Ask Conlan: Car Talk

A writer wrote:

Dear Conlan,

When I start my car, I get this kck-kck-kckkhhhh sound, but it goes away once the engine revs up. It’s done this for the last two years or so, but when I started my car on Sunday, after the kck-kckhhh sound it also went reeeee-preeee-preeep! I guess my question is, what do you think about those Kardashian sisters?

Flummoxed in Flummuxee, KY.

Let me tell you a story, Flem.

When I was a boy, not more than 4 years old, the neighborhood boys and I started a circus. It wasn’t much: we didn’t have a high-wire act or elephants or hobo clowns. But we did have regular clowns, a trapeze artist, lion tamers, and a contortionist (although later we learned that Jimmy wasn’t actually a contortionist; he was just Italian). All in all, it was a pretty good circus. We’d put on shows for our parents, and families from two or three streets over would walk to our street to watch the death-defying acts. But then one day it all ended. And do you know why? It was because we didn’t believe in ourselves. If we’d only had the audacity of hope to commit to our chosen lifestyle, who knows what we could have accomplished?

I’ll never forgive myself for quitting the circus. Even later, when I joined a new circus, it wasn’t the same. (For one thing, the contortionist was Vietnamese.) Do you see what I’m trying to say, Flem? I’m saying: if you put mind to it, you can accomplish up to 23 things. That’s a lot! Like, Michael Jordan a lot!

Never let anyone tell you you can’t be anything you want to eat. Ever heard of America? Case closed.