Clash of Concepts

November 24 – Squeal

Many different squeals elicit joy in those graced by the sound.

The squeal of a child’s delight.

The squeal of a newly engaged couple.

The squeal of a fan seeing their favorite musician.

And there are squeals that bring sorrow.

The squeal of a pig before it becomes dinner.

The squeal of a person hearing of a loved one’s death.

I know this doesn’t compare to those squeals, but there’s a particular squeal that evokes dread, disappointment, anxiety and frustration each time I hear it: the squeal of brakes.

I’m not talking about the squeal of tires on pavement when the brakes are engaged suddenly. No, I mean the brake-pads-wore-down-and-are-rubbing-metal-to-metal-and-I-have-to-tell-my-dad squeal.

My dad is also my mechanic. I’ve always been a chronic braker, which means I wear out more than my share of brake pads. Even worse, I have a tendency not to tell my dad that the brakes are wearing until that squealing metal-to-metal sound becomes such an obnoxious threat to my sanity that I finally tell him I need my brakes checked.

As expected, instead of an inexpensive trip to the shop for brake pads, I end up replacing brake pads, calipers, rotors, master cylinders, etc., etc.

As much as I try to do differently, it isn’t until an occasional squeak at the stop sign evolves into a fatal squeal that I call in the professional.

And endure the lecture for the hundredth time.

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