The Chain Letter and the Fender Bender
The first story I wrote for Retro was about some rather costly auto body damage I caused when I was driving my husband’s beloved T-bird. Needless to say he wasn’t happy about that. (See Fender Bender)
Years before we had another fender bender and although that time my husband was driving, he nevertheless blamed me for that one too. Here’s what happened.
As a kid I was a sucker for chain letters. I’d dutifully cross off the top name on the list, add my name and address to the bottom, make 10 copies, and send it on to 10 friends. That was all well before the tech revolution, so of course all those letters were snail mailed back and forth.
Although I think in all those years I may have received only one paperback book and one tube of lipstick, I dared never break the chain. Who knew what bounties I’d receive the next time if I followed the directions, or what disasters would befall me if I didn’t!
Now I must confess I continued to reply to those silly chain letters even as an adult – after all what did I have to lose? And by that time I had friends and family across the country and abroad, and I thought it fun to include them – my cousin in Italy, a high school friend who’d moved to Atlanta, family and college friends now living in California, relatives in Israel, and several good friends in England. So one day I addressed my 10 latest chain letters and put them in my poke-nook meaning to take them to the mailbox. (If you don’t know about my poke-nook see Poke-Nook, the Lost Glove, and My Cousin Isly)
But for the next few days my 10 chain letters were forgotten and lay unmailed in the depths of my bag, until I suddenly remembered them when my husband and I were on our way somewhere in the car. I can’t remember where we were going, although I know we had left a bit late and were pressed for time.
But I was obsessing over those chain letters in my bag and was on the lookout for a mailbox, As soon as I spotted one I told my husband he had to stop the car immediately. Not knowing what the problem was, he heard the urgency in my voice and slammed on the brakes. Then, you guessed it, we were rear-ended.
And then I had to explain that the urgency was my 10 chain letters. “Chain letters are supposed to be forwarded right away”, I told my husband, “but I forgot and they were in my bag for days, and so now we have to mail them or I might break the chain!”
Needless to say he wasn’t sympathetic to my plight, and in fact it took him a long time to forget about my role in that fender bender.
So if you meet my husband you can talk about politics or baseball or old movies, but please don’t bring up the subject of chain letters.
– Dana Susan Lehrman
This retired librarian loves big city bustle and cozy country weekends, friends and family, good books and theatre, movies and jazz, travel, tennis, Yankee baseball, and writing about life as she sees it on her blog World Thru Brown Eyes!