Monday, December 14, 2015

Good Stories

Good stories, the really good stories, invariably depend on an ever growing series of "unfortunate decisions".  The story is most delicious, for the readers, when the "smuck" is somebody who prides them self on being prudent and making wise decisions.

The best writers slowly build tempo.  Each stupid decision is revealed in its own time and the reader is prepared for the climax by foreshadowings woven into the tale.  Like a beleaguered ship cresting a massive wave, the writer teases the reader with a tantalizing bit of relief before revealing the next, even more massive wave.

Not being a very good writer, I will simply share that I found myself, late Sunday night, standing in the rain without a baseball cap, 85 miles from home.  My car had a dead alternator, a dead battery and I was holding a flip phone that refused to transmit audio.  Did I mention that I had less than a quarter tank of gas and I needed to pee?


The hero of this story is my brother who had a 6:00 AM start this morning.

He found me by voodoo given the fact that my audio transmissions were garbled.

He brought tools.

We used jumper cables for 40 minutes.  We left it on a long time because we were not sure about the connection to my battery.  The terminal lugs on my Malibu are pretty rusty.

After charging the battery for 40 minutes we were only able to drive seven miles down the road.  At least we did not made it to the freeway before it went sideways again.
We (he) removed the battery.  He dragged me to his home.  He put the battery on the charger for "over night".  He plied me with Old Fitzgerald Bourbon (for medicinal purposes).

This guy was having a bad day.  He shattered his spleen.  This is a common result when you reach to pick up the bag of "weed" (or purse) that slid  off the passenger seat.  You go off the road and hit the proverbial immovable object.  Your body slides under the airbag and the bottom of the steering wheel whacks the left side of your rib cage.  Note, left-and-right are flipped.
He also gave me a picture book to look at.  I felt much luckier than the folks shown in the picture book.

In the morning, my extroverted and radiantly cheerful sister-in-law dropped me off at nine in the morning next to the Malibu.  I dropped the battery into the car and uneventfully drove home.  Incidentally, I was getting four Hail Marys to the mile.  I counted.

After Action Report

Pride is the first of the Seven Deadly Sins.  I should have tucked my tail between my legs and bolted for home the first time the Battery light flickered on.  But I did not.

Family is awesome.

Biding my time so I could drive home in the light (no need for headlights) and when it was not raining (no need for wipers) was a "win".  I see it as a classic case of living to fight another day.

The fuel gauge lies.  I had enough gas to make it the 85 miles.

And that is why there was no post for Sunday, December 13, 2015.


  1. Before leaving my brother's house I snagged an apple out of the bowl on the counter. I ate it at the halfway mark, Mile Marker 67 on I-96. I think it was a Honeycrisp.

    I felt pretty lucky, the way it all turned out. I saved the seeds out of that apple and stuck it in with the apple seeds I am growing out next year.

    They look like winning lottery tickets to me.

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