A Puddle On A Sunny Day

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It was a bright, sunny autumn day. My dad was driving his "new to us" 1977 Pontiac Sunbird along the country road leading to our cottage, accompanied by my older brother in the front seat and me in the back seat. The Sunbird, with its compact size and V6 motor, was considered a "peppy" car and we were "pepping" along at a clip of 65 miles per hour.

We approached a large puddle that completely covered the roadway. Without slowing down, we sailed through the puddle, creating a huge splash. Little did we know as we approached the puddle that it was raw sewage. A honey wagon--a truck that pumps out the contents of septic tanks into its own storage tank for disposal--had lost its stinky cargo on the road several hours before.

Moments after the splash came the stench, which in short order caused my older brother to roll down his window and blow chunks from the speeding car. Being the kind and considerate person I am, I laughed uproariously at this development despite the horrific smell of the septic waste. I had to control my gorge better than he did, for the back windows on the 77 Sunbird did not roll down, and had I indulged myself in a liquid laugh it would have stayed in the back seat with me, contributing nothing favorable to the unfolding situation.

We arrived at the cottage and surveyed the damage. The car was speckled with thousands of drops of liquid sewage that were seemingly baked on and required intense scrubbing to remove. While we were able to get all of it off the body of the car, but the underneath took more time and much driving through less noxious puddles. Despite our best efforts, whenever the car got sufficiently wet the whole time my dad owned it, there was a smelly undertone to remind us what had happened.

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