Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: FAMILY VACATION (07/30/15)
TITLE: Taking A Chance
By Deborah Engle
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Would you listen to that. “Chance is ready!” We'll be traveling hundreds of miles, yet all he did was gas me up!
Yes, I’m grumbling. You would be too if you were treated like he treats me. He calls me Chance because he ‘took a chance’ on me, but my real name is Caddy Cat. Pretty cool, huh? Early on, I purred like a kitten, so …
And I still could purr if Mr. Big Shot, “John”, would provide some basic maintenance. Sure, I had a few years on me by the time he came around. My hood ornament caught his eye, and he couldn't resist the thought of owning a Cadillac. If only I had known then …
This week's record breaking highs have stopped most people in their tracks, but not him. My internal combustion engine produces a LOT of heat, and some of it gets funneled into the vents and straight into the passenger compartment. Too bad he didn't bother to have my AC recharged.
“What do you mean you need to stop? We’ve only been on the road for an hour. We’ve got a lot of miles to go before we get to our hotel."
“But Dad, we’re thirsty, and hot. It must be a hundred degrees in here.”
"Yeah, those vents are only making things worse. Look at me, Dad. I’m drenched with sweat.”
He’s right, John. You’re a bit damp, yourself.”
"Don’t you think I know that, Ann? There’s a rest stop coming up. We'll get some drinks, but don’t you guys be bringing any of it back to the car. I don’t want those leather seats messed up.”
Here they come again. I suppose a 20 minute break is better than nothing, but he could have at least parked in the shade.
“John, that air conditioner hasn’t worked all summer. Let's close those vents. We’ll just have to put the windows down.”
“I was hoping old Chance would decide to kick out some AC for us.”
Ooh. He makes my radiator boil! Did you hear that? Makin’ me the bad guy? That’s just wrong!
When Big Shot is out of sorts, he speeds, and there's nothing aerodynamic about me. Turbulent, super-heated air roars through the window, intensifying with every additional mile per hour, and giving everyone in the car a beating. It's a 300 mile endurance test.
It's no picnic on my end, either. Those heat waves shimmering on the concrete tell the story. The temperature has reached 97 degrees, and that blazing sun is blistering my chrome. Who knows what the temperature is on the pavement, but I’m almost sure my treads are melting!” And all these miles are giving my under-inflated Michelins an awful workout.
After three more hours of relentless driving, we have finally reached the hotel parking lot. I haven’t heard anymore bellowing, but with my windows down, I doubt if anyone else did, either. Four dehydrated, weary, red-faced people crawled out.
“Unh! I can’t believe we lived through that.”
“I can’t believe Dad drove over 90 the whole way.”
“You kids quit your complaining. We’re here, aren’t we? And wait ’til you see our room. You're gonna love it! ”
The next day, I could hear them before they were outside.
“I spent good money to stay here. When I was your age, you couldn’t have dragged me away from that gym. I made sure our hotel had a pool – there's even tennis courts. - but all you guys did was watch TV!”
"But Dad, I’m tired and I feel sick, too.”
"Yeah, Dad. We got so hot yesterday. Is it going to be that hot at Kings Island today?”
"They’re right, John, I feel weak myself, and I have a headache."
“Now look, these kids have been begging to go to Kings Island. We’re here now, and we’re going to have fun! You can find a bench to sit down if you have to, but I don’t want to hear another word!”
With the rain and the cold front that came through last night, they'll all be feeling better soon enough. I’m not doing too well, though. I’ve got a rough, scratchy feeling in my transmission that can only mean trouble ahead, for me and for Mr. Big Shot. He's going to be furious when we don't make it up to Chicago tomorrow.
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