As with any lump of moving parts hurtling through the air, like an airplane or a robot fired from a catapult, cars will have issues. Usually these issues aren’t a big deal: the occasional paint chip or dulled clear coat, dirty hood, scratched bumper, even the blood of your enemies can be washed away with moderate ease. Most of the time they go largely unnoticed. There are a few problems though that, despite their universality, inexplicably give off an unwarranted expression of your entire lifestyle. Namely that you don’t have one. You live under a bridge in a fridge-box house where all the different rooms are stuck together with boogers. It is not specifically known by science* what separates these issues from others, but the bottom line is that these 5 problems are definitely the least that make you look the worst. Such as…
5) Crooked Plate
Some problems are so easy to fix, the fact they exist in the first place is proof that the universe doesn’t give a shit about you. It makes you wonder what is keeping people from repairing them. It seems there is almost a directly inverse relationship between the ease of a repair and the speed at which the problem is solved. Lets say you’re in the old west. You’ve recently become more ventilated and are in desperate need of the good doctor to pull the plug outta your gut, lest you succumb to your detriments and become the proud owner of a sky plantation. Still with me? Perfect. Ahead you see the Dr.’s office. “Eureka!” You puff. But wait! The sign that hangs overhead has a broken chain, and is swinging rather post-apocalyptically in the breeze.
Clearly this means the town has recently been shot to pieces, and the doctor is a hundred different kinds of dead. Then you die in the street, certain no one can save you, while Dr. Stevens finishes his lunch unabated and quite alive. Having a crooked license place is just like this story. You could be driving a Bugatti down hwy 1 on the nicest day of the year, but if you don’t have that painted aluminum rectangle fastened squarely in its place, you might as well be rolling down the hillside in a garbage can with syringes tumbling out the lid.
4) Cracked Windshield
Windshields work hard. They do everything from keeping your hair free of freshly splattered dragonflies to saving you from a drug dealer’s baseball bat. They are the front line of defense against the speeding elements. With this being the case you could certainly expect that it would be the most regularly affected or damaged part of your car; shield *is* 50% of its name, after all.
Yet, when that crack eventually comes, whether caused by a rock from a semi or a tennis ball your friend threw at it because he thought it would be funny (it was pretty funny), no amount of German badges or personal pit crews can save you from looking like you probably wash your hair in a rest stop bathroom sink, even though the sign tells you not to. Maybe its simply that a windshield crack is such a glaring defect in an otherwise invisible space, like if the invisible man took his face wrap off and just had a single Pure Optical glass eye; but whatever it is, you should expect strangers to throw you change as you drive by.
3) Mismatched Paneling
If I picked up a gardening fork and planted it in the side of your head, pulling it down through your face, you would probably do one of two things: either go to the doctor and get that mess stitched back up, or leave it, and use it as a jumping off point for your energy drink sponsorship career. One thing you probably wouldn’t do is find a guy that looks a bit like you and cut of half of his face to swap on to yours, unless of course maybe you were Ed Gein’s brother, or Nicolas Cage. Is this entry in a comedy blog about car damage gruesome enough for you yet? good, moving on.
The same goes for cars. Yes, it *does* seem like a good idea to go find a perfectly undamaged replacement piece from the opposite side of the color wheel out of a junk yard, but you know as well as I do it will never make it past the flat grey primer stage that plagues 90% of Nissan 240s. I don’t care if your cousin *does* work at Maaco, he stopped letting you get free work when you sat on the hood of that camaro and had Steve spray around your butt for the Honeybaked Ham Co. logo you could never get picked up. You’re better off getting it fixed, just like your face.
2) Plastic Window
We all want nice things. Some of us prefer to have other people buy these things first, then steal them from those people in the night. I used to live in a rough neighborhood. We had a garage, but for a brief period of time I had to park in the street out front. In an attempt to be proactive, I would regularly leave the sunroof off my car with the hope that, maybe, juuuust maybe, if somebody was going to steal something from me, at least this way they won’t break my window to do it. If that doesn’t sound very likely to you then chances are good that either this isn’t your first rodeo, or it was you that did this to me, and I would like you to return my camelbak and sunglasses. You can keep the CD player.
Can you think of a good reason someone would be minus a window that is more likely than being the result of a break-in? Maybe they were trying to do a frame by frame re-creation of A Night at the Roxbury? Or maybe that throwin’ stick stunt of theirs boomerang’d on them. Nope. Its none of those. The only possible answer is that they got so broke the window simply shattered itself out of principal years ago, and the garbage bag plastic drowning out the radio in the interstate wind is their purgatory.
1) Space-Saver Spare
If you look at the history of prosthetic limbs, specifically legs, compared to the advancement of other things, you may notice an interesting trend. Whereas technological progress has allowed most synthetic creations to more closely match their organic counterparts in form as well as function, since the early 1600s they have transitioned from looking like legs and doing very little, to looking very little like legs and being functionally good enough to let murderers come in last in the Olympics.
Part of this trend has carried over to spare tires, but not the important part. They’re like legs for cars, therefore it makes sense. Shut up, yes it does. Though they do have the basic properties of wheels (round, rolley) they do not have an appropriate level of functionality for how stupid they are. You could certainly argue that it’s the manufacturers fault for making you look like a societal dreg just because some kid left a roofing nail out in the street for laughs, but the bottom line is, in the eyes of those avoiding you like a bomb on the interstate because you are doing 15 over the max speed listed on your special shoe, you likely stole that car from some poor upstanding citizen and have been using it to collect cans for drug money.