Smash the Peppermint Pig

Smash the Peppermint Pig

What’s the best tool an auto technician can own? Is it really possible to say?

What’s the best tool an auto technician can own? Is it really possible to say? Maybe not, but if I had to take a stab at it, I’d say a hammer. After all, what’s one of our favorite sayings? “Get a bigger hammer!”

Sometimes it’s used in context, and translates to “use a more powerful tool,” but most of the time we simply need to get a bigger hammer. Of course, not every job requires the biggest one, sometimes we need the smallest hammer we own. The advantage to a hammer is the force it transfers to other tools or objects, but it needs to be proportionate to the amount of force you need.

Hammers are also a mechanic’s stress reliever. We all know it and you can’t deny it. Plus, it’s kind of like a mood ring. The other techs in the shop can always tell by the sound and intensity of our hammering if we’re having a good day, or if we’re about to snap for some reason, especially when there’s the occasional string of descriptive words timed to each blow. If you can relate to what I’m talking about, then you’re officially an experienced technician. If not, give it time, you will be.

So, we love hammers, and rarely do any tools get a spot in the limelight outside the profession they’re used in, but I stumbled across a rare notoriety for this very tool. Evidently this is more popular in New York, and I’m not too far away in Ohio, but for some reason I’ve never heard of a peppermint pig until now. And they come with a small hammer! Here’s the low-down.

Sometime in the late 1800s, a New York candy maker began the tradition of making peppermint candies shaped like pigs during the holiday season, spawned by the fact that in Victorian culture, the pig represented health, happiness and prosperity.

As the tradition goes, the pig was broken into small pieces after the holiday meal (smashed with the hammer), and everyone would eat a piece of it, in hopes it would promote good fortune for the upcoming year. The peppermint pigs not only come with a small hammer, but with a velvet bag to break the pig inside.

Is the automotive repair industry going to need some extra good fortune in 2023? In my opinion, auto repair is here to stay for a long time to come. All the changes in technology don’t matter. They are still cars, and they will always need to be repaired. What does matter is equipping your shop with the technology required to work on them. That alone will be the single most important factor for success in the future.

And the peppermint pig? The tradition still holds today, but I have yet to see them for sale in my neck of the woods. You can find them online however, and whether they would actually have an effect I can’t say, but at least we get to use one of our favorite tools. Happy New Year!

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