The neighbor across the street. Most of the people on the block didn’t seem to like him. They went out of their way to avoid talking to him. I was probably the only one in the neighborhood who was pleasant to him. He was really quite knowledgeable and interesting. He talked a lot and I was a good listener.
Even his wife didn’t like him. She once told me all he did was talk. She said he even talked in his sleep. She claimed she had turned to alcohol in her effort to try and drown out his constant jabbering. The only thing that had accomplished was make her an alcoholic. She said she was going to leave him and live by herself in the beach house on the peninsula.
One day he knocked on my door and asked me to come over and see his new car. “State of the art,” he said. I went over to take a look.
He thumped the hood to point out how solid it was built. About that time the horn honked and the front bumper fell off with a loud clatter. He went around and looked, saying they must have forgotten to screw it on tight.
He told me he was going to start the engine so I could experience how quietly it ran. He got in and slammed the door. The horn honked again, all of the doors locked, and all of the airbags suddenly inflated. He slumped over and appeared to lose consciousness.
I quickly tried all of the doors but none would open. I turned toward his house to call to his wife when she burst out of the front door. She ran to the car and as she got close her husband turned his head toward her. His nose was bleeding and both of his eyes were already turning black. She let out a wail and when she she touched the car there was a loud click and the doors unlocked.
She got the driver’s side open and helped him out of the car. She put her arm around him and helped him to the house, all the while crying and telling him she would take care of him and everything would be alright.
And so, that’s how a poorly built “state of the art” car (probably assembled on a Friday) saved a marriage.