We first met Melissa, (yes - the dreaded Melissa), when she was 13 years old. In a plea to stop us from polluting the airwaves every weekend, she wrote us an insidious missive.

Impressed by her claim that even her dog hated Car Talk, we conned the little brat into our studio, for a very special episode of our lousy show.

Since then, lots of folks have asked what happened to that volatile little twerp. Was Melissa the same pest she always was, or did she blossom - into, say, a 26-year-old, full-blown jerk?

We set out to find out. The results in all their dubious splendor, are below.

Tom and Ray Magliozzi
Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers

 

Car Talk: Melissa! What have you been doing for the past decade?

I've traveled on four continents, gotten three degrees, and improved myself through reading and dancing. I just graduated with my MA in speech pathology, and went on vacation in Mexico to celebrate. I'm absolutely fabulous.

I'd ask what you've been doing, but I already know you've spent another ten years polluting the airwaves with your blather.

Car Talk: How does it feel to be a bratty 26-year-old?

I feel much more powerful now - I can vote! Oh, and pay taxes, pay my own bills, and I get charged as an adult if I commit crimes. Hmm.

I don't think I'm bratty though. I'm sweet and adorable.

Car Talk: What changed?

I've always been an angel! Perhaps you're projecting your own insecurities?

Car Talk: Are you still living in Seattle, or did you go into hiding after those numerous appearances on our lousy show?

In the past ten years I have lived in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Denver (CO), Pueblo (CO), Bluff (UT), and Bellingham (WA). I guess that answers your question about whether I had to go into hiding...

Car Talk: We can only assume that your dog that hated Car Talk, Jeckel, has now been relieved of that agony for all eternity.

Yes, Jeckel died of cancer two years ago. :-( I think his cancer was caused by radio transmissions. I've got a team of lawyers looking into it right now.

Car Talk: Sorry to hear that. So, do you have a new dog?

I have a six-month-old chocolate lab named Ginger. She is the cutest puppy you've ever seen. Her nickname is Landshark.

Car Talk: We have to ask. Does she hate Car Talk?

I haven't yet exposed her to your abysmal show. I don't want to scar her this early in her young life. It would be cruel and inhumane.

I am training her to be a therapy dog and work with kids. I love taking dogs to work with me. Everyone loves her, and she loves them back. People talk more and are more comfortable when I have her with me. She is going to be wonderful once she is fully trained.

Car Talk: 'Fess up, you train her to attack the radio when Car Talk is on, right?

Why would I want to ruin a good radio? You forget that I'm a dog trainer. I'll train her to change the station.

Car Talk: Our sources tell us you secretly subscribe to the Car Talk podcast. So, you came full circle?

Your sources are bunk. I wouldn't put that kind of junk on my iPod. I have better taste than that.

Car Talk: What's in the future? Who are you planning to harass next?

I'll be working as a speech pathologist at an elementary school this fall. Other than that I plan to adventure whenever possible.

Car Talk: We hear that Ira Glass might be looking for a petty listener with a chip on her shoulder. Want his number?

When I need more phone numbers, I'll call you.

Car Talk: Ten years ago you called us to help shoot the lock off your parent's bank account, for a car. Did it work?

Not exactly. My dad let me drive around his beastly '79 Ford van (nicknamed "Green Monster") for a while, but they never sprung for an upgrade. I had to finance my own vehicle, which was better, because they would have never bought what I wanted.

Car Talk: What are you driving these days?

I drive a red and white Honda Rebel named Rosie. She hates your show too. Since I now have a grown-up job, I'm looking to buy my first car sometime soon. Haven't decided what I want, but I'm fond of svelte, small, sexy cars.

Car Talk: Any words of wisdom to young Car Talk haters?

Follow your heart - then show no mercy.

Car Talk: Not that we really need to ask, but anything else you'd like to add?

You forgot to ask how you could improve the show. I think it would be great if you did a survivor-style episode involving fire ants and asbestos.

Car Talk: We're getting an unlisted phone number and you can't have it.

I'd be happier if you told me you were changing your radio show to be unlisted.