Playing With Fire

I am just stretching out and relaxing here on my big, black, comfortable, manly leather poppa chair in my living room, after a long drive home from my buddy Al’s house. I didn’t actually do the driving. My Lady Wonder Wench did the driving, because we were taking the trip in her car, and because she is convinced that she is a better driver than I am. Which she is not. She tailgates and I hate that…because the idiot ahead of you is not to be trusted. But we take her car on long trips because it is much newer than mine, and in much better shape. It doesn’t slow down when you turn on the windshield wipers, it doesn’t leave streaks of oil on the side windows, and it doesn’t make mysterious noises that only my Lady Wonder Wench can hear.

Sometimes we’ll be driving in my car and she’ll say, “What’s that…that funny noise ?” We can be in the middle of a rush hour traffic jam on the highway, and he wants to know if I can hear a funny noise. She did that to me last week. We were in the middle of rush hour traffic, and I could hardly hear her let alone catch and diagnose some funny noise. She said “you better have it looked at.” I said “What ?” She said “That funny noise.” Like most guys I said, “Funny noise…yeah, sure. I ought to do that.” And I forgot all about it.

The next day I was out driving and even I heard the funny noise. This time it was pretty distinct. It sounded like either the fender was falling off, or the engine was breaking loose. Fortunately I was only a few blocks away from Mr. Goodwrench, and I brought it in and he said, “What seems to be the problem?” If I knew what the problem was, would I be standing there ? But a guy can’t say, “I heard this funny noise.” So I said, “There may be a problem with the front bearings.” He said, “What makes you think so?” What the hell was I going to say? So I said, “My wife said she heard this funny noise. I never drive the car, but that’s what she said.” He said, “Funny noise huh ? I said “Yeah, you know how they are.” He said, “Yeah, my wife heard one of those last week. It was the transmission. It was expensive.” Then he gave me that sad look I hate to see on a mechanic’s face, and he wrote, “Customer hears funny noise” on the work sheet, and he says, “Sign here” and he gave me keys to a loaner car circa early Gerald Ford presidential administration.  He called me back a few hours later and said, “We can’t make your car make any funny noises.” I wanted to say would you please get a second opinion. Maybe my wife could talk to your wife.”

Dick’s Details. Quiz. All answers are in the current podcast

1- If the smart guys in the white lab coats are right, why will it be easier to get a date in the next century?

2- Why do people from India seem shorter than they really are?

3- Why did I marry my secretary?

Dick’s Details. They take your mind off your mind.

So…I make mistakes with cars. Mistakes are the dues you pay for having a real life. I grew up in Brooklyn. My car was the BMT Subway. I finally got a car the year before I graduated from College. One of the mistakes I made in that car involved what I thought was a perfectly reasonable suggestion I made to a young lady by the name of Maureen in the Riis Park Parking lot one evening. It was that evening when I learned that “I’m fine” means “Don’t touch me with any part of your body that you don’t want cut, shredded or otherwise mangled.” In all the time I’d known her before, it seemed like her favorite sexy fantasy was being submissive. It turned out that women in her family have their own personal fight song. Women have always been confusing to me. I’ve seen my Lady Wonder Wench get pale and tremble and look at me in amazement just because she’s sitting next to me in the car. She really hates how I drive. But she’ll go flying with me while I’m piloting the plane with hardly a whimper. And she never punches me in the shoulder while I’m landing.

There’s a story in the Night Connections 3 Personal Audio CD about a guy who’s very distracted while he’s driving his car, because he’s afraid he may be about to make a huge mistake.

When you play with fire, you can get burned. And when you don’t play with fire, you can get very cold. Given the choice, I’ll play with fire every time. It’s an old story. A hot romance cools down to just a relationship. Kids and years and the mortgage…and her sexy black lace sits neglected…all bunched up in a ball…under the laundry. Not noticing when she’s tired, figuring there’s no reason to bring her flowers for no special reason except…she’s special…hands that are too full of the TV remote to brush a whisp of hair back from her face…and eventually…there’s no more fire to play with.

It is an old story. And it’s a warning. A lover eventually becomes a stranger. And a stranger becomes a lover. Most of the time, it’s not because of some big knockdown blow to the heart. Most of the time it’s just an accumulation of missing touches. Why is a touch too much for him to give? Why is a touch too much for her to ask for ? It’s like which one single snowflake will finally trigger an avalanche. Which one single small missing touch will finally smother the fire that’s been warming your lives? Which small careful touch will light a fire that turns a stranger into a lover. It usually happens on the edge of a moment. For centuries a small crack has been silently creeping through the almost solid rock at Niagra Falls. Nobody pays much attention. It’s just a small crack right now. But there will come one moment…someday…when the ledge, the railings, the tourists and the turbines will all go thundering over the falls. Which drop of water will do it.

“The End Of Time” is from the Night Connections 3 Personal Audio CD. If you like it, you can just keep the current podcast. Or if you want a fresh copy, check out the Night Connections 3 icon on the home page.

My old car has made lots of funny noises thru the years when my Lady Wonder Wench has been riding with me. I still don’t pay much attention to the noises the car makes. But I do pay a lot of attention to the noises she makes. Especially the ones that sound like the noises I was hoping to hear in that Riis Park parking lot a lot of years ago. I like playing with her fire.

Please check out my new book, Staying Happy Healthy And Hot at  Thanks. Dick Summer 

2 Responses to “Playing With Fire”

  1. Sometimes, we are too scared to ask , and sometimes we have asked so many times in so many ways only to be unheard. But, I say keep on asking , never give up until the last moment on earth because at least then you can tell yourself you tried to keep love in your life. and sometimes we have to remember that not everyone was raised to understand or expect love.

  2. aliasJean Fox says:

    Someone I have admired for many years said “touches are better than words — but words are better than nothing”.
    What happens when “nothing” is what occurs?

    As for the car noises — how do you convince your mechanic that sometimes it sounds like your car has square wheels when he can’t hear that the muffler is shot too?