Superglue and a pair of underwear.
That’s what held together the radiator cap of the Absurdivan while the Yenta family sojourned all over Western North Carolina after picking up the kids from summer camp.
The discovery that the lip of the plastic reservoir that holds the extra radiator water had exploded came at just about the same time we realized we didn’t have cell phone service all the way in them deep dark woods. After several slammed doors, El Yenta Man finally found one gent who didn’t shut the door in his face, probably because he was already in his yard standing amongst several pick-up trucks in various states of undress.
Mr. Frankentrucker—who managed to talk with a lit ciggie in his mouth the entire conversation—helped EYM figure out that if we could just keep the cap down, we might make it off this mountain. Hence, the inspired little plan of stacking his boxer briefs under the hood (EYM’s, not Mr. Frankentrucker’s drawers. Depending on the kindness of strangers has its limits.)
And wouldn’t you know, it worked! For like a thousand miles all over WNC and back to Savannah!
I think it was my prayers that did it, whispered up to Heaven and to my many talismans that ride with me on my dashboard through this world. (Why do you think I keep Superglue in the car?!)
This is NOT the same thing as idolatry. Even though I may secretly believe ever single little guy up here contains magical powers. What was once an ordinary beige minivan and is now the most styley multi-dimensional transmogrifier that ever was!
I bought this van from my Israeli cousins and figured it would last me a year, maybe two. My kids were toddlers, and they kept bringing home these irritating little plastic frogs and lizards from birthday parties that have no other use than to embed themselves in a foot when left on the floor, so I began gluing them to the dashboard of the van I was quite sure was going to die any minute.
That was seven years and 70,000 miles ago.
It’s not just little animals, it’s anything I love that I think will add to the juju that makes this mutha run:
There’s a mezuzah on the driver’s side and a painted plaque in Hebrew on the glovebox that says “matzah,” though I think Little Yenta Girl thought it said “Mazel” when she made it. At last count I had four hamsas, a little crystal angel, some Native American beads blessed by medicine woman in Northern Arizona, and a pair of tiny jade “good luck travel” slippers from San Francisco Chinatown.
OK, maybe I do have a superstition problem.
But when your car is held together with Superglue and green underpants, you take all the help you can get.
Right now the Absurdivan is in ICU. (I was sure she could have made it another few weeks, but EYM insisted. I think he just wanted his Hanes back.) The doctor says she’s terminal, but I know better.
Once I get the entire dash filled in, I’m pretty sure she’ll fly.