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The day Maynard Hadley Towing came calling

“The best laid schemes of mice and men oft go awry, and leave us naught but grief and pain for promised joy!”

—Robert Burns

This sounds graver than the tale to follow, but I’m nothing if not overly dramatic when it counts. In last week’s column I shared my plan to watch “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” outdoors while eating burgers with a cozy gathering. At the same time I knew the bumper was falling off Fiona the Honda. Stay with me here.

This fact of the disengaged bumper had come to my attention as I started backing from the parking space after my walk, the one where I extolled about the blue sky and truant killdeer and how much I love summer. That was the same day Fiona’s front end finally gave way. I didn’t mention it in the column because I was going for positive feels. This week I’m fishing for sympathy.

As I pulled away, a kind woman motioned for me to stop as I heard a loud scraping sound, sort of like the front loader on a tractor smoothing out gravel. I believe this was followed by a clunk. My 12-year history of parking too close to the curb and getting hung up flashed before me. The woman and I tried to shove the thing together, but it proved hopeless. I limped home hoping it didn’t fall off. Once home, I did what I always do in a crisis. I began texting friends using sad emoji faces and dollar signs. I made silly jokes about wishing I had some baling wire and duct tape. Ha, ha.

No repair shop would see me before Monday, but the movie was that night. See where I’m going here? One can’t use the adage “ignorance is bliss” when one is aware. So, I was flying somewhere below ignorance level when on my way to the event, I heard a horrendous scraping sound. Gee, that’s familiar, I thought. I pulled over and Lane began checking Fiona’s situation. “A piece of the understructure has come apart,” he said. “It’s scraping against the tire, but I don’t think the bumper’s going anywhere.”

He hopped back in and we drove another few yards until it sounded like my car’s guts were falling out. The noise abated if I didn’t exceed 35 MPH, but people like to drive a lot faster than that on Hwy. 62. And they don’t like it when others prevent their doing so.

When we finally arrived at the church movie spot, I called Triple A for a tow back to my house. The dispatcher said he’d be about an hour, so we hiked back to the grill where those with stable transportation were enjoying themselves. The burgers were fantastic, I think. I couldn’t fully taste them with the bitter tang of mortification in my mouth.

After our meal, we met Mark, the tow truck driver, and told him our dilemma. His welcome response came swiftly, “Oh, I can fix that.”

“You can?” I responded with starlight in my eyes. “I knew it! These guys can fix anything.” I mentally scratched the repair appointment off my list. “You know I made a joke to my friend the other day about wishing I had some baling wire to fix it. Ha, ha.”

Mark pulled the baling wire and electrical tape from his rig. The bumper would remain affixed until we got home. I got a good laugh out of the irony until we set off down the road. This time it sounded like a big slab of rubber flapping against the wheel well followed by a skidding sound and ending with a shudder. I exited stage left onto Ball Road, a country road where I could drive 25 and pretend I was behind the wheel of a Farm-All.

Tomorrow I’ll bring Fiona home from the Lithia car hospital and she’ll look like a new ride with her plastic surgery. But my wallet will need a resuscitator.

Happy July 4th to all.

Peggy Dover is a freelance writer. Reach her at pcdover@hotmail.com and follow her on Facebook. Peggy will be at a book signing at Red Lily Vineyards this afternoon from 2 to 5 p.m.