Thursday, December 09, 2010

of Engines and Angels...

So... haven't checked in for a while...

Last week, the engine went on my truck. It has to be replaced... I did manage to find a used engine at a junkyard, only 88'000 miles... damned good actually, got a ride over to pay for it and it was supposed to be delivered to the mechanic last Friday.

It wasn't.

Nobody, however, found it necessary to call and tell me this.

So Monday, I call Reuben (the mechanic) to ask for the status. Eventually, through broken English, I find that no engine was delivered Friday.

So I call Chris (the junkyard) to find what's up, he apologizes profusely, tells me he got slammed, and the engine is already on the truck and on it's way to Reuben.

Tuesday, I call Reuben, and again find out, no engine.

Again I call Chris. He tells me that when they pulled the engine out of the wrecked vehicle about noon (WTH? Then how the hell was it on the truck Monday morning?) it turned out to have a cracked head. But he's found another one at another junkyard, and it's going to be delivered instead, and there would be no extra charge (dang straight there wasn't gonna be no charge, I could have told him that...)

I then called Reuben again, reported what I'd just heard, and his response I don't care to report here. But I must add that it was the clearest English I'd ever heard him speak. I'm not gonna get judgemental about it though, because what was coming out of my mouth wasn't much better...

Then, when Wednesday rolled around, I, for the first time, actually get a call... this one from Chris. The new engine is here... it's in good shape except for some minor things that have to be replaced. He wants to know if he can pick up the old engine from Reuben, pull off the parts and replace them on the new engine. Junkyard mechanics are actually pretty good at putting engines together, so I'm not too worried about this... The reason Chris wants to do this is so that he can deliver an engine that he's willing to back up with his guarantee, and if he delivers this to the mechanic as is, most will charge 300 to 400 to do this extra work. (Reuben wouldn't charge that much, but I will concede that point.) Again, no extra charge.

Call Reuben... again a torrent of perfect, albeit unprintable, English... I finally impress upon all of them that I don't give a flying **** who does the **** work, I want the **** truck on the **** road.

So. They call each other, and it has been arranged.

But five minutes after I've had my little unprintable, although impeccably pronounced, fit... the phone rings.

It's the church.

The Christmas Cantata, which will be performed this weekend, has hit a snag. They want me to portray the Archangel Gabriel.

I was not, at that precise moment, feeling particularly angelic. Fortunately I have a way out.

"I'd love too... unfortunately I can't get to the church, my trucks out of commission."

Fifteen minutes later... another call... "Great news... one of our assistant pastors will be there to pick you up and bring you home for the next four days..."

Now, I live 20 miles from church. If the pastor feels so strongly that I, and nobody else but me, has to portray the Archangel Gabriel, and has harangued some poor assistant pastor into chauffeuring me... can I really argue?

I get there. I don't know why I'm the only member of the congregation who can do this, but I'm there...

What's going on is silhouette vignettes. We stand behind a white screen that has projected lights and we, with the aid of sheets, hats, and various other impromptu objects, cast shadows on the screen. And I find out why I'm so necessary.


I have been blessed, via a distant Jewish ancestor, with hair that hangs in long spiral curls. I haven't cut it in over a year and a half, and I must admit it's a pretty impressive mop. Plus, I'm generally tall and thin. Wrap me in an old bedsheet, add wings and stand me on a milk crate... and I project a shadow that looks pretty darned angelic.

So, there we are.

Pastor did ask me if I was happy being the Christmas Angel...

I replied that I was perfectly comfortable being an expression of divinity on earth. Did it all the time.

She laughed, then said something about crucifying me next Easter.

I laughed.

I think she was serious. Hair gets cut off next week...


  1. Claude,
    “Only in your world!!!” I truly hope that you posted this in the humor with which I read it! While I am not given to laughing at others misfortune I have smirked and giggled over this one. You seemed to have been quite gracious about all the motor/truck business. Some people (me) would have been an ill tempered, screaming maniac over getting the vehicle repaired. Hoping that all is repaired and running well now.

    And finally, zombie and angels, what will it be next? Can’t wait. So did you get a star on your dressing room door? They sent you a driver, surly they put you a star up!

    OK, all silliness aside, hoping everything has work out, been repaired, and the last note sung and all is well and back to normal in your life. Take care. - G

  2. Gary... what do you mean back to normal... this IS normal... LOL. Truck should be fixed this weekend. The Cantata is this weekend. Usually somebody has a cell phone and videos these things, and eventually it shows up on youtube... I may post a link. Provided I don't fall off my milk crate...

  3. At first, I thought there was going to be a three-way fistfight among you and the mechanics. Claude, that story is the best one I've read in weeks, and believe me I've read a lot. Funny! It's the kind of story pastors love to read but never admit to enjoying. Please, get a picture of yourself taken with the long hair before you go to the barber--with or without the rest of the angelic garb.

  4. I do not know, least of all understand, all the truck business, but your travails with the Mechanics form a gripping read. If I discount the agony, you must have gone through, i find the whole thing very amusing.

  5. walk2write - I was pretty sure there was gonna be a fight too. Luckily it didn't work out that way. Thanks for the compliment on the writing. Actually, I've been studying some of my Pastors stories and such, from the newsletters she sends out, so I may be catching the style, if not the content, from her.

    Green Thumb - I've noticed that much comedy is based in extremely Not Funny situations... and you are correct in that it was certainly not amusing while it was happening. But I'm glad that you and the others found the story amusing, that was certainly my hope.

  6. Oh, my Goodness!!! Your stories are the best, Mr. Claude Funnybones! You had me laughing so hard...going from such dire problems, to such angelic endings! I wish we could see your hair, Mister! better make sure someone films the darn thing and get it on YouTube for us!!! Please don't fall off your crate...unless you want to do a little funny stumble just for us! LOLOL!