with equal parts compassion & hilarity

A Driver’s Perspective on a Smoking Steering Wheel

Are you unsure the thoughts one may have when one suddenly sees wisps of smoke rising from the steering wheel of the vehicle they are currently driving 72mph east on I-94? What do they think? What actions are taken?

Aaaahhh, that is what I figured. Please, allow me to enlighten you.

First, one immediately thinks WHAT THE HECK IS THAT?! That is not smoke. That is not smoke. That is NOT smoke.

Second, one approaches a realization. oh my gosh. oh my gosh. oh MY GOSH. Yep, that is seriously 175% smoke. Coming from the steering wheel. In the fast moving vehicle. The vehicle that is, in fact, a 26 year old compilation of solid blue metal and a customized grill pushing 186,000 miles. Is this goodbye?

Third, one analyzes the past, present and possible future situation in addition to every decision they have ever made in life. One will simultaneously frantically look around to gauge the approximate distance from other fast moving vehicles and brake as much as possible. One will also proceed to turn off the heat.

Why brake? One doesn’t exactly know – it’s natural? Maybe the steering wheel is smoking because said driver has been going too fast for too long. Wouldn’t be the first time. Turning off the heat on the other hand, seems much more logical. Less heat may perhaps decrease chances of a fire from igniting in the vehicle. Yes. Good. Smart. 

Several rhetorical questions are asked as well: Is God trying to tell one to stop speeding? Is God trying to tell one that one needs a new car? Is God trying to tell one that one should repeatedly thank one’s mother for instructing one not to drive to Denver, CO because the trip to Minneapolis is much more manageable for Blue Beauty. It’s almost as if mother’s know a thing or two…

Is this the fault of oneself? What did one do wrong? What is going to happen? Where is the nearest exit? IS THE CAR GOING TO START ON FIRE?

Fourth, one notices a smell. One identifies the smell is that of something in the steering wheel burning. One continues to freak out at an elevated rate. One calculates current funds. One wants to cry at the situation, but instead begins to experience infrequent bouts of hysterical laughter.

One keeps driving because one has still not been able to get to an exit. One is almost to destination – maybe everything will go away.

Fifth, as the wisps of smoke become less one slightly loosens grip on steering wheel and attempts to breathe normally. One also notices the smell has dissipated. Good, one thinks.

Sixth, one verifies the smoke has officially concluded. No fires in Blue Beauty tonight, babaayyy!

Thus, one begins to calm. One fist pumps the air as if one had actually played a role/held any power whatsoever in this outcome.  With greater caution, one turns heat on again and resumes driving.

Seventh, one praises Jesus for one’s survival and prays for safety in the final leg of the journey. One makes mental note to stop at the family farm – maybe there’s a spare fire extinguisher…

There you have it: a driver’s take on a smoking steering wheel.

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