‘Please don’t be mine, please don’t b ... '

Looking for silver lining in bad news about car recall

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I'm guessing that most of you have done this at one time or another: opened up a news story about a car recall - your make is in the headline - and thought, "Please don't be mine, please don't b ... DAMN!"

Just happened to me.

From a USA Today story:

Toyota Motor on Wednesday announced recalls involving more than 1 million vehicles in the U.S.

Some 752,000 Corolla and Corolla Matrix cars in the U.S. and thousands of similar vehicles in Japan, Mexico and Canada that were manufactured between December 2001 and May 2004 are being recalled for air bags that can improperly inflate.

What a drag. According to the story, "improperly" means even if there hasn't been a crash. So not only will I have to worry about the airbag "improperly" inflating on my drive home tonight, it will be a concern between now and whenever I have to go through the hassle of having it fixed.

However, another thought did occur to me after cursing my bad luck: There may be an opportunity here. You see, I have always enjoyed writing first-person stories. In particular, I enjoy taking a brief yet interesting moment and trying to tell it in such a detailed way as to communicate why I thought it was interesting to someone who might not otherwise see it that way. And for many years I have mulled writing about this topic: What does feel like to be on the receiving end of an inflated airbag? Takes a slit second, yes, and "hurts" will do for a summation, but I want to know - and convey - every last detail.

Fortunately, however, I've never had the experience and hence I've never had the opportunity to write that story.

Now, though? My odds have gotten better, at least in the short term. 

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