Jul. 18—I really shouldn't be allowed to own cars.
In high school, I once ran out of gas not too far from home. I walked back to the house, grabbed a red gas can out of the garage, walked back and poured in a gallon of fuel.
When I started the car, it made a horrendous racket.
I called my daddy for help.
Turns out I hadn't grabbed a can of gasoline.
I had grabbed a can of kerosene.
My daddy diluted the kerosene with many gallons of gasoline, and my car finally started. Although for several days it belched smelly black clouds of smoke out the back end.
Another time, I had a brand new car get caught in a Texas hailstorm. And when I say "Texas," I mean softball-sized. The whole body was dented, and the windshield was shattered. I could only see to drive if I stuck my head out the window.
For a little while, we owned a vintage VW camper van. One day I took the camper van to pick the kids up from school.
Word of advice: Don't even take an air-cooled engine through a school pick-up line. The stop-and-go traffic will overheat the engine and before you know it the kids will be screaming that there is white smoke coming out of the back of the van.
The Volvo station wagon sprang a gas leak and had to be towed all the way to Birmingham.
The replacement station wagon was caught up in an international scandal over diesel emissions and had to be turned back in to the manufacturer.
The replacement sedan kept flashing warning system lights from the dashboard. After four trips to the service department, they finally determined that the problem was ... the warning system. It would take two weeks for parts to arrive. They couldn't give me my car back because they had taken apart the engine.
So I borrowed my son's car. His "check oil" light kept coming on and off, but I figured I could safely ignore it for a few days, until my car was out of the shop.
Y'all, I killed my son's car. It died one summer evening on the side of the parkway.
Good thing I have all the local towing companies programmed into my phone.
Now I'm worried I have afflicted my son's replacement car. Several months ago, he couldn't get his car to unlock. The remote didn't work. The spare key didn't work. Nothing worked.
The car was towed to the dealership, where they also could not get the car unlocked. They'd never seen anything like it.
They had to break the back window to get into the car.
They took apart the driver's door and found some tiny cable had come loose.
Replacement cable: $2
Replacement window: $200
Sense of irony: Priceless
Lisa Davis is Features Editor of The Anniston Star. Contact her at email@example.com.
Features Editor Lisa Davis: 256-235-3555.