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WE'RE A NATION OF DRIVERS

You open the door of your car, get in, close it with a satisfying thud, put the key in the ignition, turn it and go. After a series of small experiences, you arrive at your destination and get out. You slam the door, and you've accomplished something. You got where you were going. How many daily experiences are so pleasant and satisfactory? That's why we love our cars.

Following are some car notes:

When you buy a new car, you have to pay for a lot of optional features you don't want because the car you want doesn't come without them.

The inside of most people's cars looks like the rest of their lives. I junk up mine. I wash the outside, but there are still pine needles in the trunk from the wreath I bought last Christmas.

It's embarrassing to admit, but the longest walk I take many days is from the kitchen door to the car in our driveway.

My idea of a crazy driver is one going faster than I am.

My car uses 89 octane gas. I often blend octanes by pumping in $10 worth of 87 and $12 worth of 93 octane. I figure I get 90 octane gas cheaper than the 89 octane.

New Jersey is the only state I know of where it's illegal to pump your own gas. They still have attendants who pump it for you. They no longer ask, "Shall I check your oil?" Cars don't burn oil the way they used to.

Accidents are down on major highways in spite of the rise in the legal speed limit.

I often get sleepy driving, so I pull over and fall asleep for eight minutes. The biggest problem I have is the cops who come up alongside my car and wake me to ask if I'm OK.

The thing that bugs me most often is the driver in front of me who doesn't turn on his right turn signal until after he starts to make the turn. You used to have to put your arm out.

I dislike anyone on a motorcycle who passes me.

It is not the fast drivers who are the worst. Slow drivers can be a menace, but they're never arrested.

I don't have any problem with truckers. Most of them are good drivers, although why we ever started moving great amounts of material in oversized trucks on crowded roads instead of on steel rails in freight cars is hard to understand.

During the years I was growing up, my parents owned a Packard. I still think of it as the best car ever made, although it didn't have a heater or air conditioning and you had to wind down the windows by hand.

I still have a Sunbeam Tiger with a Ford V8 engine that I bought new for $3,600 in 1966.

They always sell me a car with a jack, but I haven't had a flat tire in 19 years. If I ever have a flat again, I'll call someone to come and fix it. Cell phones have made jacks obsolete.

When I trade in a car I've driven and lived in for several years, it makes me feel as though I'm abandoning an old friend.

Used-car lots are failing in their attempt to use the term "preowned."

It's a mystery to me why cruise control is legal.

They don't keep track of statistics on how many people were killed in accidents because they were wearing seat belts.

One of the good things about being old is, your kids have their own cars and you don't have to take them everywhere.

You can't trust a side-view mirror. They all have a blind spot.

No one ever puts their gloves in the glove compartment.

There are more than 200 million cars in the United States and about the same number of people 18 or older.

Tribune Media Services

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