Monday, May 10, 2004

Monday Schadenfreude: The Mansbridges of Madison County

Today, a Very Special Schadenfreude, sent in from Edmonton by guest blogger Sean Carrie:
Peter Mansbridge calls Cynthia Dale from his cell phone, asking whether she’d heard a weird noise coming from the BMW when she’d taken it out to aerobics that morning.

“No,” is the wife’s reply. “But I was singing selections from Camelot, so I might not have noticed.”

Mansbridge pulls the car off the Queensway moments later, gingerly edging his tried-and-true automobile up a quiet street in the direction of a nearby, Licensed BMW Auto Body Shop. There’s a definite ‘ping,’ there. Especially now with the freeway’s noise muffled by the sound barrier. Although, could he be just a little overprotective? Little too worried? ...No. Definitely something like a ‘ping.’

The auto mechanic wears an unsmeared, gunmetal-grey coverall. He has a salt-and-pepper brush-cut. Mansbridge thinks he smells like a warship might smell. There’s a signed Street Legal cast photo on the wall. All except Chuck, that is, missing for all these years in the forests of Gabon. Next to the photo a 5x7 glossy of his wife. Next to that a 5x7 glossy of Mesley. That bitch. And, curiously, one of Bruno Gerussi.

“I think it’s the drive-shaft,” Mansbridge says. “Probably the drive-shaft. Or maybe the carburetor.” Mansbridge shifts from one foot to another and ventures another stab at affecting just the slightest shred of automobile know-how: “Could be both.”

The auto mechanic is digging deep into the engine’s core. Tinny teutonic expletives emanate from underneath the hood as he inserts his wiry frame nearly completely inside the front of the car. After some minutes of work he emerges, dangling a (rag?) from his index finger.

“Is this your toupee?” he queries. Mansbridge looks sheepish. A nearly imperceptible smile bends the very corner of the auto mechanic’s otherwise latitudinal mouth. Mansbridge had misplaced the toupee years ago, while restoring the car’s antifreeze.

Mansbridge blushes.

“No, no. Ha ha. Funny you should ask,” he ventures... “It’s actually my wife’s.”

The automechanic’s severe mouth affects an even more pronounced curve. He shouts something in german to the other mechanics, who join him outside and begin belly-laughing. Mansbridge assumes the wheel and makes for the Queensway in something of a hurry.
This has been your Monday Schadenfreude.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Argh. These comments are ridiculous.