The Car Talk radio show with Tom and Ray Magliozzi is one of the things I miss by living in Mexico. I probably could get it on Internet radio, but I’m lazy. Of course there’s the website, which contains good advice, smart-ass commentary and a lot of blather, just like the show, naturally.
These guys started in Boston in 1977, so it’s no wonder their humor sometimes gets tiresome and repetitive. But, as I’m sure you know, they dispense good, sensible car advice, and they love lists. We’ll tell you about a few of these.
Some of their lists play off the obvious, like “Best Ways to Keep Your Car Running.” Wanna hear No. 1? It’s “Don’t Drive.”
What makes these lists worthwhile is that the boys always tell you something that is not obvious.
Of the “Top 10 Cars We Hate the Most,” the standouts are Hondas, Toyotas and Subarus—because they never come in the shop. The Subaru Impreza imprezzas them because it’s very reliable for an all-wheel-drive car. But “you see a ’99 Jeep Grand Cherokee roll into the shop and you can practically smell the transmission rebuild.”
On the “Top 10 Worst Things Your Mechanic Can Tell You,” again, it’s the obvious things, like seized and overheated engines, transmission failures and busted timing belts. But there are also untoward events, like “Your car fell off the lift, and your boyfriend and I are going camping this weekend.”
Tom and Ray love dumb jokes, which abound on their website. You’ve probably heard this one. Elderly man gets a cell phone call from his wife while driving his Buick on the freeway. “Herman, I just heard on the news that there’s a car going the wrong way on 280. Please be careful!”
“It’s not just one car,” said Herman. “It’s hundreds of them!”
One list that got lots of comments was the “Top 10 Most Annoying Things Other Drivers Do.” Again, the obvious things were there, like talking on a cell phone, changing lanes without signaling, leaving high beams on.
The commenters had a field day with the things Tom and Ray left out. Like tailgating. And line cutters—the jerks who take the right-hand lane and zoom by a long lane of cars waiting to turn left, then cut in at the last minute. And idiots with super-loud sound systems and booming bass.
What’s your biggest pet peeve about other drivers?