Steele Drivin' Man 7/?
Date: Wednesday, April 25, 2001
Anne Rose <>

Fred's back in the driver's seat, diary in hand (one hand on the wheel, pen in the other). Many thanks again to my V8 overhead cam beta readers, Linda and Lauryn.

Can you name the ep? Feedback welcome - permission to archive.

Steele Drivin' Man 7/?
January 15, 1983
Mileage: 6,120
Maintenance: Front end alignment, tires rotated

This week has really pushed my patience. Everything's been going along so great the past few weeks, but lately there were quite a few bumps in the road.

Tuesday morning I had to sit and wait and wait while Mr. Michaels and Miss Holt were hustling Mr. Steele out to get to his meeting. We were very late getting away, and hard as I tried I didn't get him there on time. That started Tuesday off totally wrong.

On the way to the meeting Mr. Steele told me that the bottle of champagne I had picked up on Monday night wasn't good enough. He was polite enough about it, I guess, but how was I supposed to know that the stuff I picked up was "an inferior year from an even more inferior appellation" or something like that. I just bought what the guy at the liquor store recommended.

While he was in the meeting I had plenty of time to stew, so when I drove Mr. Steele and this overdressed Mrs. Stanton to someone's place in Glendale, I turned on the silent treatment. I see Mr. Steele managed to force himself to drink it. When I got to the house I opened Mrs. Stanton's door and Mr. Steele let himself out. When he came around the car he looked at me and sorta smiled. Well, I'm sure he could tell by the look on my face that I was more than a little pissed, because when he glanced at me again his smile disappeared.

Wednesday I thought our trip to Lake Solitude would be a nice break. Get out of town, go for a nice long drive, look at green things for a change. It didn't start too well, though, with Mr. Steele trying to roll cigarettes and getting loose tobacco everywhere. What a mess! He has no idea how long it took me to vacuum up all those little bits of junk that night. And what was the deal with the raincoat, anyway?

I didn't have much time to think about cleaning up right then, though, because I had to be sure that the blue Ford behind me was really tailing us, or it just happened to be behind us for a long time. After four turns I was sure he was there for a reason, but Mr. Steele and Miss Holt didn't even realize it. When I got the go ahead to lose him, my hard left dumped more tobacco on the floor. Finally, I got to use what I learned at driving school! By the time we got on the Glendale Freeway I had lost him.

Unfortunately by the time we got close to Summit Crest I realized the Ford was back. I was feeling down enough about the past couple days - I wasn't in the mood to point out my failure to shake that guy permanently. What a relief to see him pull into a gas station!

Mr. Steele gave me credit for losing him, even though I told him the Ford had given up a couple of miles back. I think maybe he was just trying to make up for lecturing me on my mistake with the champagne Tuesday. Anyway, I let it go.

A few miles later was the worst of it. I was going uphill into a curve when, too late, I ran through a huge pile of broken glass. It totally shredded the front tires, and since there's only one spare, I knew that it was going to a long wait for yours truly. The road we were on had been real quiet, hardly any traffic at all. After I pointed out the obvious to Mr. Steele and Miss Holt, they decided to hoof it all the way to Contentment. So I sat and waited and waited. I spent my time pushing the glass off the road with a file folder I found in the car. If anyone was going to rescue me, I didn't want them to get a flat, too.

Finally a farmer in a pickup truck came along. I didn't have to flag him down - a black limo parked beside the road in those parts would stop anyone. I took some grief from him about my chauffeur's uniform, and then he took me into Contentment and hooked me up with the local tow truck. By the time we got back to town it was getting late and I wasn't looking forward to spending the night. I was lucky in two big ways, though. The garage had the tire size I needed, and the guy offered to fix me up even though he was supposed to be closed. You don't see that kind of service in LA.

It was a long, quiet drive back. Car trouble always wears me out, and Mr. Steele and Miss Holt looked like they'd had too much fresh air. They were both asleep by the time we got to town. We dropped Miss Holt off first. Mr. Steele must have been really beat - he didn't even walk her to her door.

When we got to the Rossmore, Mr. Steele said goodnight, then started to go inside. All of a sudden he came back to the car, and said if I didn't mind picking him up after lunch on Saturday, he'd take me champagne shopping.

To Be Continued . . .