Saturday, September 23, 2006

She always was a cool customer, and he was handsome and dashing, and they were each considered the catch of the county, but they were really too cool to ever acknowledge they might be a good match.

One Friday night her friend told him that she wanted him to give them a ride home from the movies. Then the friend told her that he wanted to give them a ride home from the movies, and things progressed in tiny steps.

They continued in this manner with a cool humor that would define their relationship, a sort of intellectual dance.

Once he was driving her home from West Plains Missouri and he didn't say a word, but decided to test her mettle. The car was a white '57 Ford --one he'd no doubt souped up to a frightening degree, and he was a back-woods Andretti.

Keep in mind this was before the era of safety belts in automobiles.

On a great stretch of roadway across the southern plains of Missouri, he floored it and waited for her to react. A lesser woman would have begged him to stop, would have screamed, would have bargained for a more sane pace, but she was determined that she could ride as fast as he could, and she didn't bat an eye, and stared steadfastly forward, not reacting. Coolness personified.

The winds were high on the plains that day, and despite his steady hand at the wheel, there was the inevitable bit of drift. He probably decided she wasn't going to wimp out after all, so he eased it down. When she reckoned they had slowed considerably, she allowed herself a peek over from the corner of her eye at the speedometer. Despite the scores of mph they had slowed, the speedometer was still pegged at 120.

Yup. That's my mom in 1963. She's still a sassy cool customer, and stubborn enough to go as fast as he can drive.

More great tales from the road when I return. I'm really enjoying the trip with my mom. I may not be able to post again until Monday. We'll see.

Have you seen on the news in the past 24 hours about all the torrential rain, flooding, and tornados in NE Arkansas? Well, we're in the big middle of that. Last night, I got some delicious photos of rare mammatus clouds which I'll post next week. I was thrilled to snap those - I've only ever seen them a few times, and they are spectacular to behold.

Have a great weekend.


Meg said...

I thought the story was going to be about a young couple's death! Phew. Enjoy your trip, don't go 120 miles, unless you really want to. See you when you get back. (You ARE a good story-teller!)

nongirlfriend said...

Ha. I'd love your mom!

Anonymous said...

Say hi to Batesville for me when you pass by that way.

Watch out for clog dancers at Mountain View.


LJ said...

Great piece, PF. Lovely bit of writing, and I do love a story.

Tickersoid said...

Your dad was so rude. Your mum so cool.

Arthur Quiller Couch said...

'PlaIns', not 'plAnEs', Ma'm.

Are you also suicidal?

lilfeathers2000 said...

Neat story. Happy Monday.

phlegmfatale said...

meg - good thing the story didn't end in their death, since that would prevent me from every arriving, and the universe would be sucked into the black hole of lack-of-phlegmmy-ness. Glad you liked it!

non-girlfriend - yes, like you, me mum goes to eleven

rabbit - I said hi to Batesville for everyone. Hi and bye.

lj - thanks, hon!

tickersoid - *L* he was just being a rascal - he's a really good guy - you'd like him, and yup, my mum is cool.

arthur quiller couch - I am SO busted! I popped into a Kinko's in Jonesboro and pounded that post out in about 10 minutes and didn't proof read - I was aghast to see I'd made such a typo - eek! I know the difference - pinkie swear - I spelled it properly earlier in the story.

lilfeathers2000 - Glad you liked it. Happy Monday to you, too!