Last fall, I went to purchase a mattress for the youngest member of our family. I went to the furniture store, gave them my number, and then realized that I had left my wallet at home, so I said I would come back for it the next day. I went out, got into my car, and it was making a new and horrible crunching noise. Naturally, since my car gets all my money, I drove straight to the mechanic and discovered that the money I had just agreed to spend on a mattress needed to go on car repairs instead.
Today, I went to the same furniture store, finally purchased the same mattress, and put it into the van. And lo, did the vehicle not start making a new and horrible crunching noise? “Don’t even think about it, you,” I said to the van. “You’re not getting any $800 repair today, so you just behave yourself.” The crunching noise stopped and I continued on my way to the next task. When I started again, the crunching noise resumed. I tapped the brakes and it stopped. Brakes. Not a good sign. One more errand, one more round of crunching, and I drove straight to the mechanic. “You. Car. Don’t be after any $4000 jobbies. Not gonna happen.”
Well, I don’t know whether the threats worked, but the mechanic pulled out some shield from the wheel area that was rusted through and folded in half. “Think that might be your problem.” “Oh,” said I, “d’ya think?” He topped up the fluids, allowed as how it does need $800 or so, but not today, and sent me on my way with no charge. This round: me. But I’d still bet on the car in the long run.