Did you ever go through a period when it seems that everything you own is breaking? Our bout with brokenness began the morning the car wouldn’t start. To save the towing charge we pushed the car to our friendly Forest Park mechanic. My daughter declared that pushing a car through the alley officially made us white trash.

Anyway, the car needed a new computer. (Wait … the washtubs aren’t draining? Call the rodding guy). So they put the new computer in and the “check engine” light pops on. Normally, I wouldn’t mind a bright cheery light on my dashboard, but my car had an emissions test to pass.

I’m concerned about air pollution, but I think emissions testing is a waste. (They still won’t drain? Our catch basin is clogged? Have the rodding guy call the suction guy). Many states have discontinued emissions testing. Ohio decided that the idling cars waiting to take the test caused more pollution than they were catching.

(Hold on … what’s that smell? Call the gas company right away). So mechanics worked on the car for a few weeks, but the “check engine” light stubbornly refused to go off. (Oh, the gas is leaking from the oven. Call the oven guy.) A car is essential for my business, so I was having trouble getting any work done.

($200? We might as well buy a new stove. I’ll be right back; I’m going to the dented appliance outlet). Well, we finally found out the new car computer was defective. The manufacturer, however, kindly offered to sell me another one. (The Internet’s down. You’re just going to have to open a book).

I don’t think it’s right for me to pay for a new car computer. They should be paying me for the blown parts and the inconvenience. (Our new dented stove is great. It even has a self-cleaning oven). Maybe if I warned the car dealer that I was a columnist for a major metropolitan newspaper, they’d play ball.

(Great, the tubs are draining. What’s that … all the pipes in the basement have to be replaced? Sure, go for it). So now the state has suspended my plates because my car hasn’t taken the emissions test.

(I know you have homework to do but the computer is down to only two functions: Hearts and Scrabble). I wish I had a happy ending to the car story, but there’s no end in sight. (The TV doesn’t even turn on? Throw it in your car).

I’m certainly not the only Forest Parker who goes through these periods of brokenness but complaining about it makes me feel a little better. (What? Your car won’t start? Hey, I get to steer this time).