Like a champion cocktail blender or a recent English graduate I set a new personal best in metaphor mixing at a meeting today. I inadvertently described an idea as “the tail wagging the red herring”.

The good thing is that everyone knew exactly what I meant.

Meanwhile I won’t give up my day job of trying to ensure that my local garage correctly identifies the cause of my car breaking down. I had plenty of time to consider the possible causes whilst I was waiting for the vehicle to be recovered and whilst I was sitting in the recovery lorry on the 200 mile journey back to Norfolk.

The internet is a powerful resource when it comes to gathering data about similar component failures around the world. I’m very pleased that automotive enthusiasts are such prolific contributors to discussion forums. So far I have established that it is unusual for a certain drive-train component to fail under normal working conditions in a vehicle that has been properly serviced. I have also found that it is less unusual for the component in question to fail within three weeks of the last oil change done by the garage… Which reinforces my belief in the philosophy of ‘if it works don’t fix it’.

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