JANICE CONTINUES to pack her suitcase and asks herself, “How did I get into this stupid fix?” (The answer is that she listened to her girlfriends, but she really doesn’t want to go there.) She finishes with the packing, closes her suitcase and tells herself, “This is positively the last time that I agree to a blind date with an engineer, the very last time!”
Jim finishes packing, according to his printed list, double checks everything, then closes and totes his suitcase out to his car, puts it in the trunk and repeats his little current prayer, “Don’t let her be a total airhead.” He gets in the car, fires the engine up and carefully scans the instruments in the dash. As usual, all systems are go, but it never hurts to check and it can sometimes avoid big problems. He then drives off to pick up Janice. He pulls up, in front of Janice’s apartment, parks his car, gets out, walks up to the front door and rings her doorbell.
Janice answers the door and observes the man standing there. He’s average height, looks very fit and he’s dressed in casual, but stylish, clothes. She asks, “Yes?”
Jim looks at the trim lady and says, “Hello, lovely lady, I’m here to pick up Janice, for our date.”
Janice’s ‘silver tongued devil’ alarm goes off, but she suppresses the warning and says, “I’m Janice.”
Jim says, “I’m Jim and my car awaits.”
Janice takes a breath and then decides, “Let me grab my suitcase and away we go.”
“Let me take that, it looks heavy.”
(Janice thinks, “At least he acts like a gentleman.”)
The two walk out to Jim’s car.
Janice pauses, looks over the car, and asks Jim, suspiciously, “Exactly what do we have here?”
Jim lectures, “A brand new steel frame, with precision steering and brakes that are designed to stop a car that weighs twice what mine does. A powerful, stock engine that will pull us up the hills to Mountain Vista. The seats are Recaro racing seats, designed for comfort for a driver who has to drive at racing speed for maybe eight hours at a time. The air is Hot Rod Air, to keep us warm, way up in the altitude, the radio is a nifty unit that also plays DVD based music, for your listening pleasure. The instrumentation warns me if something is going wrong, so we don’t get stranded by the side of the road. Despite its old fashioned looks, it’s really quite an advanced vehicle.”
“It does look old.”
“It’s a brand new fiberglass body replica of a much modified nineteen forty one Willys coupe.”
“Is it safe?”
“Safer than at least ninety nine percent of the cars on the road.”
With a sinking feeling, as her last excuse vanishes, Janice says, “Well then, I guess that it’s safe.”
Jim loads Janice’s suitcase into the trunk of his car. He then walks back and opens the passenger side door for the lady.
(Janice thinks, “Another gentleman act, or is it just an act?”)
Janice, rather reluctantly, gets in and looks around. The interior of the car is small, but there are individual seats, so the wandering hand problem should be minimal.
Jim walks around and gets in the driver’s side. He fires the engine up, does his usual quick check of the instrument panel and then drives. He says, “We have to meet the others, down at the highway gas station.”
“Your car might create quite a stir, among the others.”
“Well, it’s unique, not just another cookie cutter vehicle that anyone who can come up with the down payment can drive.”