Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: BUG (04/06/17)
- TITLE: Loving a Wacky Little Bug
By LINDA GERMAIN
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A friend said, “My mother has a great little car that’s just sitting in her garage. She’ll take $600.”
Enter Herbie, VW Beetle-Bug extraordinaire. He was so ugly he was cute. As I remember, we paid for him in four installments.
After thirteen years on the road and in the sun, his exterior had faded to several distinctive shades of red. Like a lot of us past a certain age, some of his insides were either gone or hanging loose and needing a stitch or two. Only one windshield wiper worked at a time.
One wouldn’t think a little car would have a personality, but one would be wrong.
Since Herbie’s electrical system seemed to be dyspeptic, sometimes he would just suddenly blow his horn (with no help from me). Once, at the post office, he did that just as a man walked in front of us. Poor guy nearly jumped off the curb.
I don’t know which was more embarrassing, the goofy little car’s impish behavior or me complaining (out loud), “Oh, Herbie! You have to stop doing that!”
His radio was another interesting quirk. It would come on if Herbie hit a bump in a specific way, known only to him. Besides that, the choice of stations added up to exactly one…and not always the same one. Go figure!
I was so happy to have transportation it was easy to put up with all the strange behaviors of that old VW. Like an abandoned dog or cat, Herbie was my rescued vehicle. He needed me. I needed him.
Once, when his muffler fell off, he sounded like a giant tractor on steroids roaring down the road. At that time, I was eight months pregnant. When I pulled into a service station to ask for assistance with some little irritation in the motor, about seven guys swarmed around with solutions and comments.
Probably, when they saw me waddle out, after pounding on the door to get it unstuck, they were scared a birthing drama might be impending, and they wanted me out of there…fast! I took brownies to them later in appreciation of such quick and spot-on help.
After the baby was born, Herbie developed a hole in his front floorboard about the size of a golf ball. I noticed it as we lumbered down the road to the grocery (beeping at random and blaring country music or the news for a few seconds, now and then). At first, I couldn’t understand why I could see pavement and daylight. We probably covered it with masking tape, the universal cure-all.
That Herbie adventure can be a metaphor for many things. Real love, the kind that doesn’t hold grudges, get angry, and is always forgiving comes to mind. At times, that little vehicle was so quirky and odd I would declare, “No wonder they call you a bug!”
Nonetheless, just like with humans, when you love somebody you tend to put up with a lot.
As the baby grew, it was more than obvious that I needed safer and more dependable transportation. We advertised that pitiful little ready-for-the-scrap-yard car and were bowled over when someone called with interest.
No amount of cleaning or polishing could make Herbie even halfway presentable. I figured when the people saw it, they would turn around and leave. That didn’t happen. A married couple paid $700 cash and drove away, happy as larks.
I’ve often wondered what finally became of that little car. I’m not trying to pass judgment or be ugly, but the new owners each seemed to weigh in excess of 300 hundred pounds. The fact that they could even squeeze in was amazing.
The last I saw of Herbie, he was moving very slow. His tires were trying to stay round but kept looking flat on the bottoms as his tail lights disappeared over the hill.
I stood in the yard and waved. Goodbye, dear Herbie, Please be a good boy if you possibly can. Don’t bug those nice people. They must need you.
When our outsides are fading, our stuffing is missing, and we may have holes and make stupid comments, the best that can happen is somebody needs us and cares about us anyway.
Maybe it’s the thankful heart that sees no faults. Maybe it’s unconditional love.
1 Corinthians 13:7 (NLT)
Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
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