Saturday, August 1, 2015

The Switchblade

I was headed out of San Diego late at night on I-8 to load produce in Nogales, Arizona. About 70 miles east of San Diego, I saw a car stopped beside the road with the hood up and smoke coming out of the engine.

I stopped the truck, grabbed my flashlight, and ran back to see if I could help. When I got to the car it turned out to be a black Cadillac limo.

Standing next to the open hood were three guys who looked like mobsters right out of Central Casting. They were all wearing black suits, black ties, dark gray shirts and had rough, unsmiling faces.

I looked under the hood with my flashlight to see what was causing the smoke. It turned out the AC compressor had seized up and the belt was slipping. I explained this to the group and said, "I could cut the belt so you could be on your way. I have some side cutters in the tool box in my truck - give me a few minutes and I'll go get them."

One of the guys reached into his pocket, pulled out a switchblade, flicked the blade open, and asked, "Will this work?" I said. "I'm sure it will."

I took the razor sharp knife and easily cut the belt. I returned the knife and told them they should be OK until they got the compressor fixed - they'd just have to roll the windows down.

I acknowledged their grudgingly offered thanks and walked back to the truck savoring how I had skewed their view of the world. They were stranded in the desert late at night and a hippy truck driver had saved their ass. 

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