Last night in the pitch dark, in the cold, alongside the road, Buff, crouched down on his knees, repeatedly flicking a Bic lighter and fiddled with a disconnected parking brake release. I was glad he likes drinking vile Algae Smoothies. They seem to be aiding his eyesight.
Buff wanted to go work out in Town and I wanted to buy some Stanfields, so off we went. We traveled just a few miles when I noticed the van seemed somewhat draggy. It has been some time since I have driven this particular vehicle and I couldn't remember just what is and what is not normal for it. I noticed the brake light on and me being a complete technological ditz and unsure, pulled over, pushed the emergency brake hoping it would re-release and the light would go off and said, "I think there is something wrong with the brakes." Buff being a technologically savvy teenager replied, "I told you, you should have let me drive...I know about these things."
But lo and behold, the emergency brake would not release even after we both tried our feet at kicking it. Observing the lower half of the dashboard still hanging since the summer, with colourful wires, the sort little girls like to twist into bracelets and other gee-gaw stuff, I wondered aloud, "Isn't there supposed to be some sort of brake release on here?" I began to hum when Buff, to my amazement, spoke some bad words in a foreign language, about the...i-dee-O...who disconnected the brake release and left it that way. All this was much to my surprise...the part about the foreign language...since I never much included any foreign language other than biblical Greek in our home school curriculum. He must have picked it up at wicked public High School.
While Buff fiddled, grunting under his breathe, flicking the Bic, I thought, "too bad it isn't daylight since I could wave traffic by" and heeded something my mother told me a very, very long time ago, "Never bother a man under a car on the side of the road." I would talk to Buff later about the foreign language.
About this time, I became a very bad Mother abandoning Buff and the van to begin the two mile walk back home thinking about the Stanfields awaaaay down the road in Town, wishing I was wearing some at that very moment, and about what GG would say when he came home from work to another Tow Tales episode. And just as I was beginning to think of ways to squirm out of this one, I heard Buff hollering he had gotten the parking brake release connected. Buff met me walking, halfway up the road and offered me his gloves. And off we went again. We both apologized and started giggling how life can get so stupid when all we want is a warm pair of long johns and an evening pumping iron.
I thought how if this had happened with Speedy, I would be in the passenger seat and we would be speeding toward Town at break neck speed, "Just LEAVE STUFF ALONE LIKE CARS AND COMPUTERS, OKAY MOM, MOM?!?" And if it were Violinist, I would still be in the passenger seat but Violinist would be giggling over some stupid thing somebody else he knows had done, and laughing "Holy Moly! Mom...how old are you?" He would then become distracted, "Turn the radio up, turn the radio...that's Beethoven's..." something or other, and would buy us each a hot chocolate when finally in Town. And if it were Fun, I would be in the driver's seat and it would be fun because Fun does that. Fun would shrug, make some very, very good dirt-bike sounds, ask if I'd heard the one about a woman and her teenage son stranded on the side of the road, laugh, offer a Hershey Kiss and fire up his Hell-pod. Hell-pod? Another time.
Brake light still on, van still draggy, we got to Town. Buff worked out. Decadent Housewife bought some illustrious long johns, responsible for keeping Canada warm since 1856...a new pair. And it just occurred to me, what the heck does Buff have a Bic lighter in his pocket for? So I asked him when he arrived home from school today, reporting he found a bomb threat in the washroom this afternoon and on that account, might have tomorrow off. "Oh, the lighter?...for stupid stuff like what happened last night. I should probably carry a jack-knife too. By the way, I'm going to Town to work out...with Derek. You need anything?"