I'm desperate for your help!

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Feb 01, 1992

Dear Tom and Ray:

I'm desperate for your help! Without fail, every Friday evening since my friend's wedding three months ago, my car has developed a flat tire. And since I have good rubber, and don't usually drive over glass and nails, you're probably wondering how I develop so many flats. The problem is that my friend's wife is asking the same question. You see, the flats never really occur, but calling for roadside assistance is the only way I can get my friend out for a few beers. With his wife getting wise, can you suggest some alternative mechanical breakdowns so we can keep her fooled and continue our Friday evening ritual. P.S. Please don't suggest smearing our hands and arms with dirt and grease before returning home. We already do that.

RAY: Well, Steve, it is with great reservation that we print your letter.

TOM: Yeah. We use this trick every Friday, too. And if our wives see this, we're done for!

RAY: Our Emergency Breakdown Excuse System (EBES) is modeled after the ancient Chinese restaurant menu (dating back to the Dodge Dynasty, I think).

TOM: You simply pick one component from column A, and one catastrophic failure from column B.

RAY: Column A consists of 1) The brakes 2) The fuel system 3) The starter 4) The alternator 5) The muffler 6) The cooling system 7) The computer 8) The plug wires and 10) The CV joints.

TOM: Column B includes 1) Went out 2) Started making sparks 3) Made a loud noise, then just stopped working 4) Fell off while I was driving 5) Is making a "boinga boinga boinga" noise. 6) Just died on me 7) Is spewing a greenish-brown liquid all over the ground 8) Went to the big used car lot in the sky 9) Seized 10) Is covered with oil.

RAY: You can put anything from column A together with anything in column B, as long as you SOUND like you know what you're talking about.

TOM: For example, you would say "Fred, you gotta come out and help me, my alternator is making a "boinga, boinga boinga" noise." I mean, how's the old lady gonna argue with that?

RAY: Your only problem is if she ever takes an auto maintenance course. Then she might say "Whadda ya mean you have to go help Steve because his plug wires are making sparks. Plug wires are SUPPOSED to make sparks!"

TOM: But as I say, as long as you SOUND like you know what you're talking about, you ought to go a long way with this. Good luck, Steve, and let us know how you make out.

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