Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of ďA Stitch in Time Saves NineĒ (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/03/08)
TITLE: Ice-Cold Truth
By Jack Taylor
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The purply-green goose egg behind Sedrich‚Äôs left eye-brow wasn‚Äôt a result of overactive winking at our violinist.
It all started after choir practice last Thursday. My purposeful exit ended when my 6‚Äô 4‚ÄĚ fellow-bass lurched his way through the gaggle of soprano‚Äôs snuggling into their winter wear and clamped my elbow. My cobalt-blue Northface jacket, snagged by his vice grip, petrified in place while the zipper tab rocketed up into my Adam‚Äôs Apple.
‚ÄúJackson, what‚Äôs the hurry?‚ÄĚ he crooned as I stumbled back into my jacket in an effort to stop an impromptu tracheotomy.
‚ÄúGotta get on my snow tires,‚ÄĚ I gurgled between gasps.
‚ÄúBlithering blowholes are always predicting snow,‚ÄĚ Sedrick rumbled as he released his pincer claws. I struggled to regain my dignity as the pianist squeezed by. Sed pressed on. ‚ÄúHaven‚Äôt changed my wheels in six years. ‚ÄėCeptin for my two flats last summer. Old Bernie gave me his spares. Saved a bundle.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúWeatherman‚Äôs predicting severe storms.‚ÄĚ I tried to catch his eye as he looked back toward the raven-haired violinist securing the bow in her case. ‚ÄúI‚Äôve got fresh anti-freeze. New brakes. Tune-up. Filters. New wipers. Full-tank. I think I‚Äôm ready. Just need the tires on.‚ÄĚ
Sedrich‚Äôs eyeballs popped out as if he‚Äôd come down with Graves Disease. ‚ÄúIf I didn‚Äôt know better, Jackson, I‚Äôd think you was preparing for the second coming.‚ÄĚ He took another quick glance at the violinist, now wrapping a scarf around her neck. ‚ÄúThe roads‚Äôll get salted. Don‚Äôt waste your money. I‚Äôll pick you up tomorrow. 6:30. After the game.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúI‚Äôm leaving at 4. The weatherman‚Äôs predicting two feet by mid-afternoon and then a temperature drop below zero. The salt isn‚Äôt going to help your tires.‚ÄĚ
One fault I have is knowing too much. If Sedrich has one fault it‚Äôs his dislike of know-it-alls. Another fault I have is not always being able to keep my mouth shut. This time was no exception. Sedrich had seen the violinist walking out the side exit and was making his move to follow. I anchored his sleeve to get his attention. He jerked. Despite my whiplash I managed to get off a parting shot.
‚ÄúYou‚Äôll be late. It‚Äôs 23 minutes from your place to here. The roads‚Äôll be icy. It‚Äôll take 3 NHL hockey rinks to stop on a good day. 10 times that tomorrow. The crews should be using sand but they‚Äôre not. ‚Äú
The look on Sedrich‚Äôs face reflected the reality that I had transmogrified into an alien right before his eyes. His arm flicked like a cow‚Äôs tail and I flew like a fly. I extracted myself from the coat rack in time to hand the organist her furs. It was definitely time to be leaving and getting those snow tires changed.
Sedrich‚Äôs team lost. I‚Äôm not sure how much that had to do with his missing the choir performance on Friday. Or the cost of the tow truck that finally reached him after he shivered five hours in that snow bank. Or the cost of the repairs he had to cover because his insurance had run out last week. Or the fine he had to pay for not having a safe vehicle on the road. Or even the bump on his head he got because he wasn‚Äôt wearing a seat belt.
My call went unanswered and the next time I saw Sedrich he was hunched over in the cab of Old Bernie‚Äôs crew-cab trying not to be noticed as they pulled into the church parking lot on Sunday. The bump had already reached the blue stage despite the ice he applied. His sheepish look betrayed him when he tried to claim that some plow had run him off the road. The bump was nothing, according to him.
Talk is cheap and Sedrich‚Äôs ‚Äúreal‚ÄĚ story soon reached the water cooler down at Hammond‚Äôs where we both happen to work.
Sedrich tried to avoid me but I showed extra mercy by dropping off a glass of water and some Tylenols at his desk. ‚ÄúSed, guess you‚Äôll have to be giving up a few dates with your dream girl to put in some overtime. By my calculations you just paid out nine times as much as me to get your car through the winter. Her solo took me to the heavens. Wonder if she‚Äôs free Friday?‚ÄĚ
Fortunately, I duck quick. Sed‚Äôs got a temper problem. Maybe I‚Äôll help him with that in the spring when we discuss investments. If he‚Äôs ready.
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