"How is it overheating, Mark? Is the temperature gauge going over half way?"
"Sort of. It goes a little over and then if I turn off the air conditioning it goes down."
"So it never really overheats."
"It let out some smoke and it sounded like the engine was revving when I was sitting at a stop light."
"But the gauge didn't go over half way, right?"
"I don't know... waaaaaaaaaa, it smoked... waaaaaa... "
Our car is thirteen years old, it has seventy eight thousand miles on it, and seventy thousand of those were put on it by Mark, who knows nothing about cars other than mashing down on the accelerator and turning on the radio. In the last couple of weeks we have spent nearly a thousand dollars on the PT Cruiser, so I was not happy to hear Mark was having trouble with it again. To determine the extent of the troubles I told Mark that I would drive to the super market and the swimming pool store. He gave me the old side eye, and suggested maybe that wouldn't be such a good idea seeing as I'm nearly blind in one eye.
"We'll be fine. Half blind and I can still drive better than ninety nine percent of the assholes in Florida."
I opened the door to the driver's side of the car and a half dozen of the little bar magazines they give out for free tumbled to the driveway. I slid into the driver's seat and tried to shut the door, but all the CD cases Mark had stashed in the side door pocket pressed against my thigh. Meanwhile, I was bashing my knees up against the steering wheel because Mark likes to pull the seat all the way up as far as it will go. This is so that he can drive like an old man, hanging onto the steering wheel like a life preserver from the Titanic. After rearranging the CD cases, and pushing the seat back so that my knees weren't in my chest, I drove off to the super market.
"Goddamn Mark, why is the steering wheel all sticky?"
"Ummm, I was hungry."
It all went pretty smoothly after that. On the way to the super market the car performed okay. No overheating, no revving. We left the super market and drove over to the swimming pool store. I pulled up right in front and unloaded the chlorine jugs.
"Is everything okay?" The pool guy asked.
"Sure. Why do you ask?"
"I've never seen you drive before."
And that is in fact true. Most people around here are used to seeing Mark drive, with me in the passenger seat... screaming at him.