As a result of a practical joke by the dogs gone horribly wrong, Mrs. Spookyblue turned an ankle earlier this week. She’s fine, but we swapped vehicles for a few days; hers is a 5-speed, my boat truck is an automatic.
Last night I heard a sound like angry squirrels arguing under the hood of her car. When I popped the bonnet, bits of serpentine belt were strewn all over the engine compartment. What actually remained on the pulleys looked like it had been through an acid bath.
It so happens that we have my dad’s pickup truck on loan as part of the fish pond rehabilitation and Rodan deterrent project. I figured that since it held up so well hauling tons of creek rock, it should get me to work in the morning, and it did. I made an appointment with a wrecker service to tow the car to the garage (that had two months ago installed the now destroyed belt), and took lunch to meet the driver.
Dad’s pickup truck is a 1979 Chevy Custom, and comes with a set of instructions; pump the gas three times before starting, the radio’s just for show, don’t un-tape the glove box unless you mean it, etcetera. It’s what is euphemistically referred to as a “fishing truck”, or what you take to the pond in the pasture on the back forty. The heater percolates a certain goat-ish aroma.
Now. I am a lucky man, blessed from all sides and watched over by agents of mercy, one of whom having been dispatched to hold this rattle trap together until it was deemed safe enough for one of the wheels to fall off. And it did. Not less than a mile from Snug Harbor, the left rear wheel went walkabout and I ground to a loud halt on the brake drum.
A careful inspection revealed that all five bolts were stripped, but my luck held as I was able to retrieve the tire, undamaged, from a ditch. I even found a lug nut. The wrecker driver came upon me and made a real effort not to laugh while he hitched up the truck and took me home. I guess my luck rubbed off on him too because he made an extra $40 on that trip.
Frankenstein never scared me. Not much, anyway. Dracula and my sixth grade math teacher were a lot worse. None of those guys compare to five seconds on three wheels in a vehicle designed to operate on four. “Luck as falls”, in existential phraseology, means keep smiling, don’t panic, and above all, appreciate muddy boots, dog drool, tetanus shots, Band-aids, and writing the check to the tow truck driver.
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein makeup (pictured above) is easy to do. Apply liquid latex to the “seam” areas. When dry, pull bits slightly away from the face to give the impression of raised skin. Blend yellow and brown cream makeup and add purple to the stitch lines. Draw stitches with black grease pencil. This Frankenstein (my niece), being moderately allergic to latex, carried her “scars” with her for a few days into November.