I have a friend who believes that car brakes can "heal themselves," and so continues to drive long after that metal-on-metal grinding sound begins to indicate a state of decreased safety and increased repair costs.

Naturally, things haven't worked out so well for her in the brake department (four new rotors tend to add quite a bit to the cost of a brake job), but maybe next time will be different! Her example may be the reason I find this xkcd comic so entertaining, though the truth is that I've been a big xkcd junkie for years (an occupational hazard of working in the software industry, which I do when I'm not writing about cars) and I don't need much of an excuse to push Randall Munroe's work on others. Here's the comic in its entirety; thanks to Fej for the tip:

Of The Potential Responses To My Brakes' Failure, I Did Not Choose The Best