I've many passions but two of them are reading & camping, so naturally my camper's name is Parnassus for Christopher Morely's "Parnassus on Wheels".
By: PeaceRiverBP, 1:57 AM GMT on September 19, 2010
I used to have a 1978 F150 pick up truck that I nick-named Old Ironsides after the old battleship Constitution Link, since the ship was reputed to have only 17% of her original parts left and that was about the same percentage that I figured my old truck had. Old Ironsides had had extensive mechanical work done over her many years of service; the bed the Ford factory had installed had been replaced with a wood bed, the tail gate was now a piece of trawl net, a boat's fuel tank sufficed as the gas tank, etc. etc. She had many fiberglassed areas to patch the large holes in the floor and wheel wells and I covered all with black and white paint so that she even had the same paint job as the Constitution.
One day, Old Ironside's starter chose to poop out while I was sitting at my bank's drive up window. The bank teller and I exchanged looks of horror. It was Friday afternoon and there was a line of vehicles building behind me. Luckily, the bank was on a slight slope, so I got out of the truck and pushed it by the door frame for about 15 feet until the truck started to roll down the driveway and then I jumped in and popped the clutch. The truck roared to life and I made it home. But, alas, my house was not on a hill. So, I called my uncle and asked him to give me a ride to the parts store to get a new starter.
Once at the part store, we stood at the counter talking to the young clerks who were waiting on us when I was vaguely aware of the store's door opening behind us. The stunned looks on the clerks' faces made us turn around just in time to be greeted by a loud bray;
"DOES ANYONE KNOW WHERE THE WELFARE OFFICE IS?"
We all stood there as though frozen in time. If the loud voice didn't get your attention, the outfit she wore sure did. She had on bright aqua-colored sweatpants, a red, yellow and black plaid coat, with a striped scarf in electric shades of red and blue. Since no one spoke, struck dumb as we were by the vision before us, she repeated;
"DOES ANYONE KNOW WHERE THE WELFARE OFFICE IS?" in the same bull horn voice. Again, she was met by silence so she felt compelled to continue; "I'VE GOT MY 90 YEAR OLD MOTHER OUT IN THE CAR AND I'VE BEEN DRIVING AROUND FOR HOURS AND I HAVE TO GET TO THE WELFARE OFFICE AND I CAN'T FIND MY WAY BECAUSE I DON'T HAVE MY BRA ON...."
At that point, she completely lost me. I said to myself: "NO BRA?!? Huh? Why....? What the heck....?" I couldn't figure out what difference it would make to wear a bra or not; I think a lot of people manage to find their way without one. Maybe her's had divining rods in the cups, or some sort of homing device installed in it.... the thoughts swirling through my head were enough to boggle the mind.
One of the clerks finally had the presence of mind to give her directions and she left. I was glad I had a witness with me because no one would ever believe this story. Later, I related it to a friend who told me that she had recently driven someone to the Welfare Office so I asked if she had any problems finding it.
"No." She answered, "But, then again, I had my bra on." Naturally.
Old Ironsides before she got her new paint job.
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Updated: 1:30 PM GMT on November 14, 2010