Clouds were gathering on the horizon. The distant rumbling, flashes of lightning, and the blackness told me it would probably be a humdinger, and I could not find my goulashes or my bumbershoot. I searched high and low and finally decided on a pair of old sneakers and a worn out slicker I should have thrown out ages ago.
I park my old VW on top of an incline leading down to the road. It’s the only way I can get it started. I was on my way when I felt a tug to the left. My front tire went. Fortunately, I had a spare that actually held air pressure. I stopped, pulled on the brake, left the engine running, opened the hood and pulled out the jack.
I could smell the gully washer coming my way as I jacked up the front end of the car. I pulled out the spare. As I got down on my knees it started. It was a dirt road so you can imagine what was going to happen very quickly.
I got the blown tire off when the car slipped off of the jack. “Fuck.”
Just then a pickup drove up and stopped, “How’s it goin’, cowboy?”
“How the fuck does it look?”
He turned off his engine and got out of his truck, “I ought to kick your ass for talking to me like that.”
“Are you man enough?” I was wet and pissed.
“Yeah, I’m man enough.” He walked over to the front end of my car, grabbed the bumper and lifted the car. “Get your jack, jackass.” The thunder and lightning silhouetted this good samaritan.
I moved so fast it surprised me. He set the frame down gently on the jack. Then he pushed me out of the way, put the spare in place and secured it. He released the jack and handed it to me, “Do you know where you can put this?” followed by a crack of thunder.
I said nothing and watched him get back in his truck, soaking wet, and drive away.
I threw the jack and spare into the trunk, slammed the lid and drove to town. I headed for Clyde’s auto repair to drop off the spare. I’d leave the VW there and get a jump when the tire was ready. The storm had passed by the time I arrived.
I walked into the garage carrying the spare.
I turned around — it was him. “What are you doing here?”
“Oh, I need…”
“…yeah, I know what you need.” He smiled and took the spare from my hands. He gave it to one of his workers and walked back, “It’ll be ready in an hour.”
“Thanks. I’ll need a jump.”
“No problem. I’ll be happy to jump you.”
I turned to leave.
I turned around.
“Got time for a cup of coffee?” he grinned.
“Yeah. Are you buying?” I grinned back at him.
He laughed, “Yeah, I’m buying. Follow me.”
It’s funny the things that can happen during stormy weather.