I read the other day where the average length of a loan for a used car is 50 months.

So, when are they going to make a car that outlasts the loan?I'm not saying used cars are bad things. I'm saying they're a lot like people - the older they get, the more expensive they become to maintain.

There is an upside to driving a car someone else has pitched. Once you have owned a secondhand car, you become more religious. There is not a day goes by that you don't fall to your knees and pray someone steals it so you can at least have the insurance money to shop around.

A used car will determine how you will live your life. You will never buy a house that is not on a hill so that when you remove the brick from under the tires, it will roll down and perhaps start for you.

A secondhand car influences whom you are going to marry. If you are female, forget the man of your dreams. Marry a mechanic who can fix your transmission.

If you are male, it would behoove you to find beauty (inner or constructed) in a girl whose father owns a garage.

We have owned a lot of hand-me-down cars, and I warn you, never give your car a name. I know a lot of people who have done that and they're sorry they did. The car thinks it's a member of the family and you will be there for it through the good times and the bad.

When the days your car has spent in the garage outnumber the days on the road, you begin to think of unloading it. Cars pick up on this. They have a sixth sense about knowing the exact moment you are going to discard them.

The night you write out an ad for the paper, all four tires will go bald. When you take the car to a lot for an appraisal, it will have to be towed home. Whenever it observes a visitor at your home responding to the ad, it will make oil doo that will run down your driveway like a flash flood.

You feel as though you're Michael Douglas and the car is Sharon Stone. One of you will have to destroy the other.

I admired my daughter-in-law when she said she was tired of listing her old car as a dependent on her income tax forms. She said she was going to buy a new one. The car was everything she ever wanted. It ran.

Two weeks after she bought it, it was stolen.