An Advice Column from a Foreign Country

I am very busy at the minute, but want to take the opportunity of a day spent mired in 'flu pills to post the following correspondence, which was published in a newspaper in South Carolina. You may have seen it. The extract is taken from a viral e-mail entitled 'Why Men Should Not Write Advice Columns'

Dear John,
I hope you can help me. The other day, I set out for work, leaving my husband in the house watching TV. My car stalled, and then it broke down about a mile down the road, and I had to walk back to get my husband's help. When I got back, I couldn't believe my eyes. He was in our bedroom with the neighbor's daughter!
I am 32, my husband is 34, and the neighbor's daughter is 19. We have been married for 10 years. When I confronted him, he broke down and admitted that they had been having an affair for the past six months. He won't go to counselling, and I am afraid I am a wreck and need advice urgently. Can you please help?
Sincerely, Sheila.

It did not take long for John to reply, and his advice is of course posted beside hers. It reads;

Dear Sheila,
A car stalling after being driven a short distance can be caused by a variety of faults with the engine. Start by checking that there is no debris in the fuel line. If it is clear, check the vacuum pipes and hoses on the intake manifold, and also check all grounding wires. If none of these approaches solves the problem, it could be that the fuel pump itself is faulty, causing low delivery pressure to the injectors.
I hope this helps,

having explored this story myself on, I now realise that John gave Sheila the wrong advice. As one correspondent explains;

On any modern car you first check the ODBII port to get the engine error code and go from there, don't waste your time on the fuel lines...


Toni said…
Classic - You can't say she didn't get helpful advice, even if John was slightly incorrect. If the woman had been able to maintain her motor she would not have caught her husband with the teenage girl and an embarrassing situation could have been avoided - She has a lot to apologise about, in this day and age there really is no cause for a woman not to know about simple car maintenance, even in the deep south.
Martin Meenagh said…
Well quite, though cars have become much more complicated in recent years. Kwik fit looks like a NASA shed or the Hoth base in Star wars, down by me.
Toni said…
I have good history with cars, (and even better history with young ladies). I am probably the worst driver ever although, against all evidence to the contrary, I continue to think I am some kind of Schumaker driver. Of course as my drinking went out of control I stopped driving and haven't really been behind the wheel of a car since I was 24. I have had several crashes though including, memorably one on my first driving test which was cancelled in "the interests of public safety". I wrote off my beloved Porsche 911 and when I last asked for an insurance quote I was offered £18,000 3rd party fire and theft for a bloody Ford.
Martin Meenagh said…
I have quite a history with ladies too, some of whom I know read this blog and all of whom I still think of with affection. Thankfully I have more or less got control over that aspect of my life now, and am happy.

However, I can't drive. I sometimes find it difficult to coordinate left and right or to respond to immediate instruction, which I think is (along with a very good memory and a capacity for lateral thinking) a characteristic of one of the groups of cognitive differences located on the dyslexia spectrum. Who knows? I once nearly trashed a driving test person and the car on a test. The strange thing is that I can zip about with no bother in city traffic and am fine with automatics, when I have driven abroad. I also love a wine or two at night, so would never really be near the blood alcohol regulations.

Wow, £18000 for a Ford? I salute you sir. How do people even without that record afford a car these days?

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