Fate: The Practical Joker

Fate seems to think I need a surprise every now and then to keep me on my toes.  Last month’s dough snake certainly succeeded in that, and now Fate’s twisted sense of humour has struck again.  The setup for its latest practical joke was elaborate, going back more than two years.

My vehicle was only a couple of years old at the time and still had its ‘new-car’ scent, but one day I hopped in and got a whiff of… something else.

A really gross ‘something else’.  As if meat juice had been wiped up with sweaty gym socks, then sealed in a plastic bag and left to ferment for a month.  Fortunately it wasn’t terribly strong, but it was definitely pungent.  So I took it to the dealer for a warranty repair. 

When I picked up the vehicle, the service manager gave me a patronizing smile and assured me the smell had just been a bit of stale moisture in the cabin filter:  “It’s all fixed now, so don’t you worry your pretty head about it, little lady.”  (Okay, he didn’t actually say that — if he had, he’d still be nursing the scars; but that was the gist of his attitude.)

They’d ‘fixed’ it, all right. Or rather, fixed me:  They’d poured some vile air freshener into the cabin air intake.  For the next several weeks I had to drive with my windows down, surrounded by a stench like a half-rotted zombie drenched in cheap perfume.  At last the foul miasma faded, and I heaved a sigh of relief. 

Fast-forward to a couple of weeks ago.  (Fate is nothing if not patient.)

I was doing some routine vehicle maintenance, changing the oil and replacing the air filter.  Hubby wandered over and peeked under the hood. 

“What’s this?” he inquired, tugging at a small stick protruding from the air intake.  A moment later he recoiled.  “Ugh!  You can take that out of there — you’re wearing gloves!” 

As he stomped off to wash his hands, I investigated.

Sure enough, the ‘stick’ was the stiffened tail of a mouse that had crawled into the intake and died two years ago.  (Clearly the service department had investigated the problem thoroughly… NOT.)  Anyway, by now the mouse was desiccated and odorless, and when I extracted the little corpse it was feather-light and perfectly preserved.  I’m sure Fate was doubled over, laughing so hard it peed its pants. 

I’m afraid to contemplate what its next prank will be, but I’m bracing myself…

*

P.S. Thanks to everyone who expressed concern for our safety during the recent catastrophic flooding and mudslides.  (Last week’s news report here:  https://www.accuweather.com/en/severe-weather/death-toll-climbs-following-catastrophic-flooding-in-british-columbia/1049096)   

We’re fine – we missed the worst of the rain, and our creek didn’t overflow.  But our hearts go out to all the people who lost their lives, livestock, and/or homes.  On top of COVID and the summer forest fires, it’s another devastating blow.

Book 17 update: Plotting is going well, and I’ll likely start putting words on the page this week. It’s good to be off and running! 🙂