Monday, September 26, 2005

Bad way to impress dad

I was pumping gas this evening at Turkey Hill (regular unleaded now only $2.73.9 ... still too high, but working its way down!). On the other side of the island I see a young woman, a girl, probably about 17 or so years old. She's carrying a small sledge hammer as she disappears under the front end of her car, a recent Toyota Celica.

Clang! Clang!, and she climbs out from under the car. It's raining, and has been for hours, and this is a gas station: no telling what has dripped on the pavement from all of the business this place has. She's wearing low-riders and top that has to show off her abs, and her long brown hair is now a darker shade on her back, from the rain, oil, and who-knows what. I'm watching this scene as I finish pumping and my receipt prints.

Dad appears, having gotten out of the pick-up that is behind her Celica. It's Caesar, a manager at the local supermarket, and he's obviously annoyed. Daughter climbs into the driver's seat and cranks it: clank, clank. I know the sound well, from my own cars.

"Nope, Daddy."

"Hit it again" he replies. Without a second thought, daughter grabs the hammer and is under the car again. Dad pops the hood and starts looking things over. I step up, catch his eye and we trade the all-too-important 'nod' of familiarity.

"It sounds like the starter," I say.

Clang! Clang! She's obviously done this before, although I am a little taken back by dad letting his daughter work under a car in the rain. I'm basically a chauvinistic pig at heart.

"I told her last week when it happened to have it checked. But I guess she's too busy." The sarcasm was unmistakable. That she knows what she's doing is undoubtedly because Caesar has taught her; that he's annoyed and making her climb under is probably because she didn't heed his advice. Or so I thought.

"Let me try it again, Daddy." Her back is now soaked, her hair a mess.

Clank, Clank. Nothing.

"Alright," Caesar says. "That's enough... you steer, I'll push it off to the side."

"Why don't we push it up to the front of the store" into a parking spot. "It's lighted, and its a better place to leave it."

"It's an incline, you think you can give me a hand?"

"I wouldn't have suggested it otherwise. Let's go!"

It's then I realized: there's someone else in the front seat!

Male. About the same age as the daughter. His foot up on the dashboard. He's been watching the whole time!!

Now I am stumped: the lass is climbing under the car, and the presumed boyfriend is sitting high and dry??

We get the car up to the spot. She gets out "Thank you so much!" she says so sweetly. Caesar shakes my hand and thanks me, and we walk back toward my car and his pick-up.

"So tell me: is that the boyfriend?"

"After tonight, he damned well better not be!"

Reminds me of one of Kathleen's immutable laws:

If your date/boyfriend/wife/whatever is not nice to your server, they are not a nice person.

I don't care if Junior there was totally inept in the ways of auto-mechanics. He can be shown how to swing a hammer, especially if it means his squeeze stays dry and clean. And even if he can't, he can at least stand outside of the car with her.

Damned fool.

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