He started taking my car apart Saturday morning, shortly before my mother and I left in her car to pick up my grandfather to take my grandmother to lunch. Four minutes down the road: deer. Six of them. We hit the first one, skidded across the road and ended up in a farmer's field. We were still on the phone with 911 when a young guy rolled up in a tractor. (We called 911 because the deer was not dead; by the time the officer arrived, it was.) My dad drove down in the station wagon and got Mom's car home. The police arrived and made a report; the guy in the tractor took the deer. Mom and I drove back home in the station wagon.
And here we had the first problem. Mom's car was out of commission. She would have to drive the station wagon until it was fixed. And with all of the cars my parents have around them, they had nothing to send me home in.
It's not as crazy as it sounds. Mom's car was wrecked. Dad needed his truck. The station wagon would be Mom's transportation for the time being. The Beetle hasn't worked in years. The new (to Dad) Ford truck is neither registered nor tagged yet. And Grandpa's truck...well, I've driven Grandpa's truck before.
It maneuvers like a tank. I'm up for a lot of things, but piloting that behemoth through the streets of DC is possibly a bit too much. Plus, my feet barely reach the pedals. I have to drive sitting on the edge of the seat.
When Mom and I walked into the garage, Dad looked at me and said drily, "Well, you've just moved up the priority list."
He spent the rest of the day working on my car, only to find that he didn't quite have the part that he needed. His response? "I can work something out."
An aside: My sister's girlfriend has coined the term "Chuck it up" to describe my Dad's way of fixing things. It does not mean fuck it up. On the contrary, it refers to the MacGuyver-like ability that he has to fix anything regardless of whether or not he has the tools or materials to do so. When something breaks, he's exactly the guy you want around.
By Saturday night, he was confident that I'd be able to drive my car home.
Sunday morning he was still working when my sister called. I don't think I can adequately describe the look on his face when my mom handed him the phone-even before he knew what it was. It was this mix of "Why me," and "Oh, shit."
Short story: Plumbing problem. Reeeally big plumbing problem. I got bumped.
My mom drove me home. I've been sans car all week.
I don't really mind all that much. Thoughts on that later...
To close, this is the status update my sister posted on Facebook after Dad rode to her rescue. I couldn't agree more.
Why my father has earned his nickname of Saint Chuck: After spending the weekend working on my sister's car, I called him about a problem I was having at my house and he came right over to look at it. Half an hour after he left, I looked outside and there he was helping one of my neighbors (a total stranger) fix their car. I'm sure that there are a million and one things that he wanted to do this weekend, but he's always there when you need him, whether you're family or a total stranger. Love my dad!