Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Driving Around In My Automobile...

He was a Firefighter; tall, broad shouldered, and handsome.  She giggled when he asked if she would go out with him and responded, "I'd love to." 

Friday night finally came.  It was a non-traditional date in that they were going to help out with a firefighter training exercise.  She fantasized all week about her simulated rescue by the man of her dreams sweeping her off her feet and carrying her to safety.  He parked the car and they walked hand-in-hand up the hill to the closed off street where the training would take place.  The night was dark and cool, with a few stars twinkling while the moon playfully peeped in and out of clouds.

As they reached the top of the hill she was blinded by the flashing lights of the rescue trucks ready and waiting for simulated disaster.  Before she could say anything a woman in fire gear quickly approached them and grabbed her hand.  "Oh good!" she shouted over the wail of the sirens, "another victim!  Come with me."  Unable to protest she was whisked away in a flash and pushed into the front passenger seat of a car that was precariously perched on a slippery embankment in simulated peril.  The car door was slammed shut with the sleeve of her sweater caught in it. 

"Hi!"  A deep voice boomed from the driver's seat.  "I'm Biff.  Ever been to one of these?"  She looked over at him feeling a bit panicked about being stolen away from her date and having her arm trapped in a semi-tipped over rust bucket that smelled of beer and stale cigarettes.  She shook her head 'No' and went back to trying to retrieve her sleeve.

"I wouldn't do that if I were you!"  Biff reached across her and with a meaty hand grabbed her arm as she reached for the car door.  "At this angle, you'll fall right out if you pull that lever!"  He was right.  She was already pressed against the door because of the angle of the embankment.  If she opened the door to free her sweater she wouldn't have time to get her feet under her before toppling out into the mud and leaves.  She gave a deep sigh and pulled her arm out of the sleeve so that she could sit more comfortably with her back to the door.

For the first time she looked around at the car and her driving companion.  The back seat was littered with a variety of crunched up beer and soda cans along with several fast food bags and stray french fries.  Biff was a young, heavy-set man with a round face and thick blond hair that sat on his head like a wadded up rag.  "Drunk driving," he said with a broad grin.  She was repulsed, not only by the smelly dump of a car, but also because of Biff's exuberance in giving a convincing performance of a drunk driver.  Apparently he was a method actor and had snuck in a couple of full cans of beer that he began to crack open and guzzle down for authenticity.  "You want some?" he asked.  As he cracked open the third can of cheap hooch it sprayed all over the car.  The sticky liquid ran down the ceiling and the seat and, because she was sitting downhill from him, rained down on her.

Chuck Berry
"No!" she barked back in disgust, crossed her arms and stared irritated out the cracked windshield.  "At least I'll be rescued soon.  Then we can go out to dinner or something," she thought to herself.  But that was not in the cards.  Biff began to sing Chuck Berry's "No Particular Place To Go."  Not only was Biff unable to sing a single note in tune, he also didn't know many of the words to the song other than, "Drrrrrivn' around in my automobile..." which he proceeded to sing repeatedly.  After about forty five minutes, he decided to make up his own words to the classic song, which ruined it for her forever.  She would never again be able to hear a Chuck Berry song without using great restraint to keep from punching someone in the face.

She sat in the car seething, wondering what was taking her date so long to rescue her and take her away from this irritating man.  If it had been a real accident they would have been dead by now.  If they didn't come soon, one of them was going to be.  Just then, a bright spotlight shone through the dirty window.  She shielded her eyes from the blinding light and smiled at the thought of her hero coming to her rescue... finally. 

The door slowly opened and, not her hero, but a strange man dressed in full fire rescue gear slapped a neck brace on her and slid her out onto a body board.  She tried to look around for her date but was strapped down to the board while the young first responders-in-training shouted, "Don't move, Ma'am!  You could have a broken neck!" 

"Oh, yes," she muttered mostly to herself, "the simulation."  The flashing lights from the nearby trucks against the dark and wooded night began to give her a headache.  Suddenly, flames shot up from the engine of the wreck they had just dragged her out of.  She was set down in a ditch still strapped to the body board while the responders grabbed a hose off the fire truck to put out the fire. 

The water from the hose ran down the muddy embankment and began to collect in the ditch below. She felt the freezing water first smack the top of her head then run down her back. She tried to move, but apparently the first-responders-in-training were quite skilled at lashing people to body boards, but not as skilled at keeping track of their patients. The water came faster and faster and soon there was a small river forming. The board began to slide. She began to rock back and forth to try and free herself, but she soon started to drift down the gravel road. She tried to yell for help, but the ill-fitting neck brace prevented her from screaming loud enough for anyone to hear.

She shot down the hill at top speeds like she was a contender for Olympic Gold in the luge, bounding over bumps and narrowly missing potholes until she reached the curve at the bottom of the hill and rocketed over the curb smashing into a tree.

She lay there, still, at the bottom of the hill in a puddle of mucky mud and moss, the splintered remains of the body board still lashed to her wrists. She looked up through the dark trees at the night sky, suddenly thankful for the neck brace, and breathed a sigh that she could no longer hear Biff singing.

Sadly, this would not be the worst date she would ever go on.

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