeless weirdo, Ol’ Robbo’s musickal thoughts are now swirling around one of his favorite country songs.  Enjoy:

Oh, one more thing:  The elder gels used to pester me to teach them how to drive a stick.  Dreading the burning out of La Wrangler’s clutch, I fobbed them off, saying I thought it more important that they get a couple years experience on the roads under their belts on an automatic before they started trying to deal with the additional distractions of shift and clutch.  I knew all along that this was, at least in part, something of a dodge to protect La Wrangler.

Well, that was then, and this is now.  Recently it has come to me that my own conditions have been met, both gels being excellent drivers, and that I now need to man up and let them have a go.