Scenes ‘Neath the BF Goodrich Sign
Ann and I had a productive week. The basement workroom was reorganized and cleaned out. The garage was reorganized and cleaned out. Despite the wet mop and the sweeping compound, we kicked up a lot of dust. We took a load of scrap to the ECO Station for recycling: an old heater, iron bars, a stovepipe, an heirloom ottoman one of the cats had pissed on, empty paint tins and an ax with a dangerously loose head. The last chore of the season was to get the winter tires installed on the CRV.
This morning Ann and I turned up at A-1 Tire and
Battery about ten minutes before its
eight o’clock opening. The CLOSED sign was still up in the window. The lights
weren’t on. There were already customers inside. As we entered, one of the
customer service reps, the manager and maybe an owner, still sporting a
Remembrance Day poppy, allowed loudly into the phone, “Busy, bud. We’re givin’
‘er.” Another front line fellow whom we know by sight glanced at the job
tickets on the wall behind him, studied his computer screen and announced our
vehicle would be ready in about an hour as our rims were already on.
So we wandered up a street of low slung pre-war art deco garages and body shops, and then along the CPR right of way toward
seeking another cup of coffee and breakfast. The A&W was open. Alas, our
orange and brown unaddressed direct mail coupons were back in the Honda, tucked
into the passenger door map pocket. We decided to live large anyway.
Afterward Ann and I dawdled along Whyte, pausing to peer into the windows of the darkened shops; Sound Connection, an indie record store we like (Found treasure: A sealed mono reissue of the Stones’ Got Live If You Want It EP and a demonstration-only copy of This Time It’s for Real by Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes.), wouldn’t open for a couple of hours yet. The sidewalk was empty. Nobody waited at the bus stops.
Upon our return to A-1 we were distressed to see that our CRV had not yet been moved into a bay. I began to worry about the combination of more coffee, A&W food and my wonky digestion. Maybe I should have gone at the A&W? No! A fast food public restroom, no way. Besides, there’s something heroic about gutting out a seething belly in the waiting area of an automotive shop. As it turned out, someone else hanging around A-1 Tire and
Battery was having a much
more miserable morning than I was; unfortunate for her but a welcome
distraction for me and my big ears.
S was a young girl, early 20s I guessed. She wore Ugg boots, Lululemon pants and a university branded hoodie. S alternated chugging coffee and bottled water. She needed a wheel alignment and new tires. Since A-1 was, “busy, bud,” and “givin’ ‘er,” S’s car would not be ready until noon, another three hours away. But S had a dress fitting scheduled at ten and ten blocks away because S is to be married tomorrow. And where had she left her coat? S rubbed her iPhone with the cuff of her sweatshirt; unprompted, Siri offered no answers. One of the A-1 reps gallantly offered S a ride to her dress fitter. No, S would phone her mother. There was still time. S’s Mom was tied up until 11ish with other nuptial details but Grandma was at this moment picking up the wedding cake at a bakery on
Whyte Avenue. Perfect! S phoned Grandma
to arrange her pick up. Grandma phoned back a few minutes later, yes, she had
the cake but her car wouldn’t start and she’d already called the Alberta Motor
Association and what was S doing at A-1 Tire and Battery
anyway on the day before her wedding? S called her Mom back. No, Mom was unable
to help either her daughter or her mother until 11ish.