Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dad's Car Finally Craps Out

Well, the beast served him well, in spite of my old man's fast, erratic, oblivious and somewhat generally dangerous driving, but dad's car is shot. The brakes went on him the other day on the way to a CVS run. Fortunately, it didn't happen on the way home, as the weight of the Whitman's samplers, excess toiletries (stockpiled for the grandchildren by all appearances) and stationery would like have had a similar on the Buick Century as the reaction to the payload of a trailer truck's cargo.

So yesterday I got a call from dad to help him take his car to the garage. After informing me that the brakes were gone, and he had stopped the vehicle by way of furious "pumping" of the brake pedal, he let me in on the plan to transport the auto.

"You can drive in front of me, and I'll go slow."

Okay... the man is 86, doesn't wear a seat belt, has no brakes, and a working definition of "slow" which roughly translates to: a rate of speed which allows pedestrians to dive to safety before impact.

"Geez, dad... what could possibly go wrong?" I wondered. The notion that he would be behind me, so I would likely be the car he collided with gave me zero comfort.

En route to dad's house for the old car transfer mission, I decided to sneak into the house, snag the keys and take the car in myself. I knew there would be repercussions, and I felt a little badly about leaving my step-mother Louise to handle my father's inevitable tantrum when I altered the plan, but I felt assured that even the fallout from this would be far lass traumatic than seeing dad's photo on FOX news as the latest nut to plow through a crowd of people, though the audio portion of the telecast probably would have provided some of the best Reality TV in history. I can only imagine dad's rendition of the story, complete with a description of an elderly woman he mowed down as a "moron doddling around with a walker in the road" whilst demanding she finance his car's repairs after being arrested for public stupidity.

It was a nice day, so I strolled back to Pine St., ready to face the fire. You had to see him to appreciate it, but here dad sits...on the couch, still wearing his hat and coat. The look on his face was priceless, I had seen it ten thousand times if I had seen it once. it said, quite unmistakenly, "why do I have to deal with morons?" Of course, the look was framed with the slightest hint of a smile.

"I have an explanation, dad."

The look didn't change, except the smile slowly disappeared. I explained I was worried about him cracking his ribs if the car wouldn't stop, or God forbid, if the airbag went off, it might kill him. he seemed to take it pretty well.

I said something like, "you look a little worried dad, you all right?"

Without missing a beat, and genuine concern he says, "Yeah, I was worried because some moron was driving my car around with no brakes."

To that I conceded that if anyone were qualified to drive that car without brakes, it was him. he hadn't threatened using the brakes in years.

To that we all had a pretty good laugh.

Today he got the word that it would cost more to fix than the car was worth. I looked for a suitable replacement, which dad would like in place by last Thursday, if possible.


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