Say It Ain’t So, Click And Clack!

After 25 years on the air, Click & Clack are calling it sorta-quits. The Car Talk blog confirms, it’s time for the boys to get even lazier.

RAY: Hey, you guys. My brother has always said, “Don’t be afraid of work.”

TOM: Right. Make work afraid of YOU!

RAY: And he’s done such a good job at it, that work has avoided him all his life.

TOM: And with Car Talk celebrating its 25th anniversary on NPR this fall (35th year overall, including our local years at WBUR)…

RAY: …and my brother turning over the birthday odometer to 75, we’ve decided that it’s time to stop and smell the cappuccino.

TOM: So as of October, we’re not going to be recording any more new shows. That’s right, we’re retiring.

And so, in tribute, the verse I always wanted to send them, but never did. Seems all the more appropriate now…

My car does not murmur; she groans and complains
And she limps–just a bit–on the right.
She shouts out in protest at tasks she disdains
As one cylinder fails to ignite.
Whenever we turn, there’s a noise from the brakes
That’s a hollow and cancerous cough.
The faster the highway, the harder she shakes
Until bits of her start to fall off.

I remember the days when she purred like a cat
So responsive, so agile, so fast;
She would tear through a curve and then leap down the flat
And refuse–stubborn thing–to be passed.
I will always remember the car she once was—
That’s the reason I can’t let her go;
It’s the things that she did, not the things that she does;
I suppose it will always be so.

I, myself, I admit, may be showing some wear
And my warranty’s long since expired;
There’s some rust in the joints and some grey in the hair
And what once revved me up makes me tired.
When I look, with my near-sighted eyes, at my car
It’s the beauty of old that I see;
If you look this direction—I see that you are—
Would you please do that favor for me?

Happy trails, boys!


  1. Cuttlefish says

    Ok, for once I have to say this. The third line: She shouts out in protest at tasks she disdains is one of the few I can think of in my silly verses that follows Alexander Pope’s advice in “An Essay on Criticism”, to make the very words you choose an example of what you are saying.

    When Ajax strives, some rock’s vast weight to throw,
    the line too labors, and the words move slow

    You can’t say Pope’s line quickly–and you can’t say mine without sounding like your gasket is leaking. The line is metrically just fine, but cannot be said smoothly, and that (for once) was actually intended!

    Ok, I’ll shut up now. Although there are more examples…

  2. 'Tis Himself says

    Thank you, Magliozzi Brothers, for years of humor and automotive advice.

    And remember, don’t drive like my brother.

  3. says

    Just don’t take this as some sign to retire your versifying. ;)

    And as a lawyer, I see “warrantee’s” as “warranty’s”. But I guess it’s technically correct.

    Or is it?

    Keep up the good work….

  4. 'Tis Himself says

    And as a lawyer

    Are you acquainted with Click and Clack’s lawyer, the senior partner of the law firm of Dewey, Cheetum and Howe, Mr. Hugh Louis Dewey Esq, know to the riffraff infesting Harvard Square as Huey Louie Dewey?

  5. Cuttlefish says

    S.I., I congratulate you–this verse has been posted a few times, and you are the first to correct me. And you are quite right and I am quite wrong, and it is fixed.

    And in hindsight, I can’t see how I could possibly have made that mistake!

  6. says

    Awwww… I’m going to miss those guys! They made me feel good when I was driving a 1984 Chevy Citation II in 2001 because they were funny and I only had an AM radio, and they made me feel like I could keep the car on the road on my own, which I did until 2005 when I sold the car to a crackhead for $150.

  7. sithrazer says


    I guess I’d better head over to their Shameless Commerce Division and pick up some trinkets and/or memorabilia now before some warehouse manager jumps the gun on dumping all the merchandise.

  8. gvlgeologist says

    Now I’m depressed. I’m listening to them on the air at this exact moment. Can we buy them a broken gold watch as a retirement gift?

  9. says

    Are you acquainted with Click and Clack’s lawyer,…

    Yes, I once received a cease and desist letter from him, for driving my old Dodge Dart through Harvard Square, back when I lived in Bahston. In hindsight, it was an offensive looking and sounding automobile, and at the time, I was a bit miffed. But what could I do when up against legal minds like that?

    I traded it in for a motor scooter.

    @Cuttlefish. You’re welcome. I won’t send you a bill. Consider it community service on my part. ;)

  10. Pinky says

    I’ve been a fan of Click & Clack for many years. The Tappet Brothers could cheer up a rock. The way they laughed would cause me to join in.

    My favorite interchange from their show was a man who called in to ask about turning his mid sized sedan into a 4-wheel drive because he was moving to Alaska. Click & Clack had a great deal of fun with the caller and the man seemed to be taking it well. One of the brothers said he could guess what profession the man was in. He said the caller was an attorney and he was correct. The brother laid out his reasoning; only a lawyer would go about a task in the most difficult, time consuming and expensive manner possible. They convinced the man to buy a new 4-wheel drive vehicle.

    I hope their staff goes on to do well in life, for instance their Consultant for Cadillac steering; Toulouse-Totrec.

  11. die anyway says

    oh man. :(

    Saturday mornings are ruined for the rest of my life. The poem was fitting though. You should definitely send it to them.

    I wonder what npr will come up with as a lead-in to Wait, wait, don’t tell me? Could it possibly be as enduring as Click & Clack?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *