Thursday, May 28, 2020

When It Rains, It Pours, But When It Flames, It Stops

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.


  1. Replies
    1. With my luck that day, the darn flaming car would have blown up at the exact second I pulled alongside it!

  2. Is life ever easy? What did you get on your Scratcher?

    1. That's the good news! I won $15 on a $5 ticket. Which made life a little easier.

  3. I know of at least one person who had a worse day than you did.

    1. Everything is not all about HIM! He will need to start his own blog, and keep a fire extinguisher handy by his laptop.

  4. Haven't you heard? You're supposed to Stay At Home!

    1. Haven't YOU heard? We're partying it up here in Missouri! I guess my invitation to that pool party got lost in my terrible mail delivery system...

  5. I think the kid would appreciate a drenching if it meant his car didn't burn fiercer and maybe blow up altogether from the heated gas tank.

    1. It didn't blow up, because Hick saw it, charred, sitting on the side of the gravel road. I guess the fire department got there. Hick and The Pony both said they'd heard sirens. That's a mile from our house. I must have been on my detour, because I didn't hear sirens.

      It was gone the next day, just a charred patch on the gravel. There's an auto body shop just up the road, but Hick agreed that THIS car wasn't getting fixed.

  6. Wow! That was some excitement out in backwoods. You always are int he center of action. Or action finds you.

    1. Of all the places, and all the cars that could have burst into flames, it had to be right there when I wanted to drive home!