Friday, May 23, 2014


I noticed a few weeks ago that whenever I drove my car, it felt kind of bouncy. And the faster I went, the bouncier it got. It was kind of like a cross between riding a bull and driving over a field of tennis balls.  Even my dogs were beginning to look a little green whenever I took them for a ride.

I also noticed that whenever I stepped on the brakes, the car jerked. So before I ended up with a combination of whiplash and motion sickness, I decided I’d better get the car checked out.

The problem with taking my car to a mechanic, however, is I have to clean it out first, which is a major project. The main problem is that on any given day, there is enough dog fur in my car to easily stuff a mattress. Add to that a gazillion nose prints and dried-up dog drool on the windows, and I’m faced with at least two hours of cleaning.

And then there’s the doggie odor in the upholstery, which usually requires spraying it with enough air freshener to single handedly destroy the ozone layer.

I managed to get my car looking and smelling fairly decent, but the floors still were covered with dirt, gravel and fur. I didn’t feel like dragging my vacuum cleaner outside, so I left the floors the way they were. I figured I always could save the dirt and gravel for next winter and then sprinkle it on the ice in my driveway.

When I brought the car into the repair shop, a mechanic immediately started to fire questions at me about the bouncing.

“Is it more of a vibration or a bounce?” he asked.

“Definitely a bounce,” I said.

“Do your brakes pulsate when you step on them?”

I wasn’t even certain what pulsating brakes would feel like. “No, it’s more of a jerk than a pulse.”

“Does your car pull to either the left or the right?”

“Not that I’ve noticed.”

“Have you hit any pot holes or frost heaves?”

“Yes, about 100,000 of each.”

“I’ll take the car for a test drive,” he said.

I nearly laughed when he first carefully laid a paper mat on the floor of my car to keep it clean. He’d have been better off wrapping it around his feet to protect them from getting covered with dirt and gravel and enough fur to make him look as if he were wearing fuzzy slippers.

Five minutes later, he returned from the test drive. “It feels fine to me,” he said.

I stared at him as if he’d just grown a second head. “You honestly didn’t feel any bouncing or jerking?” I asked in disbelief.

He shook his head. “The car pulled to the right a little, but that was about it.”

“And the brakes?”

“They didn’t pulsate at all.”

I began to think the only explanation was I had developed some sort of neurological disorder that made me feel as if my body were jerking and bouncing.

“I’ll check your brakes and tires,” he said.

Both turned out to be fine. He ended up rotating the tires and doing an alignment. I was pretty sure my car really didn’t need either one, but he’d used them as a placebo just to shut me up.

To be honest, I thought my car felt even bouncier during the drive home. But seeing that everything had checked out just fine, I decided I’d just have to ignore it and learn to live with it.

And buy a new bra that doesn’t have stretch straps.


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