Monday, September 21, 2009

Electric Car

Dan fancied himself as quite the mechanic. When he had the opportunity to buy a “flood car” for fifty dollars, he had every confidence that he could make her roadworthy once more.

Dan’s wife, Patti, earned a modest living as a wedding planner. Owning a Cadillac had long been a dream of Patti’s… that was about to change.

The car was a 2005 Cadillac Deville, and Dan spent the next five months working on her in the neighbor’s barn—he grew attached to her; it was a labor of love.

It was early Saturday morning, the day Dan finally rolled in with the Caddy. Patti was on her way out the door for a wedding, and had just pulled the box of monarch butterflies from the refrigerator where they had been stored, to keep them dormant, since the day before. Having butterflies shipped in for release at the blessed moment was one of the specialties Patti offered to her clients.

As thrilled as she was to see Dan and his gift, Patti was on a tight schedule—she had to get the butterflies to the wedding before they warmed up. Excited to try out her new ride, she placed the box of butterflies in the trunk of the Cadillac and sped off.

“There’s just one thing!” yelled Dan, “I haven’t quite figured out the wiring, yet! Be careful!” But Patti was already beyond his voice.

As Patti approached the first intersection, she signaled a left turn and was startled when, instead, the high-beams came on. Naturally, a driver across the intersection flashed his high beams in retaliation. Patti pulled the lever to dim the headlights, causing the horn to sound... non-stop. The other driver hit his horn, as well, and yelled something.

Patti thought to shout a response, but when she pressed the button to lower the window, the passenger side airbag deployed. Meanwhile, the horn continued to ensure that everyone in the neighborhood took note of Patti in her new ride.

Thinking that she had better seek safety at the side of the road, Patti signaled to pull over to the right, engaging the cruise control and causing the car to lurch forward. The panicked wedding planner jammed on the brakes to disengage the cruise control and stop the wild ride! As she came to a halt at the side of the road, Patti turned on the hazard lights, releasing the trunk lid... and most of the 400 butterflies that had been inside.

Dan had heard the racket from the house. As he ran down the street he could see the cloud of butterflies spreading over the neighborhood and he started to calculate the cost of his error. At $6.75 per butterfly, the cost of the new car had risen suddenly and dramatically. That didn’t count what lay ahead for Patti when she had to deal with an upset bride, and worse, the bride’s angry mother.

As it turned out; the bride didn’t really mind pocketing the refund of her mother’s butterfly deposit. Dan never did manage to sort out all the problems with the wiring in the Caddy, but Patti got accustomed to things as they were. Sometimes, you’ll see her around town, proudly driving her new car and displaying her personalized license plates that read:

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