I was perusing the bulletin board down at the senior center the other day--I like to go there just to heckle the young squirts--and was looking at the various athletics scheduled: Wii bowling, line dancing (well, line shuffling anyway), contact sports like cards and pool, water aerobics (proof that bikinis can still look good--if you don't believe me, take your glasses off and try it again), etc. The one sport that appeared to be missing was senior division car jumping. Which leads to a Kelly story...
Kelly, a guy I worked for many moons ago, put himself through art school working as an undertaker in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains. One pleasant Indian summer afternoon, he was out in the driveway of the funeral home washing one of the hearses when he almost became one of the dearly departed. He had just walked under the carport to grab a swig of Dr. Pepper when he heard a car engine rev to light-speed and a loud thump. He looked up to see a Chevy Corvair coming down the hill and across the lawn from the Kroger's parking lot above at a high rate of speed (the fact of a Corvair moving fast proves it was downhill). Kelly did his best second base slide out of the way and the car crashed into the side of the funeral home beneath the carport's canopy.
When he opened the door, he found the driver, a late-middle-aged lady (the French, being the French, have a much more female-friendly phrase: "Une femme d'un certain age...") to be shaken--not stirred--but otherwise unharmed. It seems the heel of one of her stylish shoes became lodged against the accelerator and the Corvair fulfilled Ralph Nader's title, Unsafe at Any Speed.
While the repair work was being done to the funeral home, the owner decided an armor upgrade was in order figuring this might not be the last occasion of a prospective customer attempting to deliver themselves from the supermarket parking lot. So, a three foot-high brick wall was added to the outside edge of the carport.
Kelly was shoveling snow out front when he heard the tinny sound of a way over-revved Corvair engine and the familiar loud thump. He turned in time to watch the same Corvair fly down the hill, hit the bottom, become airborne, leap the brick wall, and end up wedged between the wall and the canopy overhead with its tail-end protruding far too saucily for a family-oriented blog.
While the lady, again, wasn't injured, the Life-Saving Crew did have to cut Detroit's masterpiece apart to extricate her. The cause? Yep, you guessed it. The heel of the same stylish sort of shoes had performed the trick of their predecessors.
This time she ended up in court. The Commonwealth of Virginia is generally pretty patient as such entities go, but this was getting to be a blasted habit. The offending stylish shoes were the Commonwealth's Exhibit "A." Both the Defense and the Commonwealth agreed that they were there more too ask his honor what to do about the problem rather than to seek punitive action against the unfortunate driver. The judge leaned back in his chair and studied the ceiling for some minutes, came to a decision, leaned forward, and ordered that henceforth, the lady's driver's license, on the line normally devoted to "glasses" or "hearing aid," would read, "sensible shoes."
Our lady of dragons is at it again--publishing a book that causes normal law-abiding people to breakout in loud, uncontrollable laughter in the middle of such places of quiet as libraries, funeral parlors, hospitals, and boiler factories. Her latest hoot, Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator, is hitting the stores and ereaders this December. Considering my low tolerance for zombie lit (something about Sturgeon's Law being at work in the tidal wave of this stuff lately--as it is in all things human), this is one of the two keepers I've found so far (maybe I'll talk about the other next time if I get bored enough). Here's links to some sites with information: The Zombie Cookbook, and Fabianspace. (Note to FTC: I neither bought it nor was given it, you guys figure it out.)
31 October 2010: Feast of St. Arnulf. Luther nails his "95 Theses" to door of Wittenberg church 1517, Maori Wars resume in New Zealand 1864, last successful large-scale cavalry charge (so far) in Battle of Beersheba 1917, torpedoing and sinking of USS Reuben James 1941, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi assassinated 1984.