2012-05-24 / Lifestyles

The little red devil

Lois A. Corcoran

“That’s the last thing a husband wants to hear,” Dan said when he learned the news.

I wasn’t all that thrilled to tell him either. But the resident mechanic needs to know when our car makes a funny noise.

“Yeah,” my Halo-playing son agreed. “It sounds like a Warthog now. Always wanted to drive one of those.”

There’s nothing amusing about a “funny noise” unless it comes from someone else’s car. My honey relayed the cacophony he heard the other day when one end of a fellow driver’s gear shaft let go. It’s hard to describe a sound like that but Dan did a bang-up job.

Somehow, we failed to see the humor in our own car’s racket though -- especially given the five hundred bucks we blew on a front end fix last month. And that was only the latest in a long line of repairs.

“Why don’t we simplify life,” I said, “and just add our mechanic’s name to the checking account.”

Then again, maybe it’s our fault. Not long after buying our pre-owned Grand Am, we glued an ornament to the dashboard. It’s a tiny figurine of a baby devil complete with horns and a trusty pitchfork.

The chubby little guy matches the color of our vehicle and inspired its nickname. It also serves as sort of a mascot -- or maybe a better word is jinx.

Things could be worse, I suppose. A friend tells of the time her car suddenly lost power and black smoke poured out of the engine. Not what you’d call a good sign.

Another gal recalls a vehicle that left her stranded on the way to school, prompting her bus-riding chums to laugh at her as they rode past.

An acquaintance griped that his car went through two sets of brakes in 12,000 miles. It also acquired an “inch of water on the rear floor every time it rained,” thus bringing new meaning to the term “car pool”.

Strangely enough, that might have helped the guy whose five hundred dollar car caught on fire TWICE before he unloaded it.

Another guy was actually glad when the engine died. With great satisfaction, he “took it to a junk yard and watched them crush it. It came out the size of an end table.”

And if our Little Red Devil isn’t careful, it’ll meet the same fate.

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