14 thoughts on “A Classic Bad Omen”

  1. I’ve seen 2 cars on fire – one on highway 76 in Philadelphia,
    and once, when I was at lunch, my boss and I saw a car start to smoke through the hood as it drove past us – it turned out to be a co-worker’s car. Luckily, I got a proper fire extinguisher before they managed to pour a bucket of water onto the engine. Though my inner 10-year-old mad scientist would have been pretty interested in seeing the results of that experiment. From a distance.

    BTW Dorothy, any chance you’ll be at MoCCA NY or SPX or some other east coast/mid-atlantic event this year?

  2. Well, I’ve only ever seen one car on fire (an RV on the highway going through Death Valley, nothing but a flaming metal skeleton by the time we drove by) so I’m not sure how often THAT happens, but people driving past an accident scene happens constantly. Damn aloof Californians.

  3. I suppose the question is should one slow down, or should traffic keep moving. I know that up here in Seattle, traffic slows down if someone get pulled over, much less in an accident. Perhaps out of pity or schadenfreude. But our rubber-neckedness keeps me from where I’m going…

    … on the other hand, if someone is running around near the car on fire, slowing down – or even helping – is acceptable

  4. When I first came to CA, it was late summer (beginning of September), and I was visiting friends in the north central valley (around Sacramento), and entire stretches of /road/ were on fire. I was assured this was a regular occurance because apparently it gets hot enough (it was very hot that day) for brush fires to just start, and then the tarmack where it meets the brush in the ditches catches fire too. There were firetrucks.

  5. Man, driving by cars on fire- wasn’t that a big part of “Less Than Zero”?

  6. The only two cars I have ever seen on fire were my mother’s and my own, now you know it can be hereditary.

  7. The other night, the car parked in the driveway two doors up caught fire and rolled back across the street. Don’t know what happened there…

  8. i’d never seen a car on fire untill i went to NYC in highschool. then, when we visited the empire state building, i saw a cab drive by ON FIRE . he drove by a parked car that was also in flames. when we left, the firemen and cops were there, with the once burning cab and the still- burning parked car. nobody was thrilled about it except for me and some other tourists waiting for the bus.

  9. the closest i’ve ever come to a flaming car was a news story about one outside a mall near my house. i saw the charred pavement afterward and contemplated whether lightning ever strikes twice in the same place.

  10. I once drove by a vigorously flaming SUV on the highway. I later recalled exterior details and recognized it as a Chevy Blazer.
    10 years ago a car spontaneously combusted at my apartment complex. It was 30 feet away from my motorcycle, which I got out of the way with no more than an ash burn on the seat. How ironic for the bike to come all the way from Italy and survive 21 years in Michigan and nearly come to a bad end just sitting there minding its own business. It stays indoors with us now where it’s safe(r).

  11. In the central valley and it’s surrounding hills and passages, flaming cars and semis on the side of the road are a seasonal occurrence. The temperature easily hits the 100s at that time of year, and poorly maintained vehicles that pull over onto dried grass and engulf the surrounding area in flames our kind of like our version of the groundhog’s shadow. “That’s the second flaming wreckage we’ve passed so far. Must be about summertime, I wreckon”.

  12. Do not remove the heat shield from your catalytic converter no matter how much it rattles. The CatCon runs at several hundred degrees and can easily ignite paper, dry grass, etc. The insurance company WILL check this.

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