Monday, May 10, 2021

Life & Style

Mommie Dearest the Car

There’s a really old, really awful TV show that was around before I was born called My Mother the Car. In the show a man’s car is possessed by his deceased Mom and wreaks comical havoc on his life.

My mom is, thankfully, both still alive and not haunting my car. However, my car is definitely wreaking not-so-comical havoc on my life.

The trunk pops open at random. I don’t even have to go near the trunk button on my key fob for it to pop. When does it absolutely refuse to open? When I press the trunk button on my key fob. The alarm goes off at random, too. This usually happens when it’s below zero out, so I kind of understand this one. I’d be screaming, too, if I was left out in that kind of cold.

Sometimes when it rains the car runs roughly and almost stalls out, but that doesn’t happen every time it rains. There can be a monsoon and it doesn’t happen. But if there’s a little bit of rain and a lot of humidity it happens. But then again, sometimes there’s rain and a lot of humidity and it doesn’t happen. So, on rainy days, I don’t know what will happen. Three different (also qualified and really honest) mechanics have tried to figure out that particular problem and none were able to do so. Consensus is that the car is possessed.

One day in the fall the thermostat goes completely into the red as far as it can go. I bring the car to a garage to be checked out and am told, “There is no good or logical reason why that happened.”

Seems I need an exorcist more than a mechanic.

In early December the check engine light comes on and I know what it means even before I get an official diagnosis: A lot of time, a lot of tears, and a lot of money. Sure enough, it’s the catalytic converter. Again.

Do you know what a catalytic converter is? If it dies in your car it might as well be called: You’re Screwed. It’s very, very expensive

I know this because I’ve already had it replaced. Less than two years ago it was replaced because it decided to die right when my emissions was due. You need it to function correctly in order to pass emissions. Trouble at that time was, there were no catalytic converters available in the country. In the entire country. It was an odd situation that I swear would only happen to me. So I had to fail emissions to get myself 60 days to find a converter and get the repair done. Eventually a converter was found and replaced on day 58 of my 60 days.

A little over a year later, I get to live the nightmare again. This is when I find out that the warranty for the replacement catalytic converter/You’re Screwed is for only one year.

The dealership where I bought the car and the garage that put the converter in are both wonderful, and if anybody needed a recommendation, I’d recommend both in a heartbeat. The warranty from the Big Corporate Car Company, however, is bogus.

So I call the Big Corporate Car Company that issues the warranty itself. I explain my situation and there is silence on the other end, which I hope indicates that the person is listening, but have you ever had that feeling when you’re speaking that the words are coming out but it’s like a mouse sneezing into a hurricane? That no matter what you say it won’t make any difference at all? That’s the feeling I’m having. Sure enough, I’m told there’s nothing that can be done because it’s been over a year. I hang up in tears.

I’ve concluded that my vehicle could be My Mother the Car if my mother was Joan Crawford. I think I’m done with cars all together. I’m getting a horse. Or maybe I could get a car and name it Mr. Ed. Maybe then I’d have better luck.

Juliana Gribbins is a writer who believes that absurdity is the spice of life. Her book Date Expectations is winner of the 2017 Independent Press Awards, Humor Category and winner of the 2016 IPPY silver medal for humor. Write to her at Read more of her columns at

Juliana Gribbins is the Columnist for Zip06. Email Juliana at .

Reader Comments