Sam Venable 
Department of Irony

Never– Ending Mirth with My  Wife’s Car From HellThe story you’re about to read is true. I swear on a 55-gallon drum of motor oil.

Names, brands and dealerships have been omitted, however. The Venables simply are content to be shed of this mess and the mischief it keeps creating.

Our saga began the day Mary Ann drove off the lot in a late-model, low-mileage used car. It was just the right size for her. Handled well. Peppy, yet frugal with fuel.

Inside was a faint whiff of cigarette smoke, but the dealership had pointed out this flaw from the get-go. We figured the mild odor would soon dissipate. Indeed, it was on the verge of vanishing when up popped an issue that had nothing to do with sense of smell.

It was a different type of sense. A sensor.

Somewhere in the digital guts of this Damien was a faulty tire monitor. On a whim, it would flash warnings about low pressure.

I didn’t think much about it the first time. Simply swung by my neighborhood gas station, fed quarters into the machine, and added air until my handy-dandy tire gauge gave the A-OK.

Sometime later (several weeks, if memory serves), the monitor flashed warnings once more. Back to the gas station, quarters, air machine, et al.

When the third warnings flashed, we returned to the dealership.

No sweat, said the service folks. Easy-peasy fix, covered by warranty. Sorry for the inconvenience, but everything’s fine now.

Nope. After a bit, the warnings flashed again.

I need not repeat this sequence. Suffice it to say we made seven trips for seven fixes. Repeat: s-e-v-e-n. Enough was enough. It was time for Damien to go.

The warranty had expired by now. Thus, the dealership wouldn’t offer a full refund. We briefly considered stubborn legal recourse but knew it wouldn’t be worth the time and effort. Just give us a check and we’ll depart.

Sure, said the rep. We’ll have everything wrapped up shortly.

It took a bit longer than “shortly.” So long, in fact, that someone finally came out of the office and announced a glitch.

Seems Damien was shackled with a lien in North Carolina.

“That’s your problem,” we smiled. “You sold us this car in Tennessee, free and clear.”

Yes, we got our check. Quickly. 

That was three years ago.

Recently, we received a “personalized” (aka computer-generated) letter from yet another dealership, Kentucky return address this time, offering cash for the car we haven’t owned in three years. The car with tire sensors from hell and a North Carolina lien. We deep-sixed it with a laugh.

We doubt Damien will ever mend his evil ways, but it would be nice to occasionally hear from him again. Maybe  from Nebraska next time.

Sam Venable is an author, comedic entertainer, and humor columnist for the
Knoxville (TN) News Sentinel. His latest book is “The Joke’s on YOU! (All I Did Was Clean Out My Files).” He may be reached at