I had a series of rather unfortunate events befall me on Wednesday. First cat out of the bag, The Pony took an early shower (by early, I mean 10:00 a.m.), because he was headed to town to have lunch with a friend. That put my shower off until later, when the water had time to warm up from his 30-minute soak.
By the time I was leaving our gravel road, The Pony was returning. I garnered some information, that being the level of the creek at the main low water bridge was low enough that I could take the quickest route to town. We'd had heavy rains overnight that brought the creeks up quickly.
Of course the approaching dark skies opened up as soon as I got to the prison, nearly blinding me in the deluge. But a half mile farther on, near Hick's Storage Unit Store, the roads were dry, and the precipitation a sprinkle.
"Oh. I'll just go mail these two bills first, and come back for my scratchers and 44 oz Diet Coke. The rain will have stopped by then."
No. It hadn't. The rain was sluicing down like Niagara Falls. I was soaked by the time I got inside the Gas Station Chicken Store. I was wetter than when I stepped out of my after-noon morning shower. I couldn't carry an umbrella in because I needed my hands for magical elixir, scratchers, and key-ring unlocker-clicker. Of course, once I got buckled in, with my magical elixir stowed away in the cup holder, the rain had dwindled to an occasional droplet.
Drenched, I headed back home, almost hit head-on by a white pickup with flashing white lights as I turned onto our blacktop county road. Then the same truck ran up on T-Hoe's bumper about a mile later, so I pulled over to let him around.
Well. At my turn onto the gravel road at mailbox row, I was STOPPED by an adult kid waving his arms. The white pickup with the flashing lights had just gotten there. Three men were climbing into their own pickup, in front of the mailboxes, to drive away.
I turned down the radio (Backfield in Motion, by Mel and Tim, on the '60s station) and put down my window to talk to the 20-something kid in orange shirt and khaki shorts.
"What's going on?"
"My car is on fire!"
Indeed. I glanced up the gravel road, and saw a small white Chevy sedan sending up plumes of gray smoke from all the cracks around the hood. As I looked, small flames licked out.
"Oh my gosh!"
"I know! I was just driving along, and it started to smoke. So I got out."
"Well, I live up in there! How am I going to get home?"
"I don't know!"
"Are you sure I can't go by it? Look. I can fit through there. It will only take a minute."
"Oh, no. You shouldn't take a chance like that."
"I guess I can go out around and come in the other entrance. But the creeks out there are probably overflowing. LOOK! There's another guy trying to come out."
With that, the kid ran back towards his flaming car, intent on going around it to tell the driver of a white minivan that he couldn't come out this way. Sheesh! I could have given him a ride over there! It seemed pretty dangerous to run by a flaming car without the protection of T-Hoe around him!
Anyhoo... I drove past the white pickup with the flashing lights, parked on our low water bridge. He hadn't done anything remotely helpful. Didn't direct traffic or inspect the flaming car. I suppose you get what you pay for with volunteer firemen.
I drove on, took the other route that consisted of 4 miles of blacktop out of my way, and two more miles on gravel, past the Crazy Stick-Road Man's property, to get home.
At least the creeks had receded. Plus I had a story to tell! Too bad the downpour didn't come when the car was on fire. Then again, that kid would have gotten drenched worse than I did.