Collective nouns. Love them. My favourite of all time being "an exultation of larks". So why not a timpani of mechanics?
The morning's horoscope read, in part:
"Watch out for car trouble".
Silly stuff, who pays attention?
10.p.m at night. Gorgeous golden moon dipping low on the horizon. My friend and I barrelling along in my car at a safe speed. Lots of moose around here at night. A sportscar passes us at a hell of a lick followed by a terrible squeal of brakes and he weaves all over the road and finally straightens out and we see the moose he has just missed taking off into the underbrush. Sports car slows to a stately pace in front of us. We just about hear his heart thumping and can't resist some snide remarks about his double digit IQ status.
Then out of nowhere we hear a bang, like a gunshot and my car starts to weave. I've been here before. And it's a blowout of the exact same tire.
But this time it's completely different. My friend is a retired mechanic who immediately and intuitively KNOWS how to handle everything. Finds the car jack in its special cave under the driver's seat (who knew?)and finds a rock to bang the shredded tire off when it refuses to budge after the ratchets are loosened. There is something about a man knowing all this stuff automatically that never ceases to amaze me. The ingenuity, competence and brute strength rolled into one tight package. At intervals, two trucks stop. Both are mechanics who offer help. My friend doesn't need any.
If I were alone in my car in this deserted strip of roadway with no cell phone coverage what are the odds I'd have been there the following morning still wringing my wrists?