The Adventure of the Broke-Down Bug

“Oh, wonderful, you’ve arrived just in time to help us with our little project. Here, take these pliers.” Mr. W- smiled as he handed me a rusty pair of linemans.
“Oh, I have? Well, what are we doing?” I put the pliers in my pocket.
“Heh, you’ll see.” His son, Richard, laughed.
He and his father got into the front of the old black Lincoln as I opened the back door and slid in. We drove a couple blocks along the tree lined avenues of their neighborhood until we came to a bright orange VW bug parked in front of a quaint brick house. The paint was peeling a bit and the springs had begun to push through the vinyl plaid seats, but other than that the car looked alright.
“So what are we doing?”
“Well, the car won’t start, and my mother thought it was out of gas, so she got more gas, but that didn’t help, and when we came back again, daddy saw that the accelerator cable had come undone from the gas pedal.”
“Oh. Hmm . . . well that ain’t good. So, what, are we waiting for a tow truck?”
“No, that’s why your showing up when you did was such great timing. Daddy figures that we can get it to the dealer with one of us shifting and driving and the other accelerating using the pliers to pull the cable.”
“Oh, you boys’ll be fine. I’ll be following behind in the Lincoln in case anything happens. The VW shop is only a couple of miles from here, so we should be alright, it’s not far.”
I looked in the car. The back of the passenger seat was missing and there was a gas can sitting on the floor. The keys were still hanging in the ignition. Richard got in the driver side his hand on the keys.
“Come on.”
I crawled in, propped myself up on my elbows down by the pedals, my feet set firmly against the back window. Tucked back a ways under the dash was a ripped cable stubbed up through the floor. I grabbed it with my pliers and gave it an exploratory tug.
“Are you ready/”
“Yeah, I’ve got a hold on it.”
“Okay, good. I’m going to start her up and then ease off a bit on the clutch, get ready to give it a little gas.”
“Got it.”
The car jumped violently forward and stalled out. “Not that much, little easier.”
“Okay, here we go again, a little gas.” We rolled out and started down the street together, a tall lanky fellow sitting behind the wheel grinning broadly beside a flailing pair of long skinny legs.
“Shifting.” I eased off on the cable.
“Gas.” I gave the cable a firm pull.
“Stop sign. Breaking.” I eased off and let the cable go slack.
“Well this isn’t so bad. We’re rolling right along.”
“Yeah, easy for you, you ain’t sitting upside with a gas can next to your head, I’m about to pass out down here.
“Well hang on, I’ll roll your window down some.” He reached across and jostled about a bit. He leaned back.
“Gas.” I pulled the cable. A cool breeze blew along my pants leg. The fumes remained.
“Shifting.” I eased off on the gas.
“Gas.” We jumped forward. All in all it wasn’t that bad as it went; there was plenty of room to spread out, what with the missing back on the seat. The seat springs sticking up in my gut were a bit of a discomfort but it was manageable and after a bit the draft dissipated the fumes a little. We drove along this way for a number of blocks without incident.
“You alright?”
“Alright. Well up ahead is a really big intersection with a fast light so when I say ‘Gas’ give it some gas. Breaking.” I eased off.
We sat for a minute, traffic rushing along outside, the fumes collecting once again next to my blood-rushed head.
“Gas.” I jerked the cable firmly and we shot out into the intersection and promptly jumped and stalled out.
“Gas? Dan? Give it some gas!”
“I’m trying, I lost the cable.” Horns started honking behind us. Richard looked about grinning nervously next to a pair of flailing legs, as I pushed further in under the dash trying to find the missing cable end.
“Hey! What the hell! It’s a green light! Move your damned car!” The honking grew in intensity and seemed to emanate from every directions.
“Dan… we gotta go…”
“Move your damned car!” I heard sirens in the distance drawing steadily nearer. The fumes were increasing.
“I got it!”
“Good! Gas!”
The tires spun out and squealed as we gunned out of the intersection, bumped across the gutter and shot down a side street.
“Shifting. Shifting. Shifting! Cut the gas! I gotta get out of first, we’re safe. Cut the gas!”
“Oh, good. Holy Sh-t! Are we almost there?”
“Alright, now give it some gas. Yeah, it’s just a couple blocks down this street. Stop sign. Break.” I eased off the cable.
“Gas.” A quick tug.
“Shifting. Gas.”
“I swear, I am never going along with anything like this ever again, gonna go and get us killed and we could have just gotta a tow truck, and how much harder would that have been?! Really?! I can’t believe we jus…
“Break. We’re there.”
“Good! Good riddance!” I staggered out of the car completely discombobulated.
Mr. W- got out of the Lincoln. “Well, that worked out quite well, didn’t it?”


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