Hands up if you know someone who has recently acquired a made-to-measure road bike.

There is a lot of that going around. This is not about that. This is about old-school, carbon-footprint-insensitive, internal-combustion satisfaction.

Quality of life requires attention to be paid to the state of important matters such as relationships, health issues, and financial affairs.

And your spark plug count. The relationship between quality of life and spark plug ownership and operation has not, until very recently (you read it here) received much attention.

Simply put, for each individual, at each stage of life, there is an optimum number of spark plugs required for personal fulfillment, and quality of life. Too few can result in frustration, depression, and disillusionment. Too many can result in marital discord. There is a sweet spot, and finding it can be very rewarding.

Consider the impact on you of that single spark plug on your first scooter as a kid. Or, worse luck, the neighbour’s scooter.

Over time, spark plugs, like bad habits, can accumulate, and they are more easily acquired than shed. Motor vehicles are the obvious example. A single guy’s four-cylinder sports car gives way to larger six- and eight-cylinder vehicles better suited to family transportation, and, be honest, mid-life seems to host a bias in favour of more horsepower, not less; eights rather than sixes, and wouldn’t 10s and 12s be good for the hormones?

As long as we are in the garage, have a look around. Lawnmowers, weed-whackers, chain-saws, and power- washers. More than one of each. All very satisfying to operate, outdoorsy, and noisy. (No wonder your hearing is in decline.) The stuff in the garage is the happy opposite of all that silent technology at the office, and all those buttoned-down, air-conditioned rituals of office life. Breaking out a few spark plugs on the weekend can be awesome therapy.

There might not be room in the garage for it but don’t the kids need a vehicle too? And maybe a scooter like the one you wished you had?

And who hasn’t hankered for a real motorcycle?

Then there is the whole category of boats, Sea-Doos, and outboard motors. They have spark plugs, too.

They can add up. And like children, while internal combustion equipment can be very entertaining, rewarding, and productive, it can also be troublesome, expensive, and time-consuming.

The key is to keep your personal spark plug total in sync with other important elements of your personal circumstances. Like garage space.

Hands up if you love spark plugs.

This is a personal matter. There are some folks in condos downtown who do not own any spark plugs, and who probably consider themselves to be well-adjusted, fulfilled and content. Honestly.

I confess that I might be a little long on spark plugs. But it is relative.

I had a young fellow over last weekend with a log-splitter, and we got talking about each other’s old trucks, (mine is the same age as I am), and I asked him to make a list of all his spark plugs. Among all his chain saws (11), dirt bikes (7), power washers (2), outboard engines (49), cars and trucks (94), lawnmowers (7), a pump (1), and, of course, the log splitter (1), I came up with a total of 172 spark plugs. That seemed like quite a few to me, but he assured me that his father has over 300.

You can’t take them with you, and for most folks there is a time, usually as grandparents, when shedding personal property, and maybe especially spark plugs, becomes an imperative of some urgency.

But until then, be sure you are maintaining your spark plug count where it ought to be.