Why You Should Never Listen to Your Car

It’s true.  Our cars, no matter how much they love us, have their own agendas.

Mine likes to be dirty: it will frequently turn towards the barn the second it feels my mind drift off into how much I hate running errands.

Shaun’s car shudders at dirt, and often veers her into a gas station with a drive through car wash.  Occasionally, it tries to take her to work on the weekends, so it can relax all day in the parking lot with a gorgeous view of San Francisco bay.

I drove Shaun’s car this morning.  It’s not so fond of me: I frequent places that make its tires curl.  A view of the manure pile does not make it feel relaxed and refreshed at the end of the day.  A view of the manure pile and the chance of  dust drifting onto the dashboard leaves it very stressed, and tense.  I try to take it to the barn as little as possible.  You’d think it would appreciate my restraint.


It’s big on practical jokes.

I had two appointments: my hair cut and the dog groomer.  They are both in the same town, so I made the appointment times close.  And far too early in the morning for me.  My car knows I don’t function well early in the morning, and takes care of me, moving slowly towards where its pointed.  Shaun’s car wakes up instantly, ready to go, and has zero tolerance for driver-zoning out.

My alarm went off at an ungodly hour.  Through my sleep haze, I thought “Ooooo…pretty music, how nice is that?  ZZzzzzzzzzzz”.  My backup alarm went off 20 minutes past ungodly hour, and through my sleep haze I thought, “GAH!!!!  We’re all gonna die, a cement truck is backing up in the bedroom!”

I swore (mentally, we have kids) and leisurely made myself a cup of coffee.  Huh.  Computer is making a funny sound.  Walk over to computer with steaming mug to this message on the screen: YOU HAVE TWO APPOINTMENTS THIS MORNING.  IF YOU ARE READING THIS YOU ARE LATE!

I always set backups to my backups.  I gulp coffee, pull on sweats, look up appointment times (holy cow!  I’m late!) and race to my car, which is gone.  Oh yeah, Shaun took it in for an oil change.  I race back to Shaun’s car, throw the dog in his car seat, and point myself toward my hair dresser.

Twenty minutes later (NOT LATE, yay!)  I whip into a parking space, slam the brakes on, lock Christmas in the car, and go to get my haircut at…Dog Grooming by Susan.

It doesn’t hit me until I’m actually in the dog grooming salon’s waiting area, standing patiently between a West Highland Terrier and an Old English Sheepdog: Susan is not my stylist.

Philipe is my stylist.

I don’t believe “Dog Grooming By” is anywhere on the sign in front of Philipe’s Salon.

I pointed Shaun’s car toward MY haircut.  It did this on purpose.  Here I am, right on time for Philipe, standing dogless in front of Susan, who is looking at me questioningly.

“I knew I forgot something!”, I say, hoping it will sound funny enough to cover my idiocy.  Note to self: up the caffeine intake.

I run to the parking lot, cursing out Shaun’s car (I swear it is laughing) and snag Christmas: who drags me back to the groomer.  He loves Susan.   He immediately hits it off with the Old English Sheepdog, and they doggie talk while Susan flips through her appointment book with a puzzled frown.

“I think I had Christmas down for an hour later?” she says.

“Oh, am I early?” I say, as evenly as possible.  Good thing she doesn’t look up.  I’m guilty, and my face is flashing guilt with bright red skin.

“That’s okay, we had a cancellation…in fact, that works out great”, Susan says, flipping more pages.  “Perfect!”  She beams at me, then looks concerned.  “Are you okay?”, she asks.

“Fine…allergies…thanks!  Sorry for the mixup”, I add.

Crap crap crap.  Philipe crammed me in as a favor this morning (Dad’s funeral is this week), I’m already 15 minutes late, and the salon is 15 minutes away.

Shaun’s car is shaking with glee by the time I get to the parking lot.

“Talk to the hand”, I tell it.  “Not funny.”

I know Shaun’s car can’t wait to go back to its fancy parking lot, and tell all the Prius, Mercedes, and Lexus it’s latest Practical Jane Joke.

Just wait.  Next time I’m fully awake and caffeinated, I’m driving it to the barn for the day.

And parking next to the manure pile.

8 thoughts on “Why You Should Never Listen to Your Car

  1. I have to tell you, my truck drove me to work yesterday morning when I meant to go to the dentist. Either I’m working too hard and my truck thinks that’s the only possible destination, or my truck hates the dentist as much as I do. Not nearly as funny as you showing up for Christmas’s salon appointment, but you’re not alone sister!

    1. Whew, what a relief. I’m glad I’m not the only one with a vehicle that takes over. I’m going with your truck hates the dentist more than you do.

      Or I’m anthropomorphizing your truck (is that possible, since it’s not alive?)…nah….I’d never do THAT. 🙂

      I wonder which parking lot it likes better?

  2. Jane, you need to get yourself a TRUCK.

    A truck doesn’t need oil changes (a good truck just leaks oil and then you add more–no appointment necessary), and therefore will never leave you at the mercy of some citified clean-@ss car.

    Trust me: truck.

    You know it’s the right thing for you.

    1. *groan* I know. I know. I still pine for my Ford F150, the 53 Chevy Pickup with 3 on the tree, the Datsun, the Nissan, and lastly, the Toyota. All trucks.

      I am a truck person. I always have been a truck person. I always will be a truck person.

      I bought my F150 new off the lot for 8K, never had one thing go wrong with it, and sold it nearly 10 years and a lot of miles later for (unbelievable) 8K!

      1. In my life, I’ve only owned ONE car:

        a Gremlin. ’nuff said, right?

        My current bumper stickers:
        “Got Trails?”


        “Silly cowboy–trucks are for GIRLS!”

    1. Yeah. It was One Of Those Days. Luckily, Susan the Dog Groomer recognized I was not a canine, or I might have a very interesting haircut.

      Am I the only one whose vehicle drives them places when I’m not paying enough attention?

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