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Dear Dr. Staff: How does a car run? When I looked it up in the dictionary, all it told me was that it was powered by an `Infernal Combustion Engine.'' What's that? And why's a semi truck called a semi? How big's a full one? "

--Motor Mouth

Dear Mouth: You must have read it wrong. Cars are actually powered by something called an ``Internal Combustion Engine.'' This works on a rather simple theory. Weird chemicals are mixed up inside the car, and what happens is so complicated that chemists don't know what happens. Since it's outside the laws of chemisty, nobody knows what will happen. Since nobody knows, there's nothing to stop it from moving the car forward. The reason it's called internal is that it happens inside the car. In fact, if you opened up your car's engine while it was running, you'd see what it was doing, so it wouldn't be as confusing anymore. Then, since somebody knew what was going on inside, all the internal combustion engines in the world would instantly stop working. This is one reason why car mechanics are paid so much.

Your other question about the semi truck is quite simple. ``Semi'' actually stands for ``semi-longitudinal lephrectomatic vehicle, translated literally, means that the lephrecton struts only go halfway along the truck.

--A Really Nice Guy

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