My Vibrating Muffler

There are few things worse than that My Car’s In The Garage Today And I Have To Sit Around At Work Waiting To See What’s Wrong And How Bloody Much It’s Gonna Cost Me feeling.

When the gurgling from Golden Boy’s rear got worse over the weekend, I booked him in yet again. I was assured I’d be called once they knew what was happened. When I’d heard nothing by 4.30, I called up. I got the smug receptionist, the one who always gives me a patronising stare every time I walk in.

“Oh, you’re the one with the brown Magna?”

“It’s not brown. It’s GOLD.”

“Anyway, we can’t hear any noise.”


“We’ve had two different mechanics look at it, and they can’t hear any noise. Not a peep. Therefore you have totally wasted our time and you are a stupid fuckwit.”

That last bit was not her exact words, but the sentiment was there.

“I’m telling you, there’s a noise. I always think I’m being chased by motorbikes, but no, it’s the car!”

“Well why don’t you come up and we’ll take you for a drive and we’ll see if we hear anything, okay?”

It’s amazing how many patronising tones you can pack into that one word. Oh-kaaaay?


On the way to the garage I ranted and raved about those bastards and how there was a noise and I Know My Car Goddammit, and I would show THEM. That’s bluster of Cranky Shauny talking. But at the same time Wimpy Shauny is gnawing away in my brain, spineless, passive. Wimpy Shauny’s policy is: you are to blame for everything and you have somehow brought this whole mess on yourself due to your general incompetence.

When these Shauny’s combine you get someone who thinks she is wrong but damn if she’s right for once, she’ll stomp all over you whooping for joy.

Then there’s Vicious Shauny, who is willing to lie her arse off in order to avoid looking stupid and/or taking the blame for any situation. If I’d done something stupid to the car, I had to think of some reason why it was in no way my fault. I came up with a few excuses on the fly:

1. Oh! That pesky sister of mine drives my car allll the time and she really drives like a maniac, you know.

2. This one time, the car was kidnapped by a pack of smelly teenagers, they drove it around at high speeds for weeks and weeks, and not once did they check the oil and water.

But as soon as I saw the Smug Receptionist sneering and the mechanics smirking at me like I was the village idiot, I crumbled.

“I’m probably stupid, there’s nothing wrong!” said Wimpy Shauny.

“But I’m sure I heard a noise!” said Cranky Shauny.

“We’ll see,” said Smug Receptionist.

The big boss mechanic drove and I sat in the passenger seat. And wouldn’t you know it. Golden Boy purred along the road in silence.

“I don’t hear anything.”

“Well. Listen harder.”

We trundled along the streets and I strained my ears, hoping for a little mutter, a tiny fart, anything to prove that I hadn’t made this whole thing up. When I realised that Golden Boy wasn’t going to deliver, I launched into apologetic babble and general bullshit.

“I did hear a noise, and so did my sister. I’m probably being paranoid, but I thought I should get it checked out, just in case…”

He gave me a withering look and I felt my temper flare. But Wimpy Shauny was stronger, and Vicious Shauny was determined to shift the blame elsewhere.

I paused and took a deep breath. “My father was a mechanic and he used to tell me never to ignore these things. Unfortunately he’s not around anymore to give me car advice…”

I trailed off sadly, as if though my old man had perished in a terrible silo accident. I fumbled in my bag for tissues. The mechanic gave a non-committal grunt.

Just as I thought all was lost, that familiar sickly gurgle started again, moments before we arrived back at the garage.

“THERE! There it is!” I crowed.


“If you wound down the bloody window you might hear it.”

“Oh. Ohhh. Now I hear it.”

It was spluttering like a herd of tractors when we pulled back into the drive. The other mechanics and the Smug Receptionist came out to look. I got out of the car and slammed the door with a flourish. “Hear it now? Huh? HUH?”

The triumphant triumvirate of Shauny’s did a victory lap while the mechanics poked and prodded Golden Boy. They declared that he was okay, there was no leaks or anything major. “Yeah, you’ve got a vibrating muffler. If you don’t want the noise you’ll have to get a new one.”

Oh it’s just such a glorious feeling proving someone right, that they were the fuckwits and you were not. But that all wears off so quickly when you realise the price of victory is another expensive trip to the garage.

About Shauna Reid

Ahoy there! I’m Shauna, an author, copywriter and content mentor. I love telling stories about life and helping others to tell theirs.

Find out more about me and how we can work together – I’m now booking for December 2022.

21 thoughts on “My Vibrating Muffler

  1. Poor Golden Boy. I hope his ass gets better.

    Actually, that reminds me about my ass. It’s quite perky and nice, and not at all sickly like Golden Boy’s. I just like that you post about me all the time, is all. Well, Of course, you wrote this post after you touched my ass, so it’s more like I wrote this post and you’re just taking credit for it, isn’t it.

    Did I ever tell you about the time I worked at it’s Ironic?

  2. Aughf, Golden Boy’s certainly arsing you about. grrrrr (with a jaw wobble, in sympathy)

    But I’m glad it’s just your muffler vibrating. When I think of cars making sickly gurgling noises, I always imagine (well, remember) oil boiling in the engine.

    Which is a bit of a coincidence, ’cause today I rediscovered a few leftover bits of my first car (which died after boiling its own oil) in the garden shed, as we pulled off half the roof before I axed the front wall to bits.

  3. I think Monkey is going insane.

    As for Golden Boy, yay for him actually making a noise in the end. There’s nothing worse than a noise going away and you looking like an idiot.

  4. The words, “Pyrhhic Victory” spring to mind, though I can’t remember why at this stage. Me burnt out. Something to do with the Greeks I think. Or not. Something.

  5. thats wicked that you got to show them up. if it hadnt have made that noise again near the end of the testdrive, you just know it would’ve turned up an hour after you drove it home. im still stunned at how good your writing is.

  6. Well, I’m glad you got to be right in front of other people (very important) and it’s the muffler and not something really expensive like the tranny.

  7. Hmmm. is your car insured against theft? If it was stolen and driven into a damn, would they have to buy you a new one?

  8. $117.04 Appalling. Appalling! btw it is a good post shauny.Pronunciation: ‘pir-ik
    Function: adjective
    Etymology: Pyrrhus, king of Epirus who sustained heavy losses in defeating the Romans
    Date: 1885
    : achieved at excessive cost -a Pyrrhic victory -; also : costly to the point of negating or outweighing expected benefits – a great but Pyrrhic act of ingenuity Now march against the Romans!

  9. what a bunch of hogwash, i believe in the power of the Great God, but He is made powerless because of the ID’s and EGO’s waging the waffle war on each other’s post-patronization eye glancestrips and even accustomized bitchiness. Next time you hear a noise break open the hammer anvil and stirrup and plunge an exacto knife into each eardrum, it will save a lot of hurt to those proud and sensitive feelings. And roll up the windows when your mind is foggy.

  10. For a minute there, I thought the post was going to be about a “noise softener” type device for a vibrator….my mind is entirely too low today!

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