My wife would return from driving my car, showering the air with expletives.
‘I hate driving that thing. I’m planning routes where I don’t have tostop till I enter our driveway’.
Knowing I was about to cash in my last shred of credibility, I again called themechanic who suggested that perhaps some dust had gathered on thesettled down discs – he also suggested I bring the car in so they could blow itoff, which they kindly did. Discs. Rotors.It was a miracle. The squealing vanished. For nearly a full day. Then it returned, angrier now. Like that spider you tried to stomp on, butmissed.It was clear my car had turned against me and was now determined toembarrass me by squealing in public. And so, every time I slowed down,motorists turned their heads. Pedestrians jumped. Street lights flickered inMinnesota. Arctic wolves howled. And I'd fumble with some dashboardbutton to avoid eye contact with other motorists, glaring at me furiously as if my brakes were made from ducklings.I could no longer ignore one indubitable truth – I was at War. With Germany.
Speedometer: 61,480 kms
I was driving with our kids to the shops one day. Ambling around thecentre’s park, I spied a free space and gently pressed the brakes. It wouldhave been quieter to press the testicles of a Stegosaurus. The whine waselectrifyingly loud. Two men in Santorini upended their chess game. Beforeturning off the engine, I put my window up – this is where it gets good. The window never made it. Sadly, it fell like a guillotine blade into the doorframe, much like its older brother had done years before.
‘Needs a new regulator’, the mechanic would later laugh, while polishing a solid gold ingot on the groin of his overalls.
The window regulator cost me $600. And another piece of my soul. This blow was decisive. I’d been destroyed. Sunk. These scars wouldnever heal.I surrendered that day. Deep within me, those final embers died out.
Speedometer: 69,622 kms
One day during a highway trip, my Golf started ‘missing’ – this is where a carlurches forward and, in an odd quantum physics kind of way, gets a fewinches ahead of where it should otherwise be. The heat gauge flicked fromcold to normal, as if Uri Geller was standing on the bonnet, bending it. Iendured this for 10 kilometres, wondering if it would ‘clear its own throat’.Eventually, I pulled over and popped the bonnet. I did nothing. I simply