Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tow Tales - Part Three

"Stay here with the van while I go and call a tow," he says. Really?
"Why do I have to stay with the van?"
"So you can wave on traffic from behind."
"Won't they just go around?"
"You need to wave the traffic by, they might hit the van."
"And what happens to me when they hit the van?"
"Nobody's going to hit the van with you standing there."

I watched GG disappear up the road. Who knows. I'd already dodged a flying chain and steel cable. I stood there and thought, "It's a good thing I brought Katherine Hepburn's autobiography. I can stand here and read while watching for traffic...out here...in the back forty." And then I thought, "It's a better thing I'm upwind of the pig farm."

A few people drove by. One nice man stopped. His car looked new. Cell phone to cheek, apparently ready to call for help, I suppose to show too, he was not some deranged maniac ready to take advantage of stranded Decadent Housewife on a country road, in the middle of the day. He didn't seem to be talking to anyone but me. A cute blue car came next...impatient looking teenage boy though. Your day is coming. Then a plumpish couple on a road bike. And a nice burgundy GM truck pulling a white fertilizer hopper wagon. And then our neighbour, Peggy, came through...likely on her way to work.

Some I waved. Most figured it out by themselves. I waved to Peggy. But not because I thought she was in danger of hitting the van. And then I noticed how deep the ditch was. I counted down maybe fifteen feet and was glad I'd pulled the emergency brake. So I waited. And waited. And noticed a farm wagon with a lot of dust flying up around it, turn in down the road east. I could see transports further down on the main highway flick by the intersection. It was dry but not real hot and I thought about what I could be doing at home right now,
if GG had called a tow in the first place or if I hadn't pulled the emergency. I noticed a soft line of cedars to the left and just past the big butt ditch. Had the cable held, I may have missed the ditch entirely and only just whip lashed into the soft cedars. Of course, I would have taken out the metal sign nailed to a 2 x 4 announcing to the cows that the cedars were a community pride project.

The last time I whip lashed anything, I was seventeen and flooring a puke green, Ford pickup truck across wheat stubble. (I suppose the colour had to do with the avocado thing back then.) It didn't help that the seat was covered in cowhide, hairside out and I was wearing shorts. It was very daring and freeing to careen the truck any old which-way across an open field and I suppose equals boys or their fathers, spinning doughnuts in fresh snow in parking lots. Usually you had to follow the headland or windrows driving in neat little intersecting lines because crop was still in the field. How dull. How mathematical.

I tossed Katherine back through the open window onto the front passenger seat and leaned against the door facing east. She had bigger problems than me. She was putting out fires while stark naked in a room full of men. Things, could be worse. (...to be continued...)

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