¡No Va!

They say that when the Chevy Nova was introduced, it didn’t sell as well as expected in Latin America. Why? The name means “doesn’t go.” The fact that this little legend is pretty much 100% fictional shouldn’t get in the way of a good story. But the real reason I’m thinking of it tonight is that my car, my cute, sporty, paid-for Audi A4 is in the no va category.

There’s one thing that’s good about having your clutch go out. Nobody without a tow truck is going to be able to steal your car.

Coming home from school Friday, I noticed that somebody at a stoplight was stinking the place up, burning something that shouldn’t be burned. I pushed the “recirculate” button on the heater to keep the outside air out and drove on home. As I exited the vehicle at home, I realized that the car that had been burning something was mine.

The next morning, as I tried to get the Grey Ghost in gear to drive to a shop, I heard the engine rev and got absolutely no motion. The nice folks at AAA sent a tow truck before our latest snowstorm hit. Right now, I’m waiting on a quote from the shop as to the repair cost. I’m hoping for $39.95, but I’m prepared for it to cost about as much as the car is worth. Yuck!

As I mull over this unpleasant development, it occurs to me that people can have bad transmissions as well. You know these people. Perhaps sometimes you are that person. I know I am now and again. They have an engine. You can hear it respond to the gas pedal. They have wheels that turn, but somewhere between those two, something isn’t making a connection. Somehow, despite a lot of horsepower, these people just don’t get anywhere. ¡No va!

As I drive this analogy into the ground, I realize that sometimes we should prefer being without a transmission. Think about it. If you’re pointed toward a cliff, then aren’t you better off with a clutch that doesn’t engage? So we have some people who are making great time headed in the wrong direction and others who don’t seem to get anywhere.

The ability to make our way down the road is a positive thing, but the necessity of steering and the wisdom to know how to get somewhere worth going cannot be ignored. Right now, I’m just getting ready to spend that $39.95 for the repair.

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