Continues from here.
On the way to work I heard of the radio that we were in for a wet day, there was even the possibility of hail, I immediately felt bad for Jack having to ride the bike. I was about to ring him and ask him if he wanted me to come back and get him when I remembered two things. Firstly he’d probably already left and wouldn’t answer his cell while riding and secondly the weather at that time had no sign of rain and he would have the choice of two vehicles by the time the rain did come.
Because of the rain there was one decision I did make which wasn’t in my original plan. I would park the Mustang around the back under cover, the risk of dust was greater than at the front but under cover meant the car would be protected if the hail did eventuate. Hail damage to such a classic car that was not mine is something I just didn’t want to risk.
When I arrived at work I pulled into the right side of the shelter, that was usually Bill’s side, well given he was the main one to use the shelter he usually parked in the middle but he preferred to be closer to the office door when he did park. I knew that while Bill wouldn’t be expecting to see another car parked in his shelter he would have enough time to see it and avoid it with his lazy parking because I parked so far over. When I got out of the car I was happy that I’d gotten it so far under cover, if the hail did eventuate given the direction the weather traveled the entire car should have been protected. I unlocked the office and went inside to start another day at work with a spring in my step that I hadn’t had before work for a long time.
Walking past the kitchenette on my way to my desk I filled the kettle and turned it on so that I could make coffee, I might have started the day with coffee at Jack’s place and I might have been in a good mood but I couldn’t start work without coffee. When I got to my desk I placed my bag on the floor, switched my computer on, checked the answering service, no messages, then grabbed my coffee cup and headed back to the kitchen.
I was sitting at my desk sifting through the company email and sipping my coffee when I saw Bill’s car drive past the window. I listened carefully as I sipped hoping not to hear the sound of Bill crunching his Ford into the back of Jack’s Mustang, only kidding, Bill really isn’t that bad at driving. I managed to scan ten junk emails, delete them and read one email from the power company before I heard the door from outside open, then I heard Bill’s footsteps on the wooden floor.
“Someone is risking a nice set of wheels parking it in my spot.” He called as he came past the kitchenette, he obviously hadn’t seen my car missing from the front car park. “Who the hell can afford a ride like that around here?” he said as he stepped into the main part of the office.
It wasn’t really a rant because Bill didn’t rant like that but it was his way of making the point that he’d seen the car. I half expected his next comment to be something along the lines of paying staff too much if they can afford such a nice car but it didn’t happen. Part of Bill’s charm was that he really was a nice guy, but he also thought he needed to have a tough exterior for the boys in the yard to respect him. If anyone of the guys had asked him if they could park their car next to his he wouldn’t even consider saying no, but he would expect to be asked.
“It’s mine,” I said before letting the conversation escalate into something it didn’t need too.
“Yours? You kidding me? Have you been diddling the pay roll and increasing you weekly wage, because last time I checked you didn’t earn enough to own a classic ride like that.”
“Diddling the pay roll? Bill Campbell I have never been so offended!” I wasn’t offended but I was playing along with him.
“I’m sorry I know you haven’t, I was just being silly. That thing is a classic, it must have set you back 40K at least.”
“I didn’t know you were such a classic car expert, Bill.” I said.
“I’m not but I do know what good condition Mustangs go for.”
“And is that a good condition Mustang is it?” I asked playing the naive card and hoping I wasn’t playing too naive.
“You mean you don’t know? Surely you had Jack or your Dad check it out before you picked it up?”
“Nope. Dad did see it last night when we went around for dinner though and he was very impressed.”
“I bet he was, If one of my girls came home with a ride like that I’d ask them to move back.” Of course he was being a little silly, he had no kids. “I’m a bit shocked you brought it to work given how dirty and dusty this place can get.”
It was at that moment I think the penny dropped, I’m sure I even saw a light bulb above his head light up.
“What?” I asked as innocently as I could muster.
“It’s not yours is it? The car is Jack’s isn’t it.”
“There is no way you’d drop 40K on a car without getting your Dad’s opinion and you just said ‘we’ went to dinner so Jack also knows about the car.”
“I still don’t know what you are talking about.”
“Of course you don’t. What if I rang Jack and asked him if it was you car?”
”He’d say it was,” I said, but then in my mind added, “if I get to him first.”
“What if I rang the towing company and told them it was abandoned on my property and had to be removed. Could you prove it was yours.”
I must have hesitated for a moment too long because the same light bulb came back over Jack’s head but before he had a chance to say anything I replied. “You would really go to that length to try and prove me wrong?”
“Nope, I only have to go this far and see the look on your face to know it’s not yours! So is it Jack’s?”
I didn’t see any point on keeping the game going so I agreed and told Bill why I had Jack’s car and when it was going back to him. Over the course of the rest of the day I think I saw every one of our half dozen employees in the office, they all came in with ‘official work business’ but each one also inquired about the Mustang. Because the guys in the yard weren’t as much fun to play with as Bill I told each and everyone of them it was a loan car and mine was in the shop. I got a few comments relating to repair shops that gave out Mustangs as courtesy cars but I palmed them off and by the time all six guys had been in the office I kind of wished they could have organized themselves as a group to come and ask questions so I didn’t need to answer six times.
At the end of the day although we’d had a bit of rain, and it did get quiet heavy at one stage, the hail didn’t eventuate so I was happy to drive the car back to Jack without fear of leaving it dented. Because I knew my car would be out the back I drove the Mustang around the back of the shed. I was surprised to find my car still inside the shed so I parked behind it and went inside to find Jack, wondering if out watches were synchronized.