.....What if he didn’t show up. What if he couldn’t fix the car. What if he turned out to be a homicidal maniac who intended to eat us for dinner. The dogs were quiet. They knew this was serious......
Finally, through the darkness, we saw lights coming down from the road. A rickety, rackety pick-up truck pulled up beside us and a wizened little walnut of a man climbed out. The Songwriter began to explain our situation and received not a word in reply. The car hood was opened and the walnut man disappeared inside. Quite a lot of noise began to flow from within the recesses of the car, rattles and thumps punctuated by the occasional unintelligible swear. Finally the strange little fellow crawled out holding up something attached to a wire that, at least to my eyes, looked fairly important, and drawled, “Well. You were gonna lose this anyway”.
Suffice it to say, the car could not be repaired. At least not this night, and at least not by this man. So. Here we were, over two hours from home, with two hungry dogs, in the middle of nowhere. And did I mention, it was our wedding anniversary?
It was apparent that this mechanical wizard intended to trot up the hill to home without another thought directed our way, so the Songwriter hurriedly asked him if he knew of someone who could perhaps tow us back to the city. He did, and we called he gentleman immediately, who promised to come pick us up as soon as he finished his dinner. About thirty long, worrisome minutes later, a behemoth of a truck could be heard thundering down the drive and we four looked out through our steamed -up windows to see the largest form of transport we could possibly imagine. As I stared at this thing, it dawned on me that, although it was indeed designed to haul large vehicles to their destinations with no small amount of fanfare, the actual room for people was fairly standard and, frankly, fairly small. Needless to say, it would never accommodate three adults and two large furry dogs. Naturally the driver assumed that the dogs would remain in the car - high up in the air, chained and bolted to the truck, for two plus hours, down a superhighway, in the cold, in the dark, alone.
Shall I give you just a few seconds to imagine what I said to that?
I calmly folded my arms.
Outside my closed car window, there commenced a lot of talk back and forth about what was allowed and what was not. Something, I think, was said about what was safe and what was not. I know I heard the words, “risk”, and “illegal”, maybe even the phrase, “bodily harm”. I’m certain The Songwriter said a few choice words about stubbornness being an inherited trait, and something along the lines of “its useless, I’m telling you”. But all these trivial words and phrases simply drifted past my ears like summer breeze off a lily pond. There was absolutely no way I was going to leave Edward and Apple to be hoisted up to the heavens in a tow truck and hauled through the cold night, for two hours, by themselves.
So. Yes, you are right. I stayed with them in the car, letting out feeble little yelps of terror as it was lifted up in the air, higher than I dreamed possible. Those yelps became unmentionable words, shrilly shouted, as I was roughly bounced back down the rutted drive, past the now slightly alarmed bloodhounds, back out on the main road, enroute to the highway. I squealed like a girl with every jolt, till Edward calmly climbed into the front seat, placed his head on my knee and fell asleep. We were higher up than I ever dreamed it possible to be, so high I could look down on the tractor trailer trucks passing by. I was not having fun. But then, I thought... if I were eight years old, this would be the most fabulous experience I would have all year long. So, that’s what I decided to be. For two hours, I pretended I was eight, I pretended I was in a flying ship, I pretended I was on the back of a dragon, I pretended I was seated next to Mr. Toad, along for his infamous Wild Ride - I pretended I was comfortable, I pretended I was warm, I pretended that tonight was not, in fact, my wedding anniversary.
Now of course, as I am writing this two years later, it is obvious that we all returned home safely. The dogs had their dinners, and I had a hot bath and a not so wee dram.
And yes, it was an anniversary to remember.
But laugh about?
Well, maybe just a little.