If anybody knows about cars it should be yours truly; that is if ownership of ten automobiles withn two years is any indication. Then again, it could mean when I walk onto a car lot, the sales people see yellow, citrus yellow as in, lemon." They all have at least one of these at the top of their vehicular fruit bowl masquerading as a Porche or a 280Z. And I end up obligingly taking it off their hands shortly before its last gasp. Yet, cunningly, it goes just long enough so the warranty has run out. There is a never traceable timer inside somewhere, set to go off the second the warranty no longer applies. One minute after midnight of that day you know Big Trouble is knocking at your engine, or, more probably, in it.
Sometimes I have gone as long as 6 months with no car problems. but then, I get cocky and take it out of the driveway. Instant disaster. A terrible noise comes from the innards of my transportation. I get out and peer below. Lemon jui...er, oil, is dripping quickly to the pavement. Repairs will cost more that the vehicle is worth. Junk it and find another fruit stand.
I have become and infamous legend in my own time. I doesn't matter how much I remind others of the, "fruit factor," they believe I am somehow to blame for the demise of all those automobiles. No one will loan me a car--not my dearest friend or fondest child. I am considered a bane on anything from a carnival go-cart to a 16-wheel semi. I have even noticed apprehensive glances when I go near one of the grandkid's bicycles.
Whatever it is that goes wrong with my cars, you can be sure it is mechanically unusual. None of your run-of-the-mill starter or ignition replacements; nothing so simple as a dirty carburetor--no, no.
Unless there are bunches of you out there who have had a squirrel breathe his last in your rusted catalytic converter, my mechanical happenings are peculiar. Even the so-called trivial frustrations are magnified in my automobiles. Take the third car back as an example. It was lovely weather for a couple of weeks after the purchase--no need to turn on the windshield wipers. Then one afternoon I was out in the hinterlands looking for a rural address when a storm came up. The rain was torrential. I turned on the wipers for the first time and one of them-of course it was the drivers side- flipped off and knocked a passing dog out cold. Do I need to tell you the wipers were not covered under the warranty?
The car incident I recall with the most trepidation took place when I was at the stop-light in the small town where I lived. Pulled up beside me was a kid gunning his motor as if he wanted to, "drag." Not with this old gal. When the light turned green, I stepped gently on the gas, only to shoot inexplicably forward at top speed. I found out later the accelerator was stuck. I left an open-mouthed young man, several bystanders, and a pavement bouncing muffler in a cloud of black smoke as I was launched forward several blocks against my will.
I don't live there anymore.