Road Koans

Tom Bodett

Tom Bodett | Sep 23, 2013

Editor’s note: What’s a kōan, anyway? Good question. We had to look it up, ourselves. Our pals at Wikipedia describe it as “a story, dialogue, question, or statement, which is used in Zen-practice to provoke the "great doubt,” and test a student's progress.”

Here are few from Car Talk blogger Tom Bodett. As you can see, he’s a Zen master. We are humble students at his feet.

I found two perfectly good M&M's on my floor mat and ate them. There was popcorn in the crack of the seat and I almost ate that. It's cool at night now, so I finished the chocolate milk in the rear cupholder. A father can gain weight by simply grazing the minivan.

Every time I see a roadside sign for a Corn Maze, I think idiots. It's Corn Maize.

Zen master Bodett says "maize", most others say "maze". Are you doubting yourself yet?


Our cat kills birds and frogs and leaves them under my van. Not the wife's car, or the pickup truck, or the tractor, or either of the two trailers. My van. The wife thinks she's trying to impress me. I think she's trying to make the van smell like dead animals.

Got a kōan to share on your path towards automotive-Zen enlightenment? Post it below!

Get the Car Talk Newsletter

Got a question about your car?

Ask Someone Who Owns One