Sunday, July 20, 2008
The Rita Chronicles: Part II
Towards the end of the 70’s real estate was booming in Southern California and Rita's career was becoming pretty lucrative. She liked treated herself to the luxuries she could never have as a stay at home wife and mother.
Rita found a really good deal on a classic 60’s something Lincoln Continental. When I say “classic”, I mean a real classic in mint condition and loaded with all the extras. It was a hard-top convertible, and the hard-top retracted into the trunk area like this.
See what I mean? I couldn’t even find a picture of the hard-top version. At least I don't think this is a hard top in the picture.
Rita had a newer car, but she loved tootling around town in her gas guzzling Lincoln. Frequently putting the top down, then back up...they back down. It wasn’t unusual for Reet to do this as she sat in traffic. How else would people be able to turn green with envy watching her hard-top recess into her trunk at the push of a button.
Back then, most service stations where just that, service stations with full service. The attendant pumped your gas, washed your windshield, checked your oil and water levels, and at one particular Phillips 66 station, the attendant opened your front door, asked for your ashtray to empty, and vacuumed the floor under your feet. NO KIDDING!
On this particular day, Rita pulled into a local gas station with her Lincoln. Now, I don’t know what was going through her mind, maybe the fact that the attendant probably didn’t know what a gem he was servicing....the car, not Rita. But while the ethyl gasoline was flowing into the gas tank, and the attendant was washing the windshield, Reet decided to show off and lower the top on her classic Lincoln Continental...
What happened wasn’t pretty. It was unbelievable. As the trunk started to tilt up, and the back end lowering towards the bumper, it broke the nozzle off into the Lincoln’s gas tank, which is centered on the back of the car, right under the trunk. The hose! Picture a garden hose on full blast flying through the air like a boa constrictor on steroids. The hose was flipping back and forth, spewing gas all over the place.
Rita thought this whole episode was the station’s fault, they said it was Rita’s fault. They were right. In the end, I don’t know how it was resolved, but it was, and Reet still frequented that service station.
*Disclosure: Once again, no animals, grandmothers or gas station attendance were permanently hurt or injured in anyway. Just slightly embarrassed, but more than willing to tell everyone they knew, including the folks at the local car wash what happened.