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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wednesday Thoughts

I had to take my car to the shop yesterday. What's wrong with it, you ask? Well, it's making "a sound." What kind of sound? I dunno. Something like a rruuuurrring or a fast chchchchchchcch, or maybe more of a tststststststst, or like something's loose, or just....something's different than how it normally sounds.

That's the answer I gave the mechanic when he asked yesterday. He repeated the sounds I'd made back to me, but changed them a little bit, rolling his r's more, and giving them a bit more umph. In general, making more the types of sounds little boys make when playing with matchbox cars: "t-t-t-t-t," "bbbbzzzzzz," and "krrrkrrrkrrrkrr." Talking about the sound your car is making is the only time English turns into an African click language.

On one of my favorite national public radio programs, "Car Talk," people call in and tell their car problems to the hosts, Tom and Ray Magliozzi. Tom and Ray ask questions to try to determine the source of the problem, and one of their main questions is, "what sound is it making?" They love to make people make embarrassing noises on the radio. I understand the purpose of it for diagnostic reasons, but I still find it very embarrassing to do myself.

I wish that taking your car to the shop was more like getting an eye exam, where you could listen to two pre-recorded sounds at a time, and say, "number one.... no wait, number two." Then listen to two more sounds and eventually get it narrowed down to just the right sound, without having to make a "rurring" or "t-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-t" sound yourself.

Instead we have to go in and make embarrassing sounds, then clarify those sounds even more - it's less of a "ka-dink, and more of a "ka-donk." Maybe next time I go in, I'll bring a matchbox car for inspiration and channel my inner four year old. Or better yet, bring a four year old with me to do the sounds for me.

Anyway, I picked up my car from the mechanic tonight. He couldn't find anything wrong with it. He did however hear another sound though, and it sounds something like this: "Tszzz-Tszzz." He said I should listen for it...

Happy Wednesday.

8 comments:

Katherine said...

Hee heeeee!!! This post is so good!!! I HATE making car noises and trying to identify when something's wrong with my car. And I love the "ka-dink" vs. "ka-donk" differentiation. It's so true - it's so hard to do the sound justice! I'm glad your car's ok, but sorry that your car noise-making was in vain.

lizzie mc.- said...

I love making noises... but then again I have two brothers and two sons... it's in my blood. But very funny!

Anonymous said...

Yeah..... I am leaving an anonymous comment...... Because I can, and I'm that man!

Anonymous said...

Sss

Anonymous said...

I eat sleep and breathe cars..... Literally they are my life. I will let out a little secret, we don't use noises to diagnose cars... We just like the amusement of "professionals" and business people making noises that cause them to slobber

Melissa C said...

So, did they charge you an arm and a leg to tell you that nothing is wrong?

I went in recently and was just decribing my noise as "horrible". The guy said they all sound like that. Really? I said it was a new horrible noise. He still said that it was probably because I just started parking the car on an incline, and that makes more noises due to gravity pulling down differently. Anyway, they found a heat sheild that had come off and was wedged between the engine and the body. Yeah, that was a pretty horrible noise.

Elizabeth Downie said...

Melissa, that sound DOES sound horrible!! And no, my mechanic didn't charge me anything since he didn't have to fix anything. Nice, huh?

Vaughn, I was hoping you'd chime in. If you were my mechanic, you would have made me make a million different noises just so you could laugh about it later.

Liz said...

Whenever I take my car into a mechanic I think this is the sound they hear, kaching and they might even see dollar signs floating above the car.