Erin, I sympathize with your recent car trouble, but look on the bright side: at least yours only made “all the wrong kinds of noises”. I know from personal experience that there are worse things that can happen.

Once when driving my first vehicle I tried to apply the brakes while heading downhill towards a bunch of cars stopped at a light, but the brake pedal went all the way to the floor and my car continued on its merry way. Luckily, I was able to swerve onto the shoulder and figured out that I could slow down — and eventually stop — by repeatedly releasing and pressing (“pumping”) the brake pedal. I can only imagine what the other drivers thought when I flew past them on the shoulder (“Wow, that’s guy’s REALLY in a hurry!”).

Not that I’d have been overly sad about losing the car, which previously had belonged to my grandmother. It was a Dodge Aspen in purple, and not a pretty Easter egg kind of purple, but a dark shade more like the color of a bruise. Between its color, grandma-friendly styling, and a 4-cylinder engine that felt more like two, suffice it to say that I’m very sure nobody ever referred to it as a “chick magnet”. In fact, the best thing I can think of to say about that car is that it didn’t kill me.

Brett Spell

Plano, Texas