Noilly Prattle: Let me bore you with this story... (2)

Monday, October 19, 2015

Let me bore you with this story... (2)

Coming Home - Part 2

     We left Niseko the next day and headed east to meet Jude and Aya's son, Brin, who was flying in from Tokyo to spend a few days on the Shiretoko Peninsula in Eastern Hokkaido. It was a gray, cloudy day threatening rain. When we arrived at Kushiro airport Jude and Aya got a mobile call from Brin saying that his flight was delayed in Tokyo for a “mechanical issue”. After a short time, while they were discussing what to do, he called again and said that they were now getting ready to take off from Haneda Airport and would arrive a couple hours late. Jude and Aya decided to kill some time by going into Kushiro for some sightseeing and programmed me for the trip.

       We were driving along smoothly on a perfectly straight road. The pattern of the streets was unfamiliar for people from the southern parts of Japan with their narrow twisting roads. The wide streets were laid out in a grid pattern with many crossroads. As we were going through an intersection Jude suddenly exclaimed: “Oh shit!” Just then I felt a white blur smash into my left front wheel with a loud crunching and banging-thudding sound. I was pushed a short distance and then I couldn't move any more. I filled up with smoke but my engine kept on running and the music played on. Jude said: “Oh, SHIT!. We are FUCKed!” Then to Aya, who was whimpering and crying: “Get out of the car, now!” Aya was able to open the crushed passenger door and got out into the street. Jude suddenly realized I was still running and turned me off and got out of the car himself.

       The rest is a blur of sounds and images: Jude asking Aya if she was alright and noticing blood on her torn jacket sleeve, trying to get her to calm down. The driver of the other automobile pointing to the stop sign that Jude had just run. The front end of his car was crumpled, a piece of it in the street. Sirens, a firetruck, an ambulance, several police cars, a policeman opening my hood. I sensed that I was badly damaged; my left front fender and left passenger door crushed, left front wheel bent, my left front seat torn and several airbags dangling from the ceiling on the passenger side. I was broken, unable to move. 

        The gray, rain threatening afternoon dragged on with mobile phone calls, medical attention for Aya, endless questions for Jude and measurements by the police. Eventually an ambulance took Aya to a hospital and Jude was left in the street awaiting whatever was coming next. What came next was a truck. The truck driver approached Jude standing on the curb and said he was going to tow me away. Jude, looking shell shocked and confused mumbled: “What?” The man seemed to understand Jude's condition and clarified: “I'm a wrecker service from Takanaka Auto associated with Xanadudu.” Jude responded: “Oh, OK, whatever!” Just then another policeman came up to Jude, introduced himself as "Natsu", and said he was going to drive him to the hospital where Aya had been taken.

       I was, alone, abandoned, at the mercy of the “wrecker”. It had started raining. An ugly looking beast backed up to my front end and lowered a huge iron hook. The wrecker driver found a large iron ring under my engine and inserted the hook into it and lifted my front up off the ground with my grill pointed at the sky. I was then pulled, in that humiliating position, through the rain slick streets of Kushiro until we reached what looked like an automobile graveyard where I was unceremoniously dumped with the other wrecks. It was the end of my short life and it was my own  fault. I had been in the habit of announcing: “There's a stop sign ahead,” as part of my GPS program. But I had failed to announce the stop signs on that long straight stretch of road in Kushiro and Jude had run one. We had probably run several of them before the fatal intersection came down on our heads. Night came down. It was dark.

       A gray rain-soaked dawn, other derelicts like tombstones in the stygian light. Strange new sentients coming to look at me. Humans. “It's a shame,” said one, “only 3,683 kilometers, practically brand new!” “Not as bad as it looks, I've seen worse. Look around you!” said another. “I wonder if the owner plans to junk it?” said a third. “They are coming this morning. I'm going to recommend that it be repaired. It's not that bad and it is a brand new car. It's worth fixing,” said the second, “and it is fully insured.”

       My parents are coming. They haven't abandoned me. I hope they agree to have me repaired so I can go back home! A taxi pulled into Takanaka Auto's parking lot and three sentients got out: Jude, Aya and a younger human who looked a little like both of them.”This must be their son, Brin,” I thought. All three came and looked at me a little sadly, I thought. Brin, who was seeing me for the first time, said: “Ouch! That looks pretty bad. Do you think it can be repaired?” “Well, to him I guess I'm just an 'it' ,“ I thought, “he hasn't had time to get to know me. Hmph, I am a young lady!” Just then Mr. Takanaka approached and invited all three of them into his office for, he said, some tea and a chat.

       A little while later a very unattractive blue Nissan K-car drove into the parking lot--puny, tinny and no power. Soon Mr. Takanaka and Aya, Jude and Brin came out of the office all smiles and good fellowship. Then I heard the good news. I was going to be repaired but it would take some time, maybe a month or more. I would require several new parts that had to come from the Mazda factory and many of my reparable parts needed to be worked on. Once repaired I would be shipped back home. Then I heard the bad news. That gaudy blue K-car was a rent-a-tart that Jude and Aya and Brin would drive away to continue OUR journey and leave ME behind to the tender mercies of Takanaka Auto, while they went off in THAT roller skate to have a good time without me. Humph! The Nissan was pulled up right in front of me. Ugh! Jude and Aya transferred their remaining luggage to that cheap tart. Jude dropped a bottle of gin and broke it on the hard surface of the parking lot in the process. “Serves him right,” I thought unkindly. Once everything was moved, they drove off and left me alone, again. There I sat, abandoned and broken, in the Takanaka Auto junkyard, for an endless wait for parts to arrive. And the rain kept on falling.

To be continued...

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