Hey boys,

You know, I've been wrong many times in my short life. Occasionally, I'll just make a bad call. We all know this feeling, right? Well, last night I was more wrong than I've ever been in my life.

Salem got a lot of rain. I mean A LOT. We had to go outin the mess because the realtor was showing our place at 7:30. So my wife and I thought we would take adrive down to Bertucci's to get a decent cheap pizza.

We were driving my Saab 9000 Turbo. The roads were pretty good until we got to Canal St. Yeah, I know the name should have been a warning but it's the only direct way to Bertucci's. My wife was driving. The windows were fogged. It was raining and foggy.

There we were in a line of traffic staring into the murky darkness of the flooded road a head. A Lexus SUV charged in and made it without a problem and I think that's what flipped the switch. After a split second of indecision, I uttered the fateful phrase:

"Gun it, dude."

My wife hesitated for a moment. She really knew better, but for some reason she actually listened to me.

She gunned it.

We were doing well for a while. I honestly thought wewere going to make it. The water got deeper and deeper and our car slowed considerably. That's when we hit it. I'm not even sure what it was. Perhaps a manhole cover, a chunk of road. God only knows. The car came to a complete stop and died in the middle of the deepest point of the lake.

And that's when I smelled the smell.

Raw sewage.

Nina cursed me to hell. I glanced out my window to see how bad off we really were.

The water was a half foot below our door handles and was beginning to seep in through the doors.

We were in deep doo-doo. Literally.

Fortunately, there was a guy in a jacked up jeep coming the other way. He swiftly spun around and got behind us to push with his macho 4X4.

It worked!

We were out and into a gas station lot in about three minutes. The electrical system was shot, the battery ran down, the rain was driving down, the wind was shaking the car, but we weren't waist deep in raw sewage. For that I was thankful.

My wife was not.

We had to get towed back to our place. My wife decided to help the driver push the car into a space outside our house and ended up slipping and doing aface plant on the road. Her knees are black with bruises.

More derision.

There is a huge piece of plastic hanging from the under carriage. The battery is dead. The engine is flooded and the alternator is probably shot.

I just want to take this opportunity to take full responsibility for this unfortunate incident. Those fateful words, "Gun it, dude," echoed in my head as I fought for sleep last night.

I hope you've learned something from this little tale, boys. Not about me, or the nature of the universe, but about yourselves and that little piece of us that makes us less wise and more prone to rash decisions than those wonderful members of the fairer sex.

Yours in utter humility,

Tom Collins
Soaked in Salem, MA

[ As Read on Car Talk]