A shiny new set of DVD's
has given Fred fresh inspiration. A helluva long
day takes its toll! As always, my heartfelt thanks to Susannah for local
color that adds so much, and to Lauryn for wacky suggestions and astute
Your feedback is always appreciated. Nancy, you may archive.
STEELE DRIVIN MAN
DATE: March 21, 1984
SERVICE: Cooling system
Today my day didn't start
until most people's is just about over. It was
kinda like working the evening shift, then the night shift.
On Monday Mr. Steele had
told me that today they'd be busy out of town and
he had plans to use Miss Holt's car, so I made an appointment for the beast
to get the radiator re-cored and all the hoses replaced, which can take
quite a while. So the car was tied up all day, but not 10 minutes after I
parked in the garage Mr. Steele asked me to come pick them up at the rental
car place down the street.
The first thing I noticed
was Mr. Steele was limping bad, and holding
himself up with a cane. They got in and as I closed his door I noticed Mr.
Steele had the most godawful odor coming off of him. I know hes never
smelled that bad! He wanted to go straight to Rossmore to change and I
didn't doubt it. I was glad to do it because the last thing I needed was
that smell getting into the upholstery. In a funny way it reminded me that
itd had been a while since Id had to ventilate the limos back seat ---
not since the early days when Mr. Steele had a thing for blondes that never
knew when to say when. Guys never want to be the one to tell em but a
little of that designer perfume goes a long way! Not that Im comparing. To
be fair to the ladies, the whiff that was coming off of Mr. Steele right
then was more like a horror movie. In Smell-o-vision.
Miss Holt sat right next
to her open window and I kept the air blowing hard.
Miss Holt asked me to wait around a bit and they went upstairs. When they
came back down we headed out to the Hayden Institute. I sat around and
watched people gradually leaving for the day. The sun was coming in the
windows and I was getting really bored. I'd already read all my magazines
at the shop waiting for the car.
Finally they came out and
Miss Holt was quite a sight. She was soaked from
head to toe, her hair and her clothes wet everywhere. She looked seriously
shaken up. So between gimpy Mr. Steele and soggy Miss Holt, they looked
like they had really been through the wringer. She made quite a puddle back
I took them to the office
and when I went down to the garage I realized the
Rabbit wasn't in its spot. I thought that was weird, but sometimes I don't
know what's going on. I tried calling Miss Krebs but she must have been
out, because no one answered. A minute later the elevator opened and we
were on our way back to Rossmore.
It was after dark now and
all the waiting around was wearing me down. Mr.
Steele and Miss Holt came down dressed in their evening clothes, if you
catch my drift, and we were off to a funeral home in Glendale. I wish I'd
gone to the 7-11 for a cup of coffee while I'd been waiting. I needed
something to wake me up.
I parked half a block down
and Mr. Steele and Miss Holt slunk back toward
the building. I saw them duck behind a ledge and they disappeared. I
rubbed my face and opened the window to keep from falling asleep. At least
this time I didn't wait very long for them, but when they got in, man what a
smell! Now they smelled like Tony Romas. Like theyd been barbequed to a
crisp, and talk about filthy! They collapsed back there and Miss Holt told
me to go back to Century Plaza. As we were going up the boulevard I could
see the lights were on upstairs, so I figured Miss Krebs was putting in some
late hours, too. I parked in the circle, hoping this night wasn't going to
last much longer.
Ten minutes later we were
on our way out to Santa Barbara. I was not ready
for such a long haul at this time of night and it was hard work staying
alert. Good thing traffic was light. Eventually I coasted up to the alley
side of a serious piece of real estate. Mr. Steele and Miss Holt got out
and I could barely see them work their way down to a pond. It looked like
they were poking around in the mud for something. They must have found it
fast because they came running back, well really Mr. Steele kinda hopped, to
the car, and we were back to Rossmore. Again. They were fading fast, and
so was I. But since the back seat now smelled like a barnyard, it kept me
I kept hoping Miss Holt
would let me go home, but when they got out Mr.
Steele said he might just need a little backup shortly, so I stayed. Man, I
couldn't keep awake any longer. I must have fallen asleep right there in
the front seat. My mind didn't sleep much, though, because I realized later
that I'd had the wildest dream! I dreamt that Miss Krebs owned the agency,
and I took her to all these swank places, and she was dressed to the hilt.
Miss Holt and Mr. Steele weren't around anywhere. Somehow I dreamt that I
worked Monday through Friday, 8 to 5, and never at night or the weekend.
What a fantasy that would be!
I might have dreamed there
all night except for someone yelling, and a huge
crash right behind the car. I jumped out and saw two people tangled up in
the bushes. Mr. Steele yelled at me and when I looked up he was about ready
to jump off his balcony. For some reason there was a rope hanging down from
the rail and he was down that thing and helping me in two seconds. When I
realized one of the women was Miss Holt, I got a chill down my spine that
got me wide awake.
They both were out cold.
Mr. Steele picked up Miss Holt and told me to get
the other woman. I said something about an ambulance, but he didn't want to
wait. He got in the back with Miss Holt and I got the blonde lady into the
front, and I flew to St. Vincents. It was a good thing it was late because
I blew through every red light along the way. Mr. Steele was frantic, but
he calmed down long enough to call Miss Krebs and tell her where we were
I'm glad Miss Holt is going
to be all right, but she gave me the scare of my
I guess I shouldn't have
been in such a rush to get the upholstery shampooed
last month. And I still haven't figured out what happened to the Rabbit.