Friday, July 15, 2005

Rat Rod

Rat Rod - apparently that's what they call the 50s souped up version of the 1930 Ford. I call it a pretty cool vehicle. At least I did. Until I rode in it. J - I know you will be upset by this story but you have to know that anything is fair game for my blog.

This story should be called Murphy's Law meets God wouldn't like that, Davey. If you recognize the latter reference, good for you. You're a Sun. morning goober also.

J picked me up to take me to one of our favorite restaurants in Batavia - Center Street. They have awesome barbeque and we make a point of going once every month or couple of months. We love it.

We are also styling in our Rat Rod. It is hotter than a witches tit in a brass bra and the only air conditioning in the vehicle are the open windows, but that's ok. We look damn cool. Like a redneck Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck ala Roman Holiday. Except this is titled Batavia Holiday and I am not Audrey and he is not Gregory. That's ok.

The cool thing is that the windshield pops open from the bottom letting more air circulate. The trouble with that is that dust and insects and anything else circulating makes its way into the car also. But we still look cool.

The drive out is uneventful. The car doesn't have seatbelts nor does it have a speedometer. So we have to "guess" how fast we are going without seatbelts. I feel like a renegade in a sweaty tanktop.

We leave Center Street and on the main road out of town, the car starts to make a funny noise that sounds as though it's stopping. I ask J what he's doing. Since I know nothing about cars, sometimes he plays with me because he thinks it's funny - I do not. He said, I am doing nothing. Then the car stopped. He pushed it to the side of the road, which luckily had a very wide shoulder.

It is about 9 p.m. or so. He calls his friends SC and SM (SM - not to be confused with S&M which wouldn't have ruined an evening, but I digress) to come rescue us.

It is hot as I mentioned and now the mosquitos are out in full force because they didn't eat at Center Street. And they are interested in my legs and arms and back and neck and face and feet and everything else. I am cranky beyond cranky. But I am not mad at J. Cars break down. What are you going to do? I am mad because I am hot, sticky, tired, and bitten.

His friends have a good half hour ride to meet us. I ask what he thinks the problem is. He thinks it's the battery. So I ask him if he will ask one of the people at the houses near us if they can jump us. He reluctantly and slowly starts to walk toward a house and says, "I hope you know, guys don't like to ask for help." If I was happier, I would have laughed and said, "that's ok, honey, we'll wait." But I wasn't so instead I said, "Well, I don't really care that guys don't ask for help. I am going to ask and how stupid are you going to look trailing behind me while I ask for help with your car that broke down."

So I ask. This gentleman is more than happy to help us and is rather thrilled to be discussing cars with J considering that we have this fancy pants vehicle. Now J has a new best friend. That's what I'm all about - bringing goobers together.

He calls his friends and finds out they have been pulled over in Darien by a close family friend. The cop had already written the ticket so now J will have to go to court with SC to clear that up.

They arrive and I apologize for dragging them out so late (it's past 10 at this point) and thank them for helping us out. They say, don't worry, it happens all the time. To which I respond, what the hell does that mean - it happens all the time. Well, boys will be boys and boys like their cars and like to play and sometimes things break down. I almost responded - in my crankiness - I have no experience with cars breaking down because I drive a Honda, but I thought better of it. These are the guys who only buy "American Made Chevy, Ford, blah, blah" and I was afraid they would leave me in Batavia to be further consumed by the bugs.

Turns out we can't get the car started so we need to be towed. Let me describe this. We are hooked to SC's Jeep by a long tow rope connected to our Rat Rod. We are to be pulled at a high rate of speed. We don't have seatbelts or anything else to protect us, really. We are pulled behind at tailgating distance. I am uncomfortable with this but don't really care because the ordeal will be over soon enough.

We get to my house and get the car in the driveway. The boys then have to discuss what to do with it because if it rains the car may be further damaged because it isn't protected (I don't have a garage). SM at this point says, figure it out and let's do it - it's about 11:30 and we all have to get up at about 6 a.m. and I still have work to do for the farmer's market. We are all hot, tired and cranky.

So the boys decide to take the car to SC's shop. I don't know where the shop is or what it is. I assume it's at his house. I don't really know. J still has to pick up his truck where he left it - at the point of purchase of the Rat Rod. He says the boys will take him. I think, fine, my responsibility here is finished. I am going to work and then to bed.

I get a call about 2 minutes later. Hey, can you take SM to my truck. He's down at the end of your street. I said, you left him on the corner? No, we'll wait for you. Fine.

I pick up SM, take him to J's truck and then say, see you later, do you know how to get where you need to go? He says he does, my responsibility once again over. We both joke because in our haste we left our cell phones at home. I said, good luck.

I get a call the next morning at the Farmers Market. J wants to check on me to make sure I am ok (he is so thoughtful and kind like that). I tell him I am tired, but otherwise safe. Of course, I am scratching my legs every 10 seconds, but that's the price of admission when you do this kind of thing, I guess.

He told me that he didn't get to bed until 3 because at about 1:30 he gets a call on his cell from a number he doesn't recognize. He answers and it's this woman who says, you don't know me, but your friend just flagged me down and asked if I would call you.

He ran out of gas in your truck.

Nothing is open in Alden past midnight. Trying to find a gas station took another hour or so.

And that capped the night.

But I was in bed by 12:30 so I missed the fanfare. I did feel guilty that I didn't follow SM. I could have helped the situation a bit. I think.

What I did discover in all of this is that Wild Mountain Organics is sorely in need of an insect repellent and then an insect bite soother. I do have some ideas. I am testing them this weekend and will let you know if I find anything. God I hope I do.

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