Monday, October 18, 2010

The Accident (From a childhood memory)

I hated the hair, but  like Shiloh Pitt, I loved dressing in boy clothes. 
     I am going to take you back to the year 1966, when large, steel, American muscle cars were parked in almost everyones driveway, and kids could sit in the front seat, and the only seatbelt required was your mom's arm slapped across your chest when she slammed on the breaks. (Are you there yet? If you're too young to remember you will just have to take my word for it.)

      Anyway, my three year old sister and I were driving with Mom in our chocolate brown Chevy Malibu. Being the oldest, and the fact that Mom believed in the concept of pecking order, I got to sit in the front seat. Something along the way caught my fancy, and I started cutting up and jumping around with unbridled exuberance. (I'm sure any of you who know me personally can mentally picture this.)

      "Susan, stop it, please. I can't concentrate." my mom begged.
      (Did I listen to her? I'll give you three guesses and the first two don't count. If you said, Hell no! Your right.)

       Encouraged by my mother's angst, I continued laughing and pointing at the contorted angry faces she was shooting at me. You see, I had a "nice Mom" it took a lot to piss her off. And, the large coils in the seats way back then made such terrific spring boards, I could almost bounce up and hit my head on the roof. In fact, I was so caught up in my self-induced hysteria that I didn't pay any attention to Mom's continual reprimands, or much else for that matter, but I do remember the light changing to red.

      There was a horrible screeching noise, as the wheels of the car locked up and slid across the pavement.  Simultaneously, an arm shot across my chest. My head flew back against the seat as the car came to an abrupt stop just before the intersection. The smell of burning rubber permeated the cab of the car, and the view from my window was a blurry haze of smoke and dust from the road.

      Flames shot out of my "nice Mom's" eyes. Her mouth trembled with anger, and then she screamed at a deafening level, louder than the screeching wheels, "DAMN IT, SUSAN! QUIT HORSING  AROUND OR YOU'RE GONNA MAKE ME HAVE AN ACCIDENT!" Her words spewed out one at a time, with a demonic inflection, that gave them even more impact.

      After Mom's head quit spinning around, the car became stingingly silent. I stiffened and sat wide eyed, afraid to make a wrong move. And then, my brave little sister popped her head up from behind.  She rested her chin on on the  the seat by Mom's ear and said, "Don't worry Mommy, if you have an accident, you can wipe it up."

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