Another Funny Story About A Car: I Feel The Earth Move
You would think that one good funny story about a car would be enough for someone and that said someone would have learned her lesson and decided to avoid automobiles whenever possible. Ah to be so lucky!
Unfortunately, this girl happens to be a walking piece of Velcro for mishaps so you should not be surprised after all that I have yet another funny story about a car….this one involving our second family auto, the much loved and much used Kirchner Dodge van.
This was no ordinary Dodge van either. My husband bought it from a girl he worked with at the VA Hospital and it was superb! It was dark brown and was carpeted throughout! That van brought us much enjoyment over the years that we owned it. We drove it all over the state of Washington and took many a wonderful vacation or day trip in it. Katie and I even slept in it when we went camping! Needless to say, it also was a huge step up from our other car – the cursed Chevy Monza.
Since we were both working and raising our family, we finally became a 2-car family. However, I got the monstrous van to drive to and from work because I only worked 4 miles away whereas Bob had to commute to Tacoma to the VA Hospital. He got the much detested (by then) Chevy Monza. It did get great gas mileage for a tuna can!
Come with me on yet another stroll down memory lane to the day I felt the earth move in my big old Chevy van!
public domain photo
Another Funny Story About a Car – I Feel the Earth Move
Because we did not believe in leaving our kids in daycare, I worked split shifts at the local hospital. I would wait for them to get off to school and then don my dress clothes and my traditional white lab coat and head out for work, then return when the kids were due home.
On a gloriously sunny day (sometimes a rarity in the Pacific Northwest), I bounced out the door and down the stairs to the carport only to be surprised – surprised that the big brown van wasn’t in its usual left sided position but rather was parked on the right. Oh well – some things are just not worth worrying about so I did what I usually did, hurried to get in and get gone. The sooner I got there, the sooner I’d be done and back again.
Now this is the tricky part. I basically got in, turned the key over, looked over my shoulder (I guess to make sure no stray animals or kids were standing in back of me), and backed out. Simple, right? Unfortunately, not so much!
What I heard was a very loud SCRAPING sound, followed by yet another scraping sound (this time on the GROUND somehow), a really loud and somehow frightening CREAKING sound – and still I drifted backward. I think I was too stunned to put my foot on the brake to tell the truth!
I looked to my right to see the extra large side view mirror on the right side snapped off and dangling by threads. I also happened to notice in that moment that the bracing pole for the carport somehow did not quite look straight – was that an optical illusion? In the time it takes to think or shout “oh sh**t”, I quickly realized that I had somehow not cleared the pole of the carport? (Really – do ya THINK Sherlock?)
Again, in the time it takes to do a finger snap, the right tire (I might add HUGE tire) of the van rolled over the brace that I had now divested of the supporting carport pole – and you guessed it…..the brace went right through the blasted tire and slashed that puppy with a gash that would have made Jack the Ripper proud!
In less time than it takes to whistle Dixie, I’m sitting in my grownup work clothes in a van that is now SERIOUSLY listing to the right. To say that the tire is now flat is an understatement. I think I was resting on the rim of the tire at this point. Turning off the engine and setting the brake (I after all had done enough damage already, eh?), I jumped out of the van and ran behind it to survey the damage.
Oh My God!!! You have to be kidding me!! The mirror is absolutely hanging by threads on the right side of the vehicle. The tire is flatter than a souffle with the air out of it and much to my further horror, the carport is listing seriously and looks like it might fall down on my head AND the van any second. “How did this happen?” I mentally scream to myself! Now what?
Well, nothing to be gained by standing around watching the roof fall on my head, so I gingerly got in and moved the car backwards free of the potential hazard there…..just in case. I didn’t want to add insult to injury and get the van totally squashed in the process after all! I may have felt the earth move but I realized that the carport moving would be an even bigger threat….probably to my well being if not the van’s.
Next thing I did was vault up the stairs and back into the house, grab the phone and dial Bob at the VA Hospital. What else is a damsel in distress to do but call her man? “Oh hi, Bob…hey, I hate to bother you but there’s a tiny little problem with the van.”
If silence could kill, I would have been dead right there. Then if a steely voice could kill, double dead. “Audrey…SWEETheart, what do you MEAN there’s a little problem with the van?” I can almost visualize his neck veins and his forehead veins twitching and I know for a fact that he didn’t mean the sweetheart thing either….I’m not STUPID. And I know for a fact from living with him all these years that he’s speaking to me through gritted teeth! What are the office people going to think???
“Well, Bob, you know how the van is usually always on the left side? Well, funny thing about that – it wasn’t there – it was on the RIGHT side but that’s all cool. Nobody’s fault of course.” Taking a deep breath, I just forged ahead….”So, I got dressed – you know – to go to work (I can hear him mentally shouting STOP STALLING) and I went out and jumped in the van.”
“I swear to all that’s holy that all I did was turn the key over, drop it into gear, and back up. That’s when the trouble started!!!” By this time, I’m crying – not out of fear but probably just out of remorse because I do realize I have SO not made his day!
“What happened THEN, Audrey?” he snarls in my ear….oh he is REALLY trying to get me to talk about this, right? Couldn’t he be more supportive???
I continued to cry and by this time was probably very incoherent but I believe I got out something to the effect that I had just backed up, minding my own business, but had somehow caught the blasted big mirror on the carport pole (why did it have to be such a big mirror anyway??)….and then, somehow, that had an effect on the pole, and before I knew it, it had moved the pole backwards….unfortunately off the brace that came out of the cement…..and now we have a flat tire!
“What do you mean WE have a flat tire, Audrey?”
“Well, you know Bob, the kind that happens when it gets like….slashed?” And then in a rush….”And the carport might be moved – just a little bit, Bob – not much…you can hardly tell except for the slant thing going on?”
More sobbing…….total silence. I’m wondering if he’s thinking about hanging up and dialing a divorce lawyer about now but my Bob is not my white knight for nothing folks. He’s strong and he’s true. He’s also probably pretty used to the disasters that befall me so he calmly says “Okay – stay where you are (like I’m SO going anywhere?)…..I’ll let them know you’ve had yet another disaster and I’ll be right there.”
Sigh….they just don’t make white knights like that anymore.
What Will The Neighbors Think?
So I wait for Bob to drive the 30 minutes from Tacoma to our house – which surprisingly only took him about 20-25 as I recall. He pulls up in the driveway and jumps out of the car and surveys the front of our house. I had just run back out and down the stairs when I saw him standing in the middle of the driveway in his 3-piece blue suit, looking every bit the handsome fiscal accountant that he was but pulling at his hair and red in the face.
“What the hell did you do, Audrey? Jump in and gun it?”
Okay – now that doesn’t sound like white knight talk to me!! That just totally ticked me off – what did he think I was, some kind of boob who just fell off the vehicle truck? I’m not one to take being yelled at anyhow but when I’m stressed out already from my ‘ordeal’, he picked the wrong driver to yell at, I’ll tell you that much!
“You bet, Bob – I didn’t have anything to do today like WORK or anything, so I just basically got in, dropped that sucker into gear and FLOORED it! I kinda wanted to see if I could go from 0 to 60 in 2 seconds. Just look at what I accomplished, too! I not only got myself late for work, but I also got myself a brand new tire – and moved the carport to boot! Didn’t you say you wanted it out further? I could have sworn you did – I was just trying to be helpful.”
About this time, I of course sense the presence of other people…..super! All the neighbors are congregated yet again in our driveway (I might add with refreshments of varying kinds) and they are watching the show. Bob is pacing around the car and muttering all kinds of various swear words under his breath.
Then he’s glancing up at the carport (I was going to tell him to stay out from under it but I figured I was in enough trouble as it was so kept my peace on that subject). Then he’s surveying the mirror dangling on the side of the van. He picks that up and lets it go with a CLANG against the van – how can THAT be a good idea?
Finally, in exasperation personified, he turns to face the crowd of neighbors and wails pitifully to them, his arms outstretched “Why me? Do you see the kinda stuff she does? Why me?”
Of course, he’s playing to the folks that already know me. They chuckle and wag their heads as if they are agreeing with him, poor soul that he is. At least they don’t start giving advice on how quickly he can get out of being married to me! Further infuriated that now he has to try and remedy this situation, he gets the jack out of the van and jacks it up so he can get the tire off. I was going to try and talk him out of his suit but decided I should just stand by and wait for further direction.
On getting the shredded tire off the van, he opens the trunk of the Chevy Monza and attempts to get the tire into the trunk. Oh yeah – forgot about that one…..it’s so small it barely will hold 1 suitcase let alone a gigantic van tire. He throws it in for good measure – really Bob – how is this helping??? It would have served him right if it had bounced out and hit him…or me!
Further pushed to the limit, he yanks the tire out, opens the back door of the Chevy Monza and THROWS the tire into the back seat. Then he leaps into the front seat and roars off out of the driveway leaving me standing there. Hmmpfh…..I guess I’d better go call work and tell them I’ll be in as soon as I can catch a ride!! And I waved goodbye to the neighbors once again….”thanks so much for coming to the show….hope ya’ll enjoyed it!”
The carport was salvaged. As was the van tire. He was able to get it repaired or bought a new one – I never asked. I figured it might be a sore subject so just let it go!!
The mirror was also obviously replaced. We did have to have someone come over with a giant jack the next day and boost the carport up and then move the pole back onto the brace but all’s well that ends well I always say! I got to work okay and Bob did eventually forgive me.
This story circulated around the neighborhood for quite some time and I became known to all as the Lucille Ball of cars because of my constant (or so it seemed) mishaps with vehicles. Lucky for everyone, I can always take a joke and I did not become offended…..much. Especially since it also became a favorite family and friends joke when we got together. Too bad we didn’t have a video.
I’ll bet you think that was my last funny story about a car but unfortunately, there you would be wrong. I had yet another episode that happened to me again with the Chevy Monza. (I like to spread the wealth around when I’m screwing up with cars)
On this occasion, I had my escapade at the hospital where I worked and on realizing that I needed my good old white knight yet again, I trotted into the hospital in my high heels whereupon I dialed up my hero.
“Guess what, Bob…..I had a problem with the car”…….to which I heard in very clear tones…..”I don’t know who this is and I don’t care. There’s no one here by the name of Bob and I suggest that if you have a problem with your car, lady, that you call the nearest tow truck and have them help you…..have a nice day……goodbye.”
Well, of all the blasted nerve! Another day, I’ll tell that story and who ended up saving me from that little escapade – no thanks to my white knight!
In all truth, I can’t say that I blame him. I think even a white knight can get worn out trying to rescue a maiden from one too many funny stories about a car – especially when they involve feeling the earth move!
Luckily I’m Not On Here!!
I Feel The Earth Move (Or Was That the Carport?)
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