Flash in the Pan
A Quarterly Posting at Tiny Lights
A Spin Or Two
by Florence Anrud
"Look in the glove compartment for an owner's manual, maybe with some repair receipts inside." Olaf was test driving a rather grand, almost-new Volvo DL four-door sedan - classic black, low mileage, virgin ashtray! - and we were cruising I-5 between the Volvo agency and our home in Lakewood, a suburb south of Tacoma, Washington.
"Hey! Hey! Look at this!" Gunnar, age 18, waved a large manila envelope, top opened, greenbacks falling out! GREENBACKS!! Stuffed inside. His eyes popped! He started laughing.
Olaf quickly pulled off the freeway and coasted into a very convenient mall parking lot. Coasted to the end of the lot. The deserted end of the lot. Heidi , almost 14, and I were leaning into the front seat, all agog.
Olaf started counting the packets of bills. I had never seen a $100.00 bill, not to mention a $500.00 one. We all began laughing. Giggling. We felt like tossing the cash into the air. Something like ‘The Lavender Hill Mob' ecstatic after their first heist. Crumpled in the bottom of the manila envelope was a bank slip made out for a $20,000.00 deposit. The attack of giddiness twirled our minds toward a maelstrom.
"What time do you have?" Olaf shook his wrist. "My watch has stopped. I don't think we should keep the car too long."
"Let's buy the car now that we have the money to pay for it." Gunnar smiled.
The silence was deafening. Heidi tightly gripped my hand. Her eyes widened. Olaf gulped.
"And, what money might that be?" Olaf asked. Heidi and I were biting our tongues.
"NO - NO! Just kidding! Do you think I want the Mafia after me at my tender age?" Gunnar guffawed. "I'm not ready for the Black Mariah."
"Whew! I'm glad your moral compass has stopped spinning." Olaf started the motor purring.
We were school teachers, for pete's sake. We had a history of owning economical cars, cars as part of the family: a beloved VW Beetle, our honeymoon car. Next, a Fiat sedan - a miserable excuse for transportation. Then an early import Toyota - more aggravation. Following that, THE major mistake: an uneconomical, worn-out Jaguar sedan that almost drove us off the edge of the abyss. We swore we would never, never, NEVER again purchase a used car. Finally, a Honda Civic acted decently, like a good citizen. Yet, here we were, tempted by a used Volvo.
"Let's take the scenic route back to the dealership. I want to see how old Sven," Olaf gently patted the steering wheel, "handles the spin around Chambers Creek Drive. A good Norwegian family just might fulfill his destiny. And, I think we can swing it. We can always add Norwegian flags to the front as if from the Embassy!" Olaf laughed.
"Ya - Ya, ya betcha! on a Swedish car!" Gunnar snorted.
"I think we are ready to talk business." Olaf announced as we walked into the agency. "But first, you'd better look in the glove compartment."
Florence Anrud says, "Writing is still rewarding! Addictive! and now I'm working on a memoir, 'Enough Blue . . .' Though a Pacific Northwest Girl, I recently moved to Alexandria, Virginia to be closer to family."
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