Your car just lurched to a stop in the middle of an intersection. Pursuant to the unexpected stoppage of the engine, you've noticed some rather thick smoke starting to pour out from under the hood. Within a few short moments, there are bright orange FLAMES rolling out from under the hood, and soon out from the grille and fenderwells too, as the heat causes those parts of the bodywork to MELT AWAY.
You wisely evacuate the vehicle, pull out your cellphone, and decide that your best option is to call someone.
Who do you call?
A. The fire department
B. The police department
C. Our garage's service department and ask if they can look at your car today... because it's just caught fire....
If you did NOT guess "C", congratulations, you are smarter than this particular person was.
Now, fortunately for the heroine of this story, some of the passing motorists who witnessed the towering inferno her Ford Taurus had become wisely chose option "A" and got the fire brigade rolling to the scene.
Our driver still managed to beat them to the scene, but had no choice but to wait for their arrival as by then, the car was fully engulfed. By the time it was out, the front end was a mass of mozzarella-like melted plastic, the dash was sagging like a soggy banana and the windshield had caved in, allowing smoke, ash and water to blow into the passenger's compartment and tint all the windows from the inside-out....
The car was, quite literally, toast.
So we towed it back to the garage and put it in the "wreck" section of the lot, figuring the only thing to do now is wait for the insurance adjustor to arrive and officially sign the death certificate.
Imagine our surprise (or, maybe non-surprise depending on how cynical you feel) when the owner showed up an hour later and wanted to know if the mechanics had been able to look at it yet and get her an estimate....
Can't say she isn't optimistic