Automotive Confession

From: Stephen Fairclough

Dear Click and Clack,

I am 24 years old and have been listening to your show for the last 25 years. (just kidding) over the years of my life I have become and continue to grow car nuts. So, I write to you a confession. I just did something stupid.

As my girlfriend said I got my "comeuppance" whatever that means. As I walked out to take the trash out tonight, a guy called out from across the street and asked if I had jumper cables and if I could jump his car. Always eager to help with a car problem, I agreed and pulled my 1955 Chevy pick-up around. I jumped out of my truck leaving it running and pulled out my girlfriend's jumper cables and instructed the guy to connect them to his car. After correcting him on which cable to connect which terminal I promptly turn around and reached into the inky shadows of my truck and attached the cables to my battery. It sparked a little, but hey the car was running.

As I stood there explaining how a charging battery generates hydrogen gas so you want to attach/remove the ground away from the battery first, I noticed the jumper cable was smoking. As I peered closer in the dark at the cable everything soon became clear... because the cable burst into flame. I tried to disconnect the cable, but it was too hot, so I just burned myself. As the insulation burned away and the exposed wire began began sparking I pulled off my shirt and began feverishly beating-out the flames sending molten plastic insulation flying like napalm everywhere, including my now bare skin. Once the fire was extinguished I looked at the cables that I had connected to the terminals... they were backward.

So, this little story brings me to my suggestion: You guys should have a confession section where people, i.e. men, (come on who are we kidding, women are never wrong) call in and confess the automotive "sins" hopefully this will help us remain humble in all things mechanical/automotive - just a suggestion.

Stephen Fairclough

[ As Read on Car Talk]