Sunday, February 20, 2011

Rambler Rumblings

Riddle me this:  If you are trapped in a room with no windows or doors and all you have is a mirror, how do you get out?

Solution: You look in the mirror to see what you saw. You take the saw and cut the mirror in half.  Two halves make a whole.  You climb through the hole and you're out.

Do you remember that oldie?  It is said that sooner or later, everything old becomes new again.  Can hardly wait until I become old enough to be new again.  I may have said that before.  History repeats itself.  Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.  The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and  expect different results.  So why do I play the same numbers over and over again trying to win the lottery?  In an eternity the improbable becomes the inevitable.

I'm just chock full of quotes this morning.  Betcha never thought of me as a "chock" type of person, let alone to have my chock full.  Mostly I'm accused of going off half chocked.  You can chock that up to good misfortune.  But, on the other hand, I do enjoy a good chock-let bar. As luck would have it, I have run out of chock puns.

I continue to babble on with my rambling. Or is that ramble on with my babbling?  My father use to own a Rambler. (Finally, I have hit upon a reminder to a story from my past...)

My father use to smoke.  The reason he quit smoking is because he died.  I quit smoking because I don't want to die.  Back in the days when he was still alive and I had not yet taken up bombarding my lungs with nicotine, Dad owned a Rambler, one of the finer examples spewed out by Detroit automobile manufacturers.  On one summer day, after a morning's worth of hard play, as I came home to eat lunch, I saw the windows in father's car all steamed up.   It was an odd sight.  I know winter can cause windows to frost, but why would there be frost on the windows in summer?  I touched the window expecting to feel cold glass.  The glass was hot.  I opened the door and smoke came billowing out.  I ran in the house doing a Chicken Little impersonation. Instead of yelling "the sky is falling," I was shouting "The car is burning! The car is burning!"

My father, who generally moved like a glacier, shot to his feet and was outside in a flash.  This was amazing to me.  Not only did I have the excitement of announcing our flaming family vehicle, I got a front row seat for father's record breaking foot race.  Jesse Owens beware, my father can put you to shame.

The house we lived in had two outside water faucets.  One towards the back of the house on the side sporting the driveway with the parked family car.  The other on the opposite side of the house towards the front.  We only had one hose.  As the day of the Roasting Rambler would have it, the hose was connected to the far side's faucet.  Dad turned on the spigot, grabbed the hose and ran towards the fiery ride.  He would only make it 75% of the way before the hose drew tight and Dad would do his acrobatic clown impression.  His legs and torso stretched out horizontally three feet off the ground, his right hand pulled up under his armpit holding tight the hose dousing his shirt and head, his left arm lifting skyward doing a frantic wave to God for assistance, and his face contained the most surprised expression I had ever witness on him, the kind of expression a man might have on the gallows when the floor suddenly vanishes.

Dad flopped down on his back, continuously wetting himself with the hose.  He jumped back to his feet and tried to do a tug of war with the hose.  The hose was stretched to its limit, yet my father was insistent to elongate it further.  He only needed forty-five feet, why wouldn't the thirty foot hose relent?

Meanwhile, while my father demanded the garden hose to lengthen itself by fifty percent, my mother had brought out a potful of water, examined the interior of the car, and had thrown water on the back seat blaze extinguishing the fire.  There was a burn hole in the back seat about eight inches in diameter.  This is what happened.  My father had returned to the house a few minutes before I.  As he was driving down our street, he threw a cigarette butt out the driver side window.  The cigarette butt did not want the eviction so it jumped into a wind stream and returned through the same window and nestled in the back seat of the Rambler.  My father was not aware of the butt's re-entry, he assumed the butt had taken up residence with all the other cigarette butts, in the gutters waiting for rain to wash them into the sewer system.  When he parked in the driveway, he rolled up the window before exiting the car.  The butt smoldered on the cloth material of the rear seat.  I opened the car door igniting the small sparks of the butt and cloth into flame.  The flame barely got going before my mother put an end to it.

There was hardly any burn damage, but boy did that car stink. A throw pillow was wedged into the burn hole for aesthetics, but the smoke left an incurable odor and from then on we had to drive with the windows down.  That was a rough winter.  Dad finally replaced the Rambler with a new family car, a Chevrolet Corvair.


  1. Great post! Today's my birthday! 20th that is. =)

  2. my hompage! (: