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A funny thing happened on the way to the …

February 4, 2015
By Larry DeHays , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

Sometimes funny things happen to us as we drive, sometimes "funny" means "strange," and sometimes it might mean "scary."

We all search for gift ideas. Sometimes people give accessories for cars. Sometimes that's a bad idea.

For instance my brothers once installed a huge air horn from a semi-truck into our step father's pick-up truck. It took up half of the engine compartment. They didn't tell him about it. One day, as he was driving along, he needed to beep his horn at someone. When it went off with an ear shattering blast, he immediately pulled off the road into a ditch to avoid being run over by the semi-truck that he felt sure was about to hit him from an unknown direction. He was not amused. The boys thought it was hilarious.

Sometimes people have things done to cars with the best of intentions. The road to Hell is reputed to be paved with good intentions. A friend's wife had their van "detailed" before a road trip. The detailer washed and waxed the entire van and apparently included the windshield in the wax job. As we were driving on the interstate it began to sprinkle, and my friend turned on the wipers. The windshield suddenly turned white. The wipers smeared the wax into an opaque film. He had to stick his head out the window to see where he was going. He made a comment about adrenalin being a helluva drug, along with a few other comments. We stopped at a convenience store and got a bottle of ammonia to clean the wax from the windshield and continued our trip in a much calmer mood. We can smile about it now.

As a rule, mechanics try not to change the settings of the driver's seat or mirror adjustments as they service a car. There's a good reason for that. One of our taller mechanics once had to test drive a small car driven by a very small lady. He simply had to adjust the seat back before he could get in the car. When he was finished, he forgot to reset the seat. The lady got in, started it up and stuck it in reverse before she realized that she couldn't reach the brake pedal. She shot out of the parking lot, across the street and into another parking lot before she managed to bring it to a stop. She didn't hit anything, but she was not a happy camper. It makes for a funny story, but everyone knows it could have been serious.

It's great to have a sense of humor as our seventh sense, but sometimes, as the Queen might say: "We are not amused" with good reason.

Coming soon:


by Larry DeHays

Available as paperback or E-book, this is a compilation of the best of Larry's humorous AUTO ADVICE columns as they've appeared through the years. It is an ideal gift for anyone facing the responsibility of caring for a car for the first time, or for someone who has had problems with car repairs, or anyone who simply enjoys reading about cars. Check it out on or



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