Not giving up on a car giving out

I?m getting the impression that my car is giving out on me. Any day now I?m expecting to walk out of my house on a school morning and find a large mound of teal debris sitting in the driveway with four tires mixed in among the rusty dust.

Max, the name I have lovingly bestowed upon him, has been giving me subtle signals lately that seem to be indicating that at any moment he is going to poop out, leaving me sitting in the middle of a road in a 2,000-pound, blue-green, Camaro-shaped paperweight.

Actually, it has been less than subtle, and there have been very few actual signals.

The use of the word ?signals? is a play on words.

Early last week as I was turning left, I noticed that Max wasn?t making the familiar clicking noise that I usually whistle the ?Andy Griffith Show? theme song to.

As it turns out, Max?s left turn signal was on the fritz. Concerned for Max?s well-being, I pulled over and had my girlfriend check to see if anything was going on outside the car. I clicked on the left turn-signal, and the arrow light in my dashboard lit up (but did not blink).

According to Shelby, the back turn signal did nothing, but upon further inspection the front signal burned steadily.

This may be a way of Max trying to tell me that he?s going to make a turn for the worse (har!).

I am a firm believer in the necessity of using my turn signal. Even when I?m driving on a deserted country road, I use my blinker. I?m just that dedicated.

At first I didn?t think Max?s blinker blooper was such a bad thing. Who needs technology when I have my arms? The use of hand signals is a practice that goes back years before the electric turn signal. (Of course, I could just be making that fact up. I really have no idea.)

When I thought of this idea, I remembered back to my elementary school years when it was bicycle week in the physical education class.

Once every year, everybody would lug their bikes to school so we could go out on bike rides?a caravan of two-wheeling 10-year-olds?during PE class. The use of hand signals was emphasized very strongly each year. I always got the impression that if I didn?t signal my turning intentions while riding my bike, I would immediately be caught on a police radar and toted to jail in the back of a K-9 unit.

You?ve heard of synchronized diving, but the organization required for that isn?t anything compared to a 30-person parade of elementary bikers turning a corner.

But getting back to my original topic, my solution for this turn signal issue was suddenly dashed when I realized Max has obviously been planning this conspiracy for several months.

My driver?s side window doesn?t roll down.

Max is a 1994 model, which is apparently just new enough to feature automatic windows, but just old enough for them not to work anymore.

So now my plan for hand signals was just about as effective as trying to control the outcome of a basketball game by yelling at the TV.

Forgive me if I am terribly wrong in this opinion and have somehow missed a very important piece of information. But it is my understanding that the players, coaches and referees cannot hear someone yelling at them from behind a glass television screen located several hundred miles away from the actual game.

My dad believes in the direct opposite of this. Especially when Kansas University basketball is on.

I decided several years ago after a particularly rough KU game that my dad should have given up directing choral music and gone into coaching basketball.

After all, if the team did what he is yelling to them from his recliner, they would obviously win by a margin of 45 points. Maybe the next time KU wins after one of his Laz-Z-Boy coaching sprees, I?ll pour a cooler of Gatorade on him and see how that works out.


As I was saying, my use of hand signals would be completely useless as I would not be able to stick my hand out of the window to tell other drivers which way I am intending to turn.

So I have come up with another solution to his problem. It is quite similar to all my other solutions for Max?s idiosyncrasies. That is, ignore the problem and hope it fixes itself eventually.

This method has worked for me before.

When I first bought Max almost two years ago, there was a terrible clanging sound in the rear of the car whenever I turned a corner sharply. I was always a little worried about it, because I thought my muffler was loose, and if it fell off there was no way I?d be able to pick it up and bring it back home.

Camaros just weren?t built with that large of a trunk.

So instead of taking it in to the shop to have it looked at, I just kept turning my radio up louder until I couldn?t hear it anymore.

I am happy to report that Max no longer makes any offensive noises from the rear.

This is more than I can say for Coach Vogel.

I hope this will solve my problem. And if you happen to see a muffler lying in the middle of the road, please pick it up.

You?ll probably find me around the next right turn, because these days I?m trying to avoid going left.

* * *

UFO: Your stomach has to produce a new layer of mucus every two weeks, otherwise it will digest itself.

Don?t ask why.

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