- Steele Drivin' Man 8/?
Date: Wednesday, May 09, 2001
- Anne Rose <LCHAnne@hotmail.com>
Fred's got a lot on his mind! Thanks again to my faithful
beta readers, Lauryn and Linda.
Feedback appreciated - permission to archive
Steele Drivin' Man 8/?
January 30, 1983
Maintenance: Radiator flush, air filter replaced
This week my job description should have read "designated
driver for Alcoholics Anonymous".
Tuesday night I was just getting settled in front of the tube
for the Lakers game when Mr. Steele called and asked me to come
down to the office. He apologized for calling so late, but since
he sounded kind of worried I hustled down there. I was just in
time to see a mighty strange sight - out came Mr. Steele and
Mr. Michaels with Miss Holt between them, but she was horizontal.
Looked like she was putting up a pretty good fight, too, because
I could hear her hollering as soon as the doors opened. Mr. Steele
and Mr. Michaels were both trying not to laugh, but when they
set her down next to the car they couldn't stop themselves. That
didn't help Miss Holt's mood. When I got close enough my nose
told me what was going on - she was totally smashed. Smelled
like something in the vodka family.
Mr. Steele told me we were taking Miss Holt home. They wedged
her in between them and she started up again as soon as we left
the curb. She went on and on about the suppression of women,
and how men just used women as
stepping stones as they clawed their way to the top, and how
in the end all men wanted the same thing from women. Something
like that. It didn't all make sense, that's for sure. But she
By the time we got to her house she had pretty much burned herself
out. Mr. Steele and Mr. Michaels kinda half carried her to the
house, and I was put in charge of digging out her housekeys.
Man, I hate going through a woman's purse.
We got her inside, and then Mr. Steele and Mr. Michaels started
arguing about who was going to help her get into bed. Obviously
neither one was going to let the other out of his sight, and
they weren't giving an inch. While they fought it out, I stayed
out of the way near the door. Poor Miss Holt looked too wasted
When I glanced outside to check on the car I could feel two sets
of eyes on me, and Mr. Steele and Mr. Michaels both had a look
that scared me. Mr. Michaels grabbed my arm and told me I was
going to help.
Now I've never been one to avoid going above and beyond for my
employer, but I thought that this was really pushing it. Before
I could open my mouth, Mr. Steele threw her arm over my shoulder,
and pointed me to the bedroom. I just hoped Miss Holt was too
out of it to remember anything.
Now I like Miss Holt a lot, and she's a good person to work for,
but a guy's got to draw the line somewhere. I steered her to
the bed and eased her down. She keeled over on to her pillow
and I took her shoes off. I threw a spare blanket over her, and
that was all I was going to do. I'd rather make an extra trip
to the cleaners to get her suit pressed than do anything more
than I did.
When I came out Mr. Steele and Mr. Michaels both gave me a big
pat on the shoulder and I took them home.
The next morning I picked up Mr. Steele and took him to Miss
Holt's. I had to agree with him that she was not going to be
in any condition to drive herself anywhere. We went to the door
and knocked, and waited quite a while for her to answer. Mr.
Steele was just about to get pick the lock when she finally opened
the door. If I had ever wondered what death warmed over looked
like, I saw it right there.
Mr. Steele didn't seem very sympathetic. He handed me Miss Holt's
car keys and asked me to bring her car around, and then I headed
back to the office.
Thursday afternoon was when Mr. Steele's problems began, even
though it seemed like a good plan at first. It started out with
me hefting half a case of wine to the car, all the same kind.
Then Mr. Steele gave me a list of names and addresses in Pacific
Pallisades and Westwood and away we went. I kinda had an idea
that whatever he was up to, Miss Holt didn't know about it. So
when we got to the first house and he didn't quite know how to
put it, I told Mr. Steele I could take care of Miss Holt. I told
him I'd lie, but of course I could also just not answer the phone.
He was pleased to see I'd cover for him. Hey, us guys have to
watch out for each other once in a while. He told me to treat
myself to an oil and grease job, but he didn't know I had just
taken the limo in last week. Besides, I thought it would be best
to stick around and keep an eye on things. Mr. Steele told me
these women had been out with Miss Holt, so I didn't think it
was a good idea to leave him alone in this neighborhood.
I sat in the car and read my 'Car and Driver.' A couple of hours
later Mr. Steele stumbled down the walk and practically fell
into the back seat, before I could even help him. He didn't look
so great, and he stunk like a barrel from Christian Brothers.
I started up, knowing we still had the list to get through. But
either Mr. Steele wasn't paying attention or I hit the gas too
fast, because he hit the back of the seat pretty hard. Oops.
By the time evening came Mr. Steele was seriously hammered. I
had to help him into the car after the last stop. I haven't seen
anyone could drink that much in a long time, at least not since
the homecoming Wapatuli party at Larry's house when we were seniors.
I just hoped he wasn't going to get sick back there.
I headed back to the office, and that's when Mr. Steele finally
started going at it. Boy, I thought Miss Holt could rant and
rave when she tied one on, but it was nothing compared to Mr.
Steele once he got rolling. He complained about how women just
dumped men as soon as they outlived their usefulness, and then
picked up another to have handy at the next social gathering.
Then he got into how women would callously toy with a man, stringing
him along and then giving him the boot just when things looked
promising. Then he went on about how certain women just couldn't
recognize the possibilities that were right within their reach,
and missed out on opportunities for romance because they were
too focused. Whatever. I just listened.
He settled down by the time we got to Century Plaza, and he insisted
that he could get upstairs by himself, but I at least got him
in the elevator and pushed '11' for him. I don't think he could
have found it on his own.
I think I'll need to stop at the drugstore tomorrow for aspirin
and ice packs.
- To Be Continued . . .
- To Part