Car quandaries create complications

I should have known this week wasn’t going to be good for my vehicle.

It all started last Saturday night.

My brother, Troy, and I went to Wal-Mart and made a few purchases. He needed some golf tees and I needed a lot of things I forgot to buy.

When we came out of the store, I noticed one of my Ford Explorer’s back tires was low, so Troy and went to a nearby filling station and attempted to put air into the tire.

The machine wasn’t working properly, so we went to another station.

We only had one quarter left, and the machine required 75 cents. We did have 50 cents in other change, but the sign on the machine clearly said “quarters only.”

No such sign has ever stopped Troy from trying things, so he donated all our spare change to the machine.

We gave up and carefully drove my vehicle home, sagging tire and all.

The next morning my father fixed the tire, and I thought the problems for my car were finished.

I was wrong.

Later Sunday evening, I went to get into my car to go back to school and the door handle on my driver-side door broke.

So until Wednesday night, I had to get into my vehicle by opening the passenger-side door, leaning across the seat, and opening the driver-side door from the inside.

This was a huge inconvenience.

However, that problem ceased to matter Wednesday night when, after parking my Explorer in my apartment parking lot, the entire car died.

No lights would work. The electronic locks would not function, and the engine wouldn’t even try to start.

It was dead.

So today my father came to Wichita to save his car-dumb son.

He couldn’t figure out the problem either because the battery still had a charge, but the symptoms the car was showing were signs of an electrical problem.

He decided to go back home and try to figure something out by talking the situation over with his mechanic.

I’m not sure if the meeting with his mechanic ever happened because later he and Troy came back to Wichita with a car trailer.

They loaded up my fallen Explorer and left me a huge, white Suburban to drive so I wouldn’t have to walk to school again.

I’m lucky to have people that care enough to do what they did for me.

At the same time, though, I am almost certain they find my lack of car comprehension a bit humorous since they both understand and care about motors and the like.

Me personally, I prefer computers, writing and news-talk radio. Such things are not generally enjoyed by my brother and father because they prefer outdoors and sunlight, while I am most happy in a dark house with the glow of a computer screen as my only source of illumination.

I am very different from my father and brother, but I think that is why we all get along so well. Besides, if we all enjoyed the same things, we’d probably get sick of each other.

I thank them for helping remove this bit of stress from my shoulders so I can get back to stressing about finals — every college students favorite pastime.

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About toddvogts 833 Articles
Todd R. Vogts, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of media at Sterling College in Kansas. Previously, he taught yearbook, newspaper, newsmagazine, and online journalism in various Kansas high schools, and he ran a weekly newspaper in rural Kansas. He continues to freelance as a professional journalist from time to time. Also, Vogts is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), the Journalism Education Association (JEA), and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), among others. He earned his Master Journalism Educator (MJE) certification from JEA in 2022. When he’s not teaching or writing, he runs his mobile disk jockey service and takes part in other entrepreneurial ventures. He can be reached at or via his website at