Every once in a while, you read something in a book that has some mechanical truth in it -- someone who understands what it is like to work with engines, or to restore an old bike or car. It is even more surprising when the book is not about those things -- not a book about motorcycle maintenance or how to fix things -- but just a novel about some other subject. Here's one I found a while ago that really spoke to the way I feel when working on an old engine or a watch or any sort of mechanical device. Any one else have one to add? This is from Alexander McCall Smith's novel The Full Cupboard of Life. One of the Ladies' No. 1 Detective Agency books. One of the characters is a mechanic, living in Botswana. Someone brings him a car that has been abused by unscrupulous mechanics at another garage: As he parked his truck in its accustomed place -- under the acacia tree at the side of the garage -- Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni reflected on the sheer effrontery of those people. He imagined the butcher going into the garage and describing some problem, and being reassured, when he collected the car, that it had been attended to. Perhaps they even lied about the difficulties of obtaining parts; he was sure that they would have charged him for the genuine spare parts, which they would have had to order from a special dealer in South Africa, or even England, all that way away. He thought of the factory in England where they made Rover cars; under a grey sky, with rain, which they had in such abundance and of which Botswana had so little; and he thought too of those Englishmen, his brother mechanics, standing over the metal lathes and drills that would produce those beautiful pieces of machinery. What would they have felt, he wondered, if they were to know that far away in Botswana there were unscrupulous mechanics prepared to put all sorts of unsuitable parts into the engine which they had so lovingly created? What would they think of Botswana if they knew that? It made him burn with indignation just to contemplate.