Thursday, October 18, 2007
Commenter JC (a very old pal from college) reminds me of an incident that bears recounting here...
It was about 1979 or so. We were spectacularly dissipated sophomores, taking far too many drugs and drinking ocean-loads. Just... horrible.
On a holiday break, JC kindly assented to let me bum a ride from New York to Boston to visit my girlfriend, who was sharing a flop in Aliston with a quite-good rock band called The Zoo Types. (Reading this back, it occurs to me that I was kinda hip in those days...)
JC's parents owned a late-Sixties Rover TC2000 -- a car you don't see much, and which you didn't see much even then. Though common in Britain, the Rover didn't get exported to the States; so if you wanted to own one, you really had to work at it. There might be 500 of them in the country now.
When we were stationed in Finland, my parents drove a Rover TC2000. "TC" stands for "Twin Carburetter," in case you're interested. I imagine the "2000" is the engine size in cc's. Not a particularly powerful car, but British cops used them; I remember a TV series called "Zed Cars"; I was particularly chuffed to see my parents' car being used in car chases.
I suppose my affection for that car is of a piece with my purchase of that 1964 Triumph bike; I will go to my grave believing that human civilization hit a high-water-mark in the mid-Sixties, and it's been a long, slow slide down the crapper ever since. I saw a Rover for sale in the Giant parking lot in Purcellville last year; I was sorely, sorely tempted to make an offer.
(What, are my neuroses showing?)
So there we were, driving up to Beantown, me waxing nostalgic in this great car. We hit a tollbooth (Mass Pike? Seems likely...) -- and the Rover crapped out. Dead as vaudeville. Neither of us knew a damned thing about engines.
Panic began to set in. Where the fuck were we gonna find a shop off the Mass Pike that can work on a twelve-year-old British import -- and did I mention it was two in the morning?
It was cold. It was late. We were tired. We were fucked.
Then, the most amazing thing happened.
A white Rover TC2000 -- of course it was white! -- pulled up behind us. Guy has tools, parts, I dunno, exploded diagrams. A Rover freak. Loves 'em. Has three. You guys stranded? Here, lemme take a look...
He had us back on the road in maybe twenty minutes.
What are the odds? I mean, seriously, what are the odds?
Life's amazing sometimes.