In Our Humble Opinion: Car Talk's Click and Clack Rant and Rave

Overview

"If you are a fan of the program, you'll love every page of this." (Baltimore Sun)

"Self-deprecating wit." (Publishers Weekly)

"Hitting on all cylinders, the brothers cover topics from Starbucks' ridiculous nomenclature...to UFOs to theories of education." (New Orleans Times-Picayune)

This madcap collection of original rants, raves, musings, and declarations from the hosts of "National Public Radio's most ...

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Overview

"If you are a fan of the program, you'll love every page of this." (Baltimore Sun)

"Self-deprecating wit." (Publishers Weekly)

"Hitting on all cylinders, the brothers cover topics from Starbucks' ridiculous nomenclature...to UFOs to theories of education." (New Orleans Times-Picayune)

This madcap collection of original rants, raves, musings, and declarations from the hosts of "National Public Radio's most popular non-news show" (New York Times), addresses a variety of topics from politics and computer addiction to Hollywood and coffee culture in short, pithy, sometimes caustic-but always amusing-essays.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Tom and Ray Magliozzi, the hosts of NPR's Car Talk, dole out delightfully cantankerous opinions on road rage, coffee culture, and much more in their new book, all the while dispensing sound car advice. Jane Curtin says, "I love 'Cah Tahk,' my husband loves 'Cah Tahk,' and even my cah loves 'Cah Tahk.' It's the only funny thing about traffic in Los Angeles."
Bill Cosby
I love Car Talk. Any time that I try to fix my car and it still doesn't work-I hold Tom and Ray responsible.
Gene Shalit
I like them so much that I am going out to buy a broken car just so I can call them.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399527739
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/7/2002
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.22 (w) x 8.04 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Meet the Author

Tom and Ray Magliozzi are the hosts of Car Talk, the popular weekly radio show heard by millions nationwide on NPR. Graduates of MIT, the brothers opened a do-it-yourself auto repair shop and found themselves doing all the actual repairs. In 1977, Tom and Ray began dispensing car repair information on local radio and since 1987 NPR has broadcast the show nationally on Weekend Edition. Tom is a consultant and Ray still runs the repair shop.

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Read an Excerpt


We Italians like to think of ourselves as tough studs. It's a sham.
The truth is that some people are tough and some just aren't. If you have some vague notion that you're tough, let me give you a "working definition" of tough. My wife is tough. I aren't. She gets it from her father, Pete.
A little background:
My father-in-law, Pete, lives in a big old house in Maine. I discovered to my dismay that the place has no heat. No heat! He and Florence (the infamous mother-in-law) have a wood-burning stove in the kitchen and a couple of fireplaces scattered around other rooms. But on the second floor-there's no heat.
The second floor-the floor where the bedrooms are. The place where you take off your clothes to go to bed. There's no heat on that floor. The second floor-the floor where the bathroom is; i.e., where you take off ALL your clothes to take a shower. There's no heat on that floor. (I found all this out one weekend when we decided to visit.We don't do that anymore.)
For a southern European like myself, this is inhumane treatment. When I complained about the lack of heat, I was accused of being a wimp. My masculinity was called into question. I overheard words whispered to Joanne like "What were you thinking?"
So, whence does the wood come to feed the various wood-burning stoves and fireplaces? This is Maine. The woods are all around the house, and when Pete wasn't working, he was out in the woods felling trees and cutting them into bite-size pieces.
One cold winter Saturday, Pete is out in the woods felling trees. There is no one else at home. Pete happily fires up his trusty chain saw. ("You don't have a chain saw?" he says to me incredulously one day. No, I don't have a damn chain saw! I only recently got an electric drill! I stopped shaving because I was afraid of the razor blades.) Anyway, he starts to fell his woodstove fodder. Unfortunately, speaking of felling, he drops the chain saw, which-still running-fells [sic] on his leg-almost cutting it off at the knee.
Ouch.
Think about what you'd do in this situation. I mean, after you started to cry. And after you fainted. And after you bled to death. After all that. Think what you'd have done.
What does Pete do? He calmly removes his belt and makes a tourniquet for the affected leg. He then hobbles about a mile back to the house.
Dial 911? Call an ambulance? Call a neighbor for help? No, he's going to drive to the hospital. He's going to drive to the hospital!!!
But he can't drive to the hospital dressed like he is. He's filthy. After all, he's been felling trees all morning. He may run into someone he knows. Not in these clothes, he says. So, he removes the tourniquet and hops into the shower, changes his clothes, and drives to the hospital-20 minutes away-where the emergency room doctor sews him up with 40 or 50 stitches.
Does he call in sick the next day? Take a guess.
That's what I call tough.
Coming from this kind of background, you can imagine Joanne's attitude toward other people's pain and suffering. My poor kids never get to take a sick day from school. ("Malaria? It'll go away. Get dressed, the bus is coming.")
Joanne simply cannot abide wimp behavior.
Nor do I get to take a day off from work. ("You're not going to work because you fell off the ladder onto your head? That was yesterday! Get OVER it! Get dressed, the bus is coming.")
But I have a low tolerance for pain and suffering. When I hurt, I hurt. When I'm in pain, I'm in pain. She laughs when I tell her my hair hurts. "How can your hair hurt? Hair has no nerves!" I'm telling you, when I get sick, my hair hurts.
She's been trying to toughen me up for 20 years. It's not working.
Now she has a theory.
She's even come up with a name for it-Italian Male Malaise Syndrome, or IMM for short. She claims that Italian males-despite the Italian stallion persona they attempt to project-are a bunch of wimps.
So, if you're Italian and you have the misguided notion that you're tough, fuggedaboudit.
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Table of Contents

Introduction (Or Foreword? Or Reverse?) xi
Preface xiv
The Rant and Rave Primer xvi
A Humble Beginning to Our Humble Opinions
Tom's Life Thus Far 3
Ray's Life Thus Far 11
Cars
It Won't Be Long Now ... 23
I Can't Drive 55 29
Enough Is Enough! 36
Blatant Ergonomic Blunders 42
I Do Love Blue Hair, But ... 48
There Aren't Nearly Enough Accidents: Are You Doing Your Part? 52
Musings
The Parable of the Panhandler 59
Omean Aspiavodos 62
The Mystic Valley Boys 66
The Committee on Student Apathy 68
The IMM Syndrome 70
UFOs 74
Raising a Kid 101 78
A Seductive Plot of Enormous Complexity and Brilliant Subtlety 83
The Theory of Abstract Cooking 89
A Taxonomy of Humankind 95
Progress Run Amok: A Parlor Game for the New Millennium 102
Rants
The Penal Principle 111
A Bronx Tale--Sort Of 116
Help Us Overthrow the Tall/Short Mafia 121
The October Surprise: "Just Say No!" ... to 3:00 P.M. Sunsets 125
... And They Don't Even Break a Sweat! 128
Lies, Damn Lies, and Magazine Surveys: A Surprising Result 131
And My Brother Has the Ph.D. in Marketing? 134
The Hollywood Manifesto 139
The Power of 2: Wherein the Automotive Philosopher-King Discloses His Plan for World Peace 145
Percival Bananas: The Zoo Rant 165
Monica What's-Her-Face and "Responsible" Journalism 168
Another Microsoft Conspiracy 170
The Deregulation of Airline Deregulation 173
Walking 177
Water, Water Everywhere 179
Jock Itch? 184
Going to the Dogs: Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, and Testosterone Poisoning 187
Half-Baked Science 192
Stop the World--I Wanna Get Off!: The Other Side of Road Rage 198
The Andy Letter 202
Bitch, Bitch, Bitch 205
A Man Can't Just Sit Around 209
The Wacky Way of Knowledge 211
The Founding Fathers
The Founding Fathers: What a Bunch of Morons 221
The Founding Fathers: Counter-Rant 225
The Counter-Rant to the Counter-Rant 229
The Education Trilogy: In Four Parts
Introduction 235
The Trilogy 237
Part I The Allegory of the Epiphany at the Fountain 239
Part II A Scathing Indictment 245
Part III The New Theory of Learning 255
Part IV The Epilogue 262
The Value of a Good Education: (Dwayne and the Five Engineers) 266
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