He pulled off the mountain road and parked near the creek. It was late springtime and although quite a bit of snow was still on the ground the place where he had stopped was mostly clear and dry. He got out of the car and walked over to the bank of the stream, found a comfortable looking spot, and sat down in what seemed to be a kind of depression. It was quite comfortable.
The water tumbling by was so inviting he took off his shoes and socks. Although he knew it would be cold, when he stuck his feet into the stream he was surprised. It was much colder that he had expected. Letting out a yell he immediately jerked his feet back out of the water. Although they had only been in for a few seconds they were numb with cold. He pulled a handkerchief out of his pocket and wiped the water off before quickly pulling his socks and shoes back on.
As he sat there shivering while waiting for his feet to thaw a second surprise was on its way. A short distance behind him was a pool of icy water that had collected and been held back by a berm of snow. That natural little dam suddenly gave way and all of the water rushed down a small gully towards him…and the comfortable depression he was sitting in was part of that gully.
The way he was sitting had caused a gap between his jeans and his bare skin. When it hit, the icy water first entered there and completely soaked his pants and the lower part of his body. He moved, and moved quickly, but too late.
Wet from the waist down and cold he got in the car and stripped off the waterlogged clothes. He found a dusty blanket in the back seat and wrapped it around his shivering skin. Then he started the car and headed home, hoping he didn’t get pulled over by a cop for any reason since it would be impossible to explain why he was driving around wearing nothing but a blanket.
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.