LowComDom Performances Presents
This car was leaking one of its bodily fluids ...
IT'S BIG TROUBLE WHEN YOUR CAR LEAKS SYRUP -- By Bill Hall, Lewiston, Idaho, Tribune, April 26, 1991
I knew I had big trouble when my son came back from a drive across town looking stressed.
He said my car had lurched to the right a time or two while he was driving home. And when he got out and inspected the vehicle, he noticed a weird fluid had leaked out from somewhere and streaked the side of the car.
Sure enough, the side of the car glistened with a strange, clear, sticky stuff about the consistency and color of white Karo syrup that weird-tasting syrup we used to use in homemade baby formula back before modern medicine reinvented the breast.
I am no mechanic but you don't have to be an expert to know that any sticky stuff streaked along the side of a car is a bad sign even if it does look like one of the ingredients in baby forumla.
Cars aren't that different from people. They have fluids in them for a reason. When those fluids end up on the outside instead of the inside, it is not usually a healthy sign for the car, or for the wallet of the person who drives it.
This car was leaking one of its bodily fluids and it looked like a crucial one. Sticky stuff that looks like Karo syrup usually has something to do with the brakes or the radiator or the U-bolt or the underwarped invigorator or the differential habitat or the X-chromosome or one of those important-sounding parts that keep a car friendly to human life.
And sometimes those fluids have to do with steering. Sometimes if cars and people start leaking too many of the wrong liquids, they begin lurching to the right. That's why people tend to get more conservative as they grow older. It's as if they fill your little transmission with milk and Karo syrup when you're a baby and you head straight down the middle of the road for a few decades just like any normal American.
But there comes a day when one of your tubes or chambers or radiators or cylinders springs a leak. And then you start lurching to the right. That's why some people turn so sour when they grow old. They just run out of syrup.
This loss of car syrup was especially troubling because the car had been rattling for a few days. I had assumed it was the usual another cheap muffler biting the dirt. I live so close to work that my muffler doesn't get hot enough to keep the moisture cooked out. It rusts through from the inside. I go through about one a year.
But so far as I know, a rotten muffler won't cause steering problems, unless you call steering into the muffler shop for a replacement a steering problem.
I am not an automotive expert but I had assumed that the muffler can go out and the car will still steer down the road in a straight line unless the fumes from the leaky muffler make you dizzy.
And if the fumes don't give you a headache, the noise will. You can tell when the muffler has gone out because one moment you are driving a quiet little sedan and the next you are driving a truck.
But I had never had a muffler go out and throw a sticky liquid all over the side of the car. This was serious. I had to find out what that Karo syrup really was.
I babied the car to my mechanic and noticed two things:
It steered perfectly well without lurching to the right or the left.
It sounded like I was driving a truck.
The mechanic came out and took a look. He was especially fascinated with the sticky stuff on the side of the car that looked like Karo syrup.
He bent down, wiped some off with his finger and smelled it.
Something registered. He nodded.
Then he tasted it.
"What is it?" I asked.
"Karo syrup," he said, not kidding. "Somebody must have spilled some in the supermarket parking lot and you ran over it."
The steering was fine, though one of the front tires needed air.
But the muffler has a hole in it.
Maybe I'll try patching it with Karo syrup.