Sunday, January 09, 2011

One of Us



Last week the car rental people told us the garage next to them would, for a price, look at any car we were considering and tell us if it had any problems.

I picked up a car we were considering and carried it to the garage I mentioned. The owner, a young man, jumped right on it.

I went to the waiting room.

It was about lunch time and three men were eating their lunch. They were mechanics that worked there. At least two others were working. It appeared to be a good size operation.

One of the mechanics asked me what I was reading and he seemed to appreciate a good book.

Then a lady and a toddler came into the waiting room with a fast food sack. She shared what was in the sack with her little boy and one of the mechanics. Apparently, the mechanic and she were married.

The longer I sat there peeking over my book I saw that she also worked there, in the office as bookkeeper and cashier.

The little boy toddler crawled and climbed over everything with the mechanics helping him or guiding his attention to play with things or showing him pictures in the waiting room magazines. One time he looked like one wrong grip and he would topple off a chair onto his head. I held out my arms to serve as a safety net in case he did.

We talked about our wrecked car. They were all car enthusiasts. Which reminds me, on the wall was a poster of a black and white picture taken in the early 50s probably. A car hood was up and around the opened hood along the side fenders and front bumper at least six, maybe seven, people were bent over looking at the engine. You couldn’t see their heads, only their torsos. It was very much like them.

A man came in to pick up his car. The mother/wife/cashier got up and got his ticket and collected his payment. The man announced it was his birthday and he would celebrate it by going hunting for the weekend. He added that the wife wouldn’t like it, but he was going anyway, it was his birthday.

I said, “Ask her when you get back”. He got a kick out of that and all the mechanics jokingly agreed. One of the mechanics said it was easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.

The owner came in and told me the status of the car. He is a very positive person. I think his smile is there to stay. He asked one of the mechanics eating his lunch did he make out a ticket for me.

The man put down his sandwich, got a clipboard and said, “I’m sorry, I thought you were one of us.”

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