Making stuff as a founder of Avocado. Former music-maker. Tuna melt advocate. Started Google Reader. (But smarter people made it great.)

War and the Studebaker


The Studebaker died...again.

Eddie sucked hard on his cigarette. "Aw, c'mon!" The family's lone car had broken down before, twice each in months starting with "M" and had been frequently referred to by the family as "safe in winter" and "The Spring Surprise."

His wife squirmed in the backseat. "But we're almost there..."

"Not a thing, honey." And then brighter: "Would you like a sandwich?"

"Well, it doesn't give a nickel," Eddie sighed. The family needed their '39 Champion - Eddie now had a daily drive to Waltham. "A 'Champion', my Aunt Fanny. Thing's no champion. It's a lemon, I tell ya."

He stopped the car, left the keys in and the engine running and climbed out. The radio breezily played "There'll Be Some Changes Made" while their son Jack let his mother place his hands in his lap.

"Stop that tapping, Jackie, your father'll go bananas."

Eddie: "At least the radio's working. That's something, in'it?"

They say don't change the old for the new
But I've found out that this will never do
When you grow old, you don't last long
You're just here, my honey, then you're
The song was abruptly interrupted. A newscast crackled out and had Eddie been paying attention he would have been able to hear only snatches from past the hood:
"...details are not available...attack apparently was made...naval and military activities on the principal island of Oahu...Congress for a declaration of war...would be granted..."
Jack was idly poking his mother's shoulder. Usually he could only poke her a few times before she'd poke his nose or pat his hand away. But she kept still. And breathed softly.

Jack watched his mother breathe through her small, thin smile.

She turned toward Jack and her gaze broke- "Look at you, Jack- your hair's a mess." At first he was confused, usually she only'd say something like that in an angry tone, but today her voice was even, flat.

She reached for his head and Jack felt a familiar embarrassment. "Aw...Mom..." She told him to keep still and reached for her purse.

From under the hood, Eddie cursed a little.

She combed Jack's hair firmly. And breathed slowly, excitedly. She turned Jack's face toward her. Then finished her grooming and held him close.

"It's God's Earth, Jackie."

The hood shut: Clang!

"I hope we kill 'em all."

Eddie moved around from the hood and absent-mindedly wiped his hands on his blue jeans. "D'you say something, Myrt?"

He couldn't see her flat stare - the visor's shadow hid her eyes.

"Not a thing, honey." And then brighter: "Would you like a sandwich?"

Eddie, nodded, climbed into the Studebaker and the Samaski family drove away.

He ate the sandwich twenty minutes later without even bothering to wash his hands first.

Posted at March 16, 2003 03:40 AM
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"The machines aren't touching."