Al, have you totally flippin' lost it?
Bend the linkage?? Which would involve removing it from the car (no big deal, eh?) and altering the fit and possibly function of the stock rod (but nobody ever wants to put their car back to stock I guess), when instead you could relieve the surround with a very small investment of time and effort?
Perhaps you are also a fan of siphoning the engine oil out of the dipstick tube so you don't have to replace the crush washer? Thanks, but no thanks, and I'll stick to trimming the surround!