Per a challenge seeded by meno and whelped by me on yesterday's radio show, which I have to say was more along the lines of a bunch of friends sitting around a table talking than a radio show, so treat yourself to Nancy and meno and of course Stucco and Vulgar Wizard when you get the chance.
The challenge? Write a post using the word "prong" as often as possible.
There will always be times when Life prongs you right in the tender spot. Yesterday was inclined that way.
I cut grass at the office where I work for a little extra survival cash. The usual procedure for getting ready to cut grass is to get my truck (now pushing 39 years old) fired up, pick up my brother’s trailer, come back to the house and load up the lawnmower and bring the entire works up to the office, cut grass then repeat in reverse order.
Now, being 39 years old my truck isn’t in the most mechanically perfect condition. There are a few bumps (no A/C, and the fuel gauge is a little iffy,) and a few rough spots (there’s a new hole in the wooden bed slats) and the inspection sticker has been broken for almost three years now. Yah, I don’t drive her other than to cut grass or when it rains. I’ve been very lucky.
Yesterday my luck ran out and Life decided to prong me. Repeated, as if the point needed to really be driven home.
After hooking up the trailer and making sure the lawn tractor was secure I headed toward the office. Noted the fuel gauge was resting on E which isn’t a full guarantee of fuel quantity. I think I made it a hundred and fifty yards from the house before she started sputtering. I had just enough fumes to get her off the narrow lane before she gave up the ghost entire.
Called Mrs. I to ask for a gas can and a siphon hose. In the midst of siphoning two gallons of the precious petrol out of the lawn tractor to put in the truck to get me to the nearest station the neighbors in whose front yard I had parked drove up in their Kawasaki Mule (yeah, they can afford gas so easily they DRIVE around their half acre yard) to ask if everything was okay. I spit enough Regular out of my mouth to reply that I was in fact fine, thankyouverymuch, and was simply enduring the gas crunch as best I could. They drove off with more-fuel-than-thou smiles.
Got back on the road and headed directly toward the nearest place to leave the remainder of my dwindling cash supplies. About halfway there what should materialize behind me at HIGH speed but a Sheriff’s Deputy. Pronged again, I was certain. NO cop ever drives up on you at high speed unless they have something foul in mind. (Did I mention that my speedometer is off by a fairly wide margin? And that I don’t have power brakes in the truck so some of my stops, especially when loaded tend to be more mobile than others?)
Needless to say I drove very innocently. Signaled my turn. Drove even slower than usual. The cop followed. Closely. Nearing the station the deputy swerved out around me, accelerated hard and got BACK in front of me, behind a van who then promptly executed a turn to the right from the far left lane. Cop didn’t bat an eye but turned into the gas station entrance, the same station I was headed to. Did I mention I was driving barefoot, also a traffic offense?
So, being the wise and wonderful driver I am, I pulled into a pump as far away as I could manage and started filling the tank. I was trying to position the truck and as many of the pumps between me and the deputy when a State Trooper pulled in and bleated his horn. I nearly leapt out of my skin, thought for sure the jig was up and I was about to be pronged but good.
That’s when the Universe really put the screws to me. The deputy? Red-headed. Short. Built, obviously so even under her bullet-proof vest. Pale skin. Face it, a long-haired redhead in a dark green uniform carrying a Glock .45 on a leather belt the width of my palm? Heaven on the hoof. So, being me, I walked over and asked her if she’d handcuff me, bring me to a quiet place out in the woods and rough up my suspect.
My lawyer says I’d probably have been shot on sight if she hadn’t been laughing so hard at me that she broke three ribs.