My brother once observed that the lights on the car dashboard are not there just to look pretty, and I would add my own observation that they are there to be expensive. No good ever comes of them.
One morning, I was setting off for work in the early morning darkness when the light came on saying “Brake Fluid Low”. I don’t know much about cars, but I’m pretty sure that brake fluid is not something I need to refill, and that it being low was probably bad news.
I drove carefully to work, unable to stop looking at the ominous light every few minutes, even though this did not help and just made me feel even more nervous than I already was. I took Wednesday to my friends at North Coast Tire, where they refilled the brake fluid, checked Wednesday’s tire pressure, and observed that there was a streak of leaked brake fluid on the passenger side tire. Unfortunately, they did not have the manpower to fix it for a couple of weeks, and they warned me not to drive it until the leak was repaired, since it meant that the brakes would work until they didn’t, with no warning.
So I found another place to fix it, and they opined that it would cost about $500 to fix. When they got in there to fix it, they discovered that the brake pad was disintegrating from the leak – they showed me the crumbly remains when I went to pick up the car – and with that and various other things and stuff, it came to $700. But I was grateful that Wednesday and I were unharmed, the problem was fixed, and that the car could stop, since, as my brother says, the most important thing a car can do is stop.
A YEAR AGO: Some successful cooking experiments.
TEN YEARS AGO: The money fairy came by. Come back!
FIFTEEN YEARS AGO: There can be such a thing as too much politeness.
TWENTY YEARS AGO: The ideal job.