Posted 03-26-2004 at 07:26:07
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My seventeen year old daughter Jill was on her way to work yesterday afternoon at about four p.m. when her truck decided to die on her less than a mile from the house. No warning, no indications of trouble. Just...whump, no more motor. She called me immediately.
"Mom, my truck died!"
Oh he11. I've had been anticipating this.
"Well, just kind of scooch it out of the road as best you can. I'm at the grocery store but I should be there in fifteen minutes or so, and then we'll figure out how to get you to work...did you call your boss?"
She revealed that she had, and that he was awaiting further news.
I finished up my shopping and headed that way as quick as I could go. All I could think about was her standing there on the side of the highway, all alone, with no way to go. Imagine my surprise when I got within seeing range and spotted not one, but three trucks on the side of the road. By the time I added mine, it looked like the used truck lot at the Chevorlet dealership. Our neighbor Mike had his head under the hood and our other neighbor Ricky was in the driver's seat cranking away on the ignition.
"What are you looking for?" I asked Mike, leaning down under the hood with him.
"I have no freakin' idea. I'm no mechanic, I just stopped to offer moral support." We laughed and then I asked..."Where's that thingie, you know that thingie that is inside the doomaflotchy that wiggles back and forth and makes the gas go where it's supposed to go, 'cause it don't seem like it's getting any gas, I don't smell any, do you?"
"Look," Mike said, wiping his brow, "even if I knew what the thingie was and where the doomaflotchy was, I couldn't find the thingie anyway. Ask Ricky."
'Bout that time Ricky stuck his head under the hood as well.
"Ricky, where's that thingie..."
Ricky gave me a look, and I shut right up. Ricky knows about motors.
"You ain't gettin' any fire." He said. Then he rattled off all the reasons it could be why we weren't getting any fire. In other words, we were not going to fix it sittin' on the side of the road.
About that time neighbor number three pulled up in his truck and by then we were thoroughly blocking the south bound lane of Ed Wells Rd.
"She ain't gettin' no fire." Ricky explained to #3, at which point he climbed out of his truck, and in two shakes had his head under the hood. Neighbor number four pulled over, but didn't get out, just commiserated from the driver's seat. Neighbor number five merely hollered out the window on the fly by...
"Ya'll got it under control?"
Ricky waved him on, grinning. It was starting to look like a Smith family reunion out there so I decided to take charge.
"Ricky you've done enough. If you'll give me a ride to the house, I'll let Jill take my truck so she can go on to work. Fred and Jake can come down later and get her truck."
"Okay. Get what you need out of your truck and put it in mine."
I handed Jill my keys.
"Get on to work now, you're barely late, if you hurry, maybe your boss won't be so mad at you."
"Nooooo." She said grining at me crookedly, and winking.
It was then that I realized that (distant) neighbor number six had just cruised up in his big old 'need a ladder to get into it--American flag decal plastered across the whole back window' type truck, and was climbing down to add his expertise. The significant thing about (distant) neighbor number six is that he's eighteen, fine as frog's hair, and cute as a new puppy, and it was going to take some serious negotiations on my part to pry Jill away from the scene.
Now there were seven trucks and seven people clogging up Ed Wells road, all over one pitiful three hundred dollar clunker. I felt my cheeks burning as I surveyed the five heads clustered under the hood of Jill's junky little Toyota truck.
"You get your butt in that truck, you can socialize on your own time! This is embarrasin', no GO!" I hissed.
She made that 'tsk' sound that I am so familiar with and stomped off to my truck. I started handing out thanks you's, Ricky closed the hood, and the assorted trucks, all except Jill's Toyota began to pull away, and I couldn't help thinking how glad I am that I live in an area where people look out for each other. Nobody did anything really significant expect for Ricky giving me a ride home, but they tried and that's a lot more than could be said, had she broken down in the middle of a big city somewhere.