The cosmic answer: Drive you crazy, yes. Drive the Audi, no. The eternal question: Are you what you drive?
The ancient Audi is finally gone -- its metal carcass towed away with as much dignity as a dead car can muster. After several calls, Mrs. Linklater donated her venerable 5000S 4-door sedan to Easter Seals. Not that she didn't consider other worthy organizations. But only Easter Seals didn't have ridiculously high standards like some of the other places.
Easter Seals didn't care if the tires matched. Or the engine started. Or that her brother used the trunk to paint stuff on. Some of the other places were pretty darn careful about the kinds of cars they'd accept. They wouldn't consider a car with a flat tire. Or with 175,000 miles on it.
Well, there was nothing wrong with her olde Audi that a new engine, new transmission, new tires, and a new paint job wouldn't fix. Picky. Picky. Picky. But Easter Seals seemed to know the value of the elderly German motor vehicle. In a lightbulb moment, they realized it wasn't a car; it was a boatload of PARTS. As a car it was toast. As parts it was priceless. Worth more separately than whole.
So next time you need a new fender, a right headlight or a new leather back seat for your '84 Audi -- and your mechanic says they can always get a good one from the salvage yard -- remember, you saw it here first. [Well, you will see it here first. The Audi's last known picture will be up as soon as "Add Pictures" starts working again. Mrs. Linklater thinks they're out to lunch. Ah-h, they're back.]