Tell me a story - true, or you wish it were

This is a true story.

The Great Phoning the henry ford Museum Adventure


I rang the henry ford Museum one day in late July of 2007, and asked whether they have any Amphicars.


The operator who answered hung up on me after I’d been on hold about 90 seconds.

I called back. She didn’t apologize for ringing off and transferred my call to someone who hadn’t a clue.

The clueless one put someone else on the line after a short wait.

“You’re looking for a what?” he said when I asked whether they have an Amphicar. “A [insert thoroughly misheard non-word]?”

[Very slowly] “Am-phi-car. A-M-P-H-I. It’s amphibious.”

Silence. I looked over at mom, who looked suitably horrified. I smiled at her and said into the phone, “You can drive it into the water.”

“Oh! Oh! Oh, no. Oh, no. I’ve been here nine years and I’ve never seen anything like that; nothing that’s amphibious.”

“‘K! Thank you!” I said as I hung up, and looked at my still-horrified-looking mom. “You only heard half the conversation.”

“I know,” she told me. “You have my sympathy.”

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When I saw the second photo in your post, I thought it was cars designed to create an amphitheater with. True story.

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Okay, since no one else has posted a story of more than two sentences, I’ll tell some more.

Some of you have never adjusted/done bodywork on 50+ horses in a day, and it shows.

I swear on every volume of The Oxford English DIctionary this actually happened. It was during the 90s. I was in Jamaica and almost all were rescued former racehorses. They belonged to a woman who became a very dear friend. I miss her soooooo much.

Another day I worked on almost all the horses at St Ann Polo Club, the world’s longest-lived polo club. All but one. He tried to kill me, no lie.

I slipped into his stall to work on him, and he pinned his ears, snaked his neck, spun around and kept pointin’ his bum at me so he could kick me to death.

The stalls have no doors, just chains or those banner-y things that go across. He wouldn’t let me leave his stall. He blocked my escape every way he could. It was an absolutely terrifying dance, and every move had to be perfectly timed to go with this furious partner’s lead. I knew how to avoid his attempted assaults, which angles were inaccessible to him, but that was one speedy, nimble, angry bastard. Somehow I stayed calm despite the deep fear.

He never did kick, because he knew he’d miss, which made him even angrier. He didn’t want to waste any energy on blows that wouldn’t connect. Don’t know how many times I shifted, jumped, hopped, dashed to avoid him. I couldn’t let this go on forever, and used intellect against his violence. I faked him out - feinted one way, then dashed under whatever was across his stall doorway as he shifted his hindquarters the wrong way.

Having experienced an angry drunk’s pointing a gun at me wasn’t nearly as scary as this. Shook for a while, which would surprise no one who’d witnessed this, and no one witnessed this. Walked around the grounds, had a smoke somewhere well away from the horsey places, tried to think Pleasant Thoughts. Instead wound up thinking he must be in a lot of pain to be that angry, and how awful it was that he wouldn’t accept the offered work he obviously needed.

I got it together after a bit and went on to the next horse in the stable, hoping s/he was not some evil flesh-nomming mutant horsebeast like poor thingie over there, who pinned its ears and gnashed its teeth and snaked its neck despite my giving its stall a wide AF berth to visiting the next horse.

Worked on the rest of the horses, which went smoothly.

I told our friend who runs the polo club about what had happened when she returned from an errand. She was horrified, since she hadn’t warned me off him. She was amazed I’d survived, and grateful for all the well-adjusted horses.

She asked me to work on her one day when her back was bad. She told me, “Yu set dat jooker (J’can slang applied to an instrument I often use for making adjustments) on ‘orse!” We laughed, and I replied with a Jamaican accent, “Noa, mi set it on ‘orsewoman!” and we laughed again.

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I have two very good flat tire stories….no, threee! Here they are in chronological order:

During the late 80s, an often quite fluster-y friend was driving us to his place on the east side of Detroit when we got a flat. He quietly swore once as we got out of the car. He opened the trunk, got out the tools and the dibby dibby tire (an onomatopoeic Jamaican nickname for undersized spares), and set to work w/o another word. Though normally talkative, I also remained silent during the entire operation, not daring to risk one of his many dramatic meltdowns. I was amazed that he didn’t throw a screeching fit, and how efficiently and quickly he changed the tire. We easily made it to our destination. He didn’t even whine to his roommates, one of whom drove me back across town (also w/o complaint) when the time came.

During the mid-90s Mom and I were crossing Woodward Ave at Mack, which at the time was a much-potholed intersection. It was a bitter cold January evening. We hit something just the wrong way and a tire blew. Mom pulled over right after we’d crossed the intersection, and turned off the car. As she was about to get out, the valet parking chap from the hoity toity music center (it was on the corner) appeared at her window. He told us he saw what had happened, and offered to change the tire! He even told us to stay in the car so we wouldn’t freeze, as mom popped the trunk. He began changing the tire, and apologized when he had to stop and park a customer’s car. Mom told him there was no need for him to apologize for doing his actual job.

The two of us discussed his tip when he was almost finished (he was V quick!), and I suggested $20. She said she was thinking $10; I pointed out how cold it was, he was so solicitous & kind as he rescued us, that there was all this traffic on the street, and how quickly he was changing it. She agreed, and insisted when he politely declined the offered tip.

[Ed. Note: This one is the longest, but it is also the best one.]

A month later, mom, her then-BF and I were driving from the airport in Montego Bay on Jamaica’s West Coast to the small place on the North Coast where we stayed. Mom had been warning him about the jagged edge of the road, but he would keep drifting over, and he hit the edge. We naturally got a flat.

W/o a word I slid across the back seat & jumped out as mom verbally laid into him. I leaned in his window to hit the button to open the hatch. I was smiling, intuitively knowing everything would be fine. I then began pulling out all our big heavy luggage so he could access the tools and spare. Only one was left when he joined me, and he was shocked that I’d done it at all, let alone so cheerfully & quickly. (My surprising upper body & arm strength back then was belied by my slight frame [those were the days!!!] and small stature.) Mom sat in the car and fumed for a few minutes, then got out so she could yell at him some more.

I walked a little ways and happily looked around at The Bush surrounding the road. An expensive all-inclusive hotel’s expensive bus fulla mascots (tourists) drove by, a little more slowly than the other traffic. A woman inside it gave me a horrified stare, so my smile quickly melted and I gave her a horrified stare right back. I laughed once the bus had passed, knowing the woman was horrified by The Very Thought of getting a flat in a third world country; I was (and am) horrified by The Very Thought of being on a bus loaded with mascots on its way to an all-inclusive!

I walked into The Bush alongside the road to escape the road and mom’s yelling. I went a short way and found myself on a lovely rocky outcrop overlooking the bright green/blue/turquoise Caribbean, the road noise and mom all but silenced by the lush growth behind me. I breathed in the warmth, the sunshine, the breeze, the bliss - and winter left my bones.

I went back to the road after a few minutes, and mom said she’d just been wondering where I’d gone. I smiled, took her hand, and silently led her down the road and into The Bush, ignoring her questions and complaints. When she saw the sea, she gasped at the beauty of the scene before her. All her anger left her, and I said, “You know, of all the places to get a fucking flat…“ then added, "This sure beats hell outta Mack and Woodward!” She laughed, and after a few enjoyable minutes we went back to the car.

A cop car pulled up and stopped behind us as we returned, and two gorgeous young men hopped out. One had on the uniform trousers but a polo shirt; the other wore a uniform shirt and a pair of his own shorts. The one in the shorts had a yo-yo. (I swear to God/dess I’m not making up any of this!) They greeted us, and immediately one of them took over from mom’s BF, and rapidly finished putting on the dibby dibby tire, as he called it. We laughed, loving the silly slang. He also hipped us to the much sillier term foo foo tire, which made us laugh even more.

When he was done, we warmly thanked them for at least the tenth time. After asking, “Which one of you is the boss?” mom insisted on giving him a sort-of tip, and said their first post-work drinks were on her. :smiley:

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Assemble Sound - a former church in Detroit repurposed as space for musicians to work, record, teach, learn, and perform.

It tried to kill my BF and me one afternoon, when we’d gone to see a friend play. It flung down a big piece of roofing material where we’d been standing a few seconds before.

I yelled up at it, “You missed!”

We also saw a great big muskrat pop out of her/his hole near the former residence (the red brick building), who stared at us for a long moment before disappearing XD

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Strange things happened at the Jamaican villa we rented, S— S—– in M—– B–, but neither the housekeeper/cook nor the gardener who worked there had ever felt or experienced the sort of things we did.

The owner had recently died.

I’d just finished dressing after taking an afternoon shower. I opened the bathroom door, and on the hallway wall was a multitude of shadows. It was as if many partygoers’ shadows were going back and forth between my room and the living room. Some carried drinks and/or cigarettes. A dog or cat shadow occasionally passed. It was the hottest part of the day, when the Sun beats down on the front of the house, so the bathroom window shutters were closed, and I had turned off the bathroom light. My room, at the right-hand end of the hall, was dark - with no lights on and the shutters closed - and no lights were on in the living room to the left. The front door was closed, as were the living room shutters. The French doors all stood open to the veranda, but given their position, I can’t see how they would’ve had any influence. I wasn’t exactly in pitch darkness, yet no source of light for casting these shadows was evident. They suddenly disappeared, although the lighting had not changed.

I walked into the kitchen late one morning, and the cold water was turned on full blast. Mom and her then-honey Falk were out on the veranda in back, and the housekeeper was also elsewhere. It had been 20 minutes or so since anyone had visited the kitchen.

Mom and Falk and I were playing cards in the living room one evening, and we needed munchies. I went to the kitchen but found I couldn’t open the swinging door. It hadn’t been more than half an hour since one of us had been in and out of there, without a problem. We went out the back, walked around to the front door, and found the fridge had been moved a foot and a half, blocking the door. It took all three of us to move it, a noisy, scrape-y operation which took some few minutes. We’d heard nothing; the noise we made moving it was much louder than the tape player. The housekeeper and gardener had gone home/to bed hours before, and BB the Ever Vigilant Goddess Dog hadn’t barked. It seemed most unlikely that someone had walked in the front door and done that.

One evening the three of us were playing cards in the living room with two friends. We’d been playing long enough that I’d had to change the music at least twice, so it had been two or more hours. We sat at the long dining table, and I was one chair away from our young friend Jason. The “grown-ups” were parked on the other side, but Jason and I were kinda squished - our side of the table was close to the French doors which open onto the veranda.

I was staring at my pathetic hand, vainly hoping it would become something useful. I was suddenly tapped hard on the shoulder with something very cold. I yelled as I jumped up, then laughed aloud, banging my chair into the French doors. The hair on the back of my neck stood up, my spine froze, and my blood became ice water. I learned these things are not clichés! Shaking, I asked Jason whether he’d tapped me on the shoulder; in genuine shock, he denied it. Everyone had jumped when I yelled and jumped up out of my chair, especially Jason. All of Jason’s actions had been clearly visible to everyone, and they insisted he had made no move. There was plainly no room for someone to stand behind my chair, the French doors woulda bumped me had they been opened, and BB would have barked. Jason was almost as horrified as I when I explained what had happened.

I began laughing again once I quit shaking.

Mom tried buying the villa. Too bad it didn’t happen, since we obviously so amused the former owner.

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Needs must when a certain old gentleman drives.

A crazed asshole tailgated me for half of our hour-long drive to the riding stable one day. It kept swerving around in its lane right behind me, and I never understood what its initial problem was. It wasn’t like I’m a slowpoke or nuthin’ - quite the opposite! I hadn’t cut him off…I just didn’t get it, which made it even more scary. Mom wasn’t enjoying it much, either.

The bit of road where it happened is a rural, gravel-shoulder’d on either side, two-lane, curvy, hilly affair with whom I am very familiar. There are plenty of places to legally and sanely pass, but he didn’t try, and if he had I’d’ve floored it. We didn’t want to know what he’d do had he passed us!

Dunno how I did it, but I stayed calm while driving at a demonic pace to avoid the cock (it was a man, of course), like some badass stunt driver. There are many farms along this beautiful road, and one of them has a seasonal store with a gravel driveway. Another vehicle hove in sight by the farm store, waiting for a lot of oncoming traffic before making a left. Something just clicked in my head, and trusting my driving skill, I did exactly what was needed. I floored it, plunged onto the gravel to my right, handily passed the sitting car - travelling arrow-straight across the driveway apron! - then hopped back onto the pavement, leaving fuckface fuming and mom amazed. He hadn’t left himself enough room, so he couldn’t escape. I let up on the gas a little once we’d put a mile between us, but sure enough, my friend found us. I went faster and faster, and made the turn into the stables’ gravel driveway so sharp and so late he couldn’t follow. I quickly parked where the car would be invisible at any angle from the road. Mom was once again amazed.

He drove back and forth a few times, looking for us.

We were 20 mins early, which was good. It meant there were 20 mins for me to breathe, tell the tale, and quit shaking before our lesson.

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daniel ash is an ass

This Is A True Story

mr ash was a complete prick to me when I met him at a club in the 80s, but I still very much enjoy Tones on Tail.

My friends Mike, Frank, and Dave all beautifully defended my Hono/ur. Dave made great fun of ash’s clothes and hair in a pointed and intelligent ahem fashion, using elegant language. Frank actually got down on his skinny knees and most extravagantly kow-tow’d, saying he wanted to be just like him and calling him a god. Mike said really disturbing, often insulting, or frightening things - no threats, mind you. What he said was just…. really strange. We kept laughing and laughing; as usual we were making our own entertainment. My friends and I (even individually) could be, and generally were, a travel/ling performance art piece/circus/punk theatre/alternative fashion show - offstage, even!

mr ass, er ash was very quickly made uncomfortable, and plainly hadn’t a clue what response or reaction was required. Ignoring them didn’t work. ash’d look like he’d finally relaxed again, but Mike’s brain and mouth would produce something else utterly extraordinary at that very moment, and he was again shattered. Mike musta done that at least five or six times, and it was beautiful. We’d all start laughing again, and they’d fire more barbs. It’s a good thing The Cadaver was there; she thoroughly enjoyed herself.

It never even occurred to Mr Rock Star that all that was required was an apology!

A person who’s more than a nanowit and truly creative would have laughed at them and apologized to me, bought us drinks, and had great fun & conversation with some of the most amusing and bright Detroiters one could find.

His loss, not ours. I do hope the guys all still tell this story, or at least remember it. I also most fervently hope mr ash well recalls the evening, and perhaps has become a little more kind.

Maybe Mike’s in his nightmares …. how cool would that be? :wink:

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