Mundane Doesn't Describe It

For the slackatudinally challenged.

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I have never taken any exercise except sleeping and resting. Mark Twain, Hard work doesn't harm anyone, but I do not want to take any chances. - Unknown, I am retired and have tried to do as little as possible - slowly. Me.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Breaking Down.

Fmom and I will be taking a trip. It’s not very far, about a six hour drive, and we’ll only be gone a couple of days. Fmom wants to go and see about how a relative is doing. Our car is in good shape, but now of days I have to prepare for these things. I don’t know if you’ve ever broken down on the interstate, but I did once and it is not a good feeling.

Back in the late 80’s I had just come back from Europe. Over there I had my own car and it was being shipped back. I got the notification to pick it up in New Orleans (N.O.). So I fly into N. O., get to the port, go through all the paper work, check my car out and start heading out to Mobile to pick up my family. Out of N.O. my car starts sputtering and I’m thinking I better pull into the next service station. I didn’t get a chance to do that because smoke starts pouring out from under my hood. I pull over to the side and pop the hood and smoke is boiling out. I’m not a mechanic and know nothing about such things, so I start walking. I was lucky because someone picked me up and took me across the Eastern Bridge on Lake Pontchartrain into Slidell. He gave me the name of a mechanic and dropped me off at a bar where I could call him. I called the guy and he said he would be right there. Two and a half-hours later the guy shows up. I told him what happened and he said OK let’s go look at it. Now I had come with enough money to get to my family and get them back to our new home. Once we were half way across the bridge getting to my car, the guy told me, “If I have to go across the bridge I charge a minimum of $100.” I told him to stop right there and let me out because I couldn’t afford to pay that much just for a ride back across the bride. He told me not to worry and he’d take a look at it.

We finally get to the car and he looks at it. His first words are “It’s pretty well broke.” At this point in time I know I’m dealing with a genius. He tells me even for the short time it had been broken down on the interstate; I was lucky no one had tried to break into it. He said it was not a good idea to leave it out there overnight and he had a friend that would tow it. We go back into town to his house, and he calls his friend. He said there was no place to store it, but I could leave it at his house until I could get someone to pick it up. A couple of hours later his friend shows up with the car and plants it in the guy’s front yard. I pay him and he’s gone.

During this time I’m trying to figure out how to get to my family. I called the Bus Company, but they are closed down. I don’t know if any of you will remember, but this was right at the time someone was shooting at busses. I knew I couldn’t afford a taxi for that long of a trip, so I’m stuck. The mechanic told me he would take me to Mobile for $100. That seemed to be his price for everything. I had no choice really and I tell him ok.

I don’t remember too much of what we talked about, but I do remember one thing. Halfway there we are behind a 16 wheeler and the mechanic has his lights on bright. He has a CB and he can hear the trucker start cursing on the CB about some idiot behind him with his lights on bright. Now I said this guy wasn’t a genius. Instead of just hitting his dimmer, he gets on his CB and starts talking trash to the trucker. He and the trucker are cursing each other and the trucker tells him to pull over at mile marker somewhat and he’ll beat his A**. The mechanic is telling the trucker what he’s going to do to him and to pull over right now. I’m thinking can this day get any worse. On top of everything else, I’m probably going to get my butt whupped too! I tell the mechanic I’m paying him to get me to my family. He seemed a little angry with me, but he pulled on around the trucker and we speeded on. BTW when we pulled in front of the trucker, the trucker puts his lights on bright. This started the mechanic to cursing again and that’s mostly what he did until he dropped me off. I had been up since 4:00 am that morning and it’s around 12:00 am that night. I’m so exhausted, that after seeing the family I fall asleep. The next morning I had to figure out where I was going to get the money to get us back to where we were going to live and how we were going to get there.

So as far as trips are concerned now I really try to plan. I know if something happened and Fmom and I broke down for some reason, I couldn’t leave her in the car by herself, so as I was saying in the café earlier, I’m going to go and buy my first cell phone today. I can remember when I was younger; I would just jump in the car and go, never a thought about anything happening. Now that I’m older, move slower and have Fmom with me, I do the planning and just hope nothing happens.

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