I have a confession to make. I am a Hypocardriac.....
This is a medical condition that may manifest itself in the terrible fear that the persistent rattle from the old red Pontiac in the next lane is coming from somewhere in your cars undercarriage and just bouncing off of his car
Or it might show up as the unreasoning certainty that the smell of burning clutch coming from that blue Honda ahead of you is actually heralding a huge mechanics bill, preceded by your car on a tow truck.
Hypocardria is, in short, the fear that what is happening to another car, probably not as well maintained as your own is actually about to happen to you.
I set off for my parents house today, in the wake of another flood in this apartment(GRR) and started smelling burning brakes or clutch, causing me to check my emergency brake 2-3 times to make sure it was not engaged, to listen carefully for any excessive struggle from my engine and to try to remember how much gas pedal normally means 45 MPH. there was no apparent wheel drag, no loss of power, but there was the persistent smell of burning clutch (I can't really describe it, but if you have ever been in a vehicle in which the clutch or brakes burned up, it is unforgettable)
I got up onto the highway, still smelling it, thinking "if I still smell it by the next exit...I'm going home". Then, something miraculous happened: the car ahead of me pulled off, causing the smell to dissipate.
So, to that unknown person in the other Honda...I'm sorry for whatever was happening to your car, I hope you got someone to fix it, and...Oh Yeah: Don't feel obliged to be so close to my car when your decides to self destruct. It aggravates my Hypocardria
Now, when this new word goes into widespread usage, just remember that you heard it here first
for more information on the basic Condition referenced here...