Where there's smoke...
Picture this: you're driving along, in a hurry to get to the bridal shop where your brides- and groomsmaid dresses are being ordered. Because they won't take your credit card details over the phone (and, let's face it, the person on the phone sounds like a moron anyway), you have to get there to pay. And if you don't pay today, you might not get the dresses until after Christmas.
So it's mission-fairly-critical.
All of a sudden, you see some smoke coming out of your car's bonnet. Hm, maybe it's just your eyes?
Nope, definitely smoke. And it keeps going, and it's getting worse.
So you try to change lanes (cheers to the lady who saw me frantically gesture at the smoke and pretended not to notice), and you're thisclose to the place you need to be at by 5.30, and it's almost 4.30, and you could drive on, and then ask the relatives living nearby to help if necessary. But then an even bigger plume of smoke wafts up, you lose your courage, and pull into the nearest service station.
You grab your bag, run in to the station and apologise as you interrupt someone and say: "There's thick grey smoke coming from my bonnet and I don't kniow what to do. Could someone help me please?
Finally, eventually, someone will help you (seriously, it took like a minute, and neither the customer being served, or the guy behind the counter, seemed at all worried). The manager comes out and sorts it. The car's overheating, so all the water and stuff has been boiling and the smoke is, in fact, dirty steam.
Having aged 15 years in the space of ten minutes, you run your first errand. The second errand requires a cross-town trip, which is out of the question. Hell, even getting to the next suburb over produces more smoke. And it's hard to look confident when other people start to look at you in a concerned manner.
So my lesson of the day? When there's smoke, there's not always fire. Sometimes it's superbly dirty steam. But it's still bloody scary!