We Lived to Tell The Tale


Mr. Bernie and I  are quite lucky when it comes to car troubles, we really don’t have them often. This month has been extra special and seems to be making up for all the years of being trouble-free. At the beginning of the month we had a screw in our tire and Mr. Bernie limped the car over to a tire place. A traded bunch of money we don’t have, for a set of new tires. We thought that would be it for the month or year. We were wrong.

Last night we stopped at the local grocery store to pick up some cat food for the cats. We ran in the store, did our shopping and were all ready to go home. Boy, were we surprised when the car wouldn’t start. I was hoping it was a glitch. Mr. Bernie tried and nothing. Well that is a lie, the radio and other things came on, just not our car. Mr. Bernie said quite a few naughty words, many rhyming with the word truck. What were we going to do? We don’t live in town, so we didn’t want to call someone out to drive us home. Mr. Bernie is good at math and figured to walk to two miles home it would take about 40 minutes. I don’t know how long it would take, he is the math guy. So we gathered stuff out of the car and with Mr. Bernie clutching our plastic grocery bag, we were off. I had my lovely fuzzy and hooker looking black purse. If ever there was a day I wished I carried a normal purse, that was the day. There are no sidewalks out here, none. That is such a bonus when one has to walk somewhere.

We had just left the parking lot of the store and talking about what we were going to do. Were we going to call and have it towed? I started fiddling with my phone to find a tow truck. I didn’t want to have to pay extra for a tow at night.  Suddenly, a car pulls over. A rough-looking guy and equally rough-looking gal stopped to offer us a ride. I didn’t want to take the ride. Mr. Bernie was all for it. I hesitated and Mr. Bernie climbed in the back of the car first. The Mr. has really long legs, so it was amusing to watch him try to get in the back seat. The inside of the car reeked. The car had been partied in and alcohol had been spilled. Bonus! Who needs an air fresher of pine when your car can stink of booze? I was clutching the side of the car and gauging at how I could get out of the car if need be. I was clutching Mr. Bernie’s hand like a drowning woman. We explained where we needed to go and we were off. The guy kept playing the radio louder and louder, which made me nervous. Then the guy showed us the knob of the car radio and told us how he had to fix it for his mom. Well isn’t that special? The woman hardly said a word. At one point the radio was blaring and the driver started to roll up the windows, I started to have a mini panic attack! I know he is rolling up the windows and turning up the music so nobody can hear us scream. I just know it. Oh, my God, were going to die!!!! We had them drop us off in the church parking lot across the road from our house. I gave them $5.00′s for gas and thanked them. The woman asked me to pray for Henry. I was so fascinated with her missing teeth and how black the other 4 teeth were that I didn’t ask who Henry was. However, I did assure her that we would pray for him. The guy told Mr. Bernie  his name and told him to be sure to pick him up if we saw him walking. Mr. Bernie assured him that we would. We were so thankful for the ride. I was thankful not to be taken to the woods and killed.

The Mr. frantically started to put a tire on the old farm truck we have. It’s needed a tire for a while now. Today seemed as good of a day as any to fix it. He also called a mechanic to see if we could have our car towed to their shop. The truck has not been fired up forever! It belched black smoke and sounded loud and scary. I’m sure the neighbors were thrilled that Mr. Bernie had a reed holding the gas pedal down to clear it out.

He looked in his manual as to what could be causing the car to not turn over. Sometimes if you hit the starter on the car, it will start. We were going to try that. Fun!! We hoped into the truck and putt-putted down the road to our car. We were going on an adventure. When we reached the car, Mr. Bernie tried to start it. The same thing happened. Then Mr. Bernie got some tools out of his tool box and went to work. He added some wire to the coil of the battery because he didn’t like how loose it was. Then he handed me and itty bitty channel locking tool. (No, I didn’t know that name before asking him. It looked like a baby wrench) I said to him, “What in the hell is this?” He looked crestfallen and said, “I thought you would say Oh, for cute.” Any other time I might have. While he went back and forth for tools I told Mr Bernie, “Standing around watching a guy fix a car is not nearly as fun as it was when I was younger. I think being in a heated garage and being in my 20′s made it more sexy and fun. Being in your 40′s standing in an IGA parking lot, the whole process looses its charm and sexiness factor.”  He had a hard time finding the starter, so he just started hitting things. I asked him if he was just hitting stuff in hopes of hitting the starter. Mr. Bernie assured me that he knew what he was doing. Well alrighty then, I still think it looked like he was hitting random stuff. We tried the car again and VROOMMMMMMM it started!!

I guess he did know what he was hitting.



  1. Nice story! I’m that kind of person that hits everything when something doesn’t work

  2. My automotive machinist husband is always helping motorists whose vehicles are not working. I’m sure he would have helped you and Mr. Bernie. And he is not one bit scary looking. Glad you made it safely out of that car.

  3. you are one brave lady… I don’t think I would have had the nerve to have gotten in that truck….

  4. With all that random hitting of car parts I think I may start calling Mr. Bernie the Fonz. ;)

  5. You tell Mr. Bernie that next time you need car assistance to call me! Bruce is a mechanic and if he isn’t working, he loves to save cars in distress. He might have left the two of you on the side of the road and only cared about the car though. No seriously, just kidding. That is what friends are for!

    As for the strangers that gave you a ride, angels in disguise? Ha! Glad you didn’t tell them where you live.

  6. Wow! A lot of us have experienced such happy “moments”, but that was a doozy and very well told! I needed that laugh today. Thanks!

  7. Hope all your car troubles are that easy to fix. The ride to the church parking lot (and good call on not revealing your house location to the possibly deranged killers) sounded fabulous. No, really. It did. :-) Glad you made it to write the story.

  8. Charlene Pitsch says:

    Mr. Bernie sounds like a mechanical genious in the hitting of random stuff department!! Lucky woman! AND I am glad you didn’t end up in the woods!!

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