Katy lies; you can see it in her eyes

In olden days, the twelve days of Christmas were likely to bring a standard human unmanageable herds of drummers, milkmaids, lords, rings, and the ever-present partridge. However, it's with tepid pleasure that I note that the holidays are becoming a bit more inventive in their 'gifting' this year.

The "twelve days of Christmas" now refers to the twelve days that my overly-adored Jetta spent at the dealer's, having innumerable tests run upon the suddenly-quirky engine. I strongly suspect the silly thing spent most of those days cozied up in the back of the repair shop, drinking spiked eggnog with distant relations, swapping owner stories, and totally living up the vacation.In the meantime, I got stuck with a crappy Audi A4. Older. Base model.

The Audi and I came to an understanding pretty early on in our twelve-day relationship, which is to say that I got a bit of a reality check the first time I stepped on the gas: nothing happened. I was free to complain, bitch, moan, whine, and step on the gas as much as I wanted, as long as I understood that all of those actions were equally useless.

It became "that damn car" when, only by the quick actions of a police officer (!) I avoided the ultimate indignity of being killed by a speeding cop on his way to another wreck.

Want to see your life flash before your eyes?

Wait to turn left on University. Spend much time waiting, as there's a wreck just off to the right; while the wreck wasn't blocking University, the rubberneckers were. Since enough of them remembered their etiquette and left the intersection clear for those of us wanting to turn onto University, I was able to begin crossing the lanes of traffic for my left turn.

As you cross the second lane of traffic, you realize that the blur of color in the corner of your left eye is a speeding police car (with no siren on) that, unless one of you moves, is going to cause either a) a traffic accident or b) a serious and possibly fatal breach of the laws of physics.

Now imagine stepping on the gas and the car NOT moving in tune with the musical brake-squealing coming from your immediate left.

Flashbulb: "Woman Killed By Own Rental Car; Felines Mourn"

When the dealership called this morning to let me know that my Jetta (all rested and recovered from its holiday eggnog-fest with the other Volkswagens) could be taken home, I didn't take long to get there. I picked up the car and did a U-turn out of the parking lot, glorying in the surge of the engine after a light tap of the accelerator.

Before I could get up to full speed, I got caught by a light on University, and came to a stop. My hand had a mind of its own; it drifted, unbidden, to the driver's side stash of CDs.

The first one I pulled out was Steely Dan. These twelve days of Christmas were, officially, over. I slid the CD into the player, let the speakers stretch out a little, and began to sing.


Death to the loaner car! Long live the real car! Of course, your Audi wasn't really a loaner ... it was just misunderstood as a youth.

Oh, let's not get into spare vehicles while others are in the shop. I took a nice drop from Darlene to the two Ford Foci I drove while it was in the shop for longer than the mythical Flood of Noah.