“Did I ever tell you about the time I drove my car into Gloucester harbor?” Montana yelled through the door of the Ground Squirrel. The Ground Squirrel was formerly a shed that had grown into the unofficial clubhouse of a large group of friends who gathered every Friday night to drink and tell stories. Montana sat in the yard outside the narrow door because Bill didn't want him inside getting drunk, starting fights, and messing up the decor.
“Ah, we all know about that one. You dumped your car for the insurance money. How many times can you screw over insurance companies in your life, Montana?” Bill hollered back.
“Insurance money? Lot your know you little Irish fuck. That car didn't even have insurance.”
“Then you're dumber than I thought. Dumping your car in the harbor like a retard.”
But I was intrigued. Why in the hell would Montana Jones drive a car into the harbor if it wasn't for the insurance money? “Tell me about it, Montana.”
The room issued a collective groan, but Montana launched into his tale.
“It was this 69 El Camino, see. The one with the big block 396 engine and she was Jet Black and all shiny like the dome on a drunk little Irishman.” he began.
And we were off into another story a Montana Jones.
I bought the car off Steven Trask this low-life swindler who never made a straight deal in his life. So, I ought to have known better. But it was a nice looking car and faster than shit.
I promised to pay him in installments but I got behind a bit and that asshole comes over one night and crimps my fuel line. The next day when I drive it around the pressure backs up and burst the line and it starts a fire on my engine. There I am with a burning car right next to the Crow's Nest . So I walk inside and order a beer and two shots and ask Maggie to call a tow truck. “Tell them to bring a fire extinguisher,” I added.
So, it sits at the garage for three months while I scraped up enough money to get an engine for it. Then when I give them the money it sits for another three months while they work on it in their spare time. Bloody thief's in this town, I tell you.
I finally get it back and I drive it for a week, but those stupid grease monkeys didn't change the fuel line, they just patched it up and sure enough it starts fire again. Another tow, another bit of wrangling but this time they're going to pay. But they have the car for another six months.
Well, you can imagine that I'm a bit hot under the collar after not having my car for a year because of that Steve Trask. And I let him know I was mad about it. But we're friends anyway and bygones will be bygones, so we patched things up. Or at least that's what he thought.. but you have to know that I don't forget a slight so easily.
So, I finally get my car back and in celebration I invited Steve to go on a ride. I promised I'd finally settle up what I owed him and everything would be a-okay.
Steve's stupid enough to say yes and so we get in the El Camino and drive it around with the new engine. It sounded good and ran like a champ and I told him that I was glad to finally be able to drive it and that I didn't have any hard feelings about him crimping the fuel line, which he'd never admitted to before. I told him I was just glad that it was finally my car. Total bullshit, but we had a case of beers and he was buying it hook, line, and sinker.
So, that's when he tells me that he did crimp the line. Oh, it was a nice sunny day and the windows were down and the music was blasting. That son of a bitch admitted it. I drove down to the harbor and I hit the gas.
Well Steve was screaming that I'm a lunatic and whatnot, but I had the gas floored and I was heading right for the piling – you know the one that sits on the edge of the harbor laid down horizontal? Well it's two feet diameter and I thought I'd just push it right off the edge and we'd all go in the drink. It actually never occurred to me that it might be tied down to the dock. But it was. And you know those seamen, they never do a job half-assed. That thing was bolted down there with two-inchers. My car, even at eighty, which is what I had it at when we hit, didn't budge that piling. We crumpled and then flipped right over the top and spun down into the water. I was about knocked silly.
I twisted and shimmied my fat ass out of the window, then I swim up to the surface. I didn't see Steve in the car, so I think maybe he got thrown out on the side of the pier or maybe he squirted out before I came to my senses enough to escape. So I get up to the surface and there's no sign of him.
I walked over to my place and changed my clothes. I'd worked up quite an appetite so I wander over to the BBQ joint. Then, while I'm standing at the bar in the BBQ I heard this squishy noise coming up behind me. I turned around and there was Steve, still in his wet pants and tennis shoes. He's mad as hell.
“You son of a,” he beings but I cut him off.
“Steve,” I says. “You look in bad shape how about I buy you a beer?”
“I don't want you to buy anything for me ever again. I don't want to talk to you ever again,” he sputtered.
“How about one beer, as a parting gift?” I asked.
“Well, okay one beer. But then that's it, Montana, we're finished.”
So I bought him a beer and then I asked him., “ You very hungry. I think you need a plate of ribs. How about I buy you a plate of ribs?”
“I don't want anything from you. We're through!”
“You sure do look hungry,” I said.
“Well, one meal won't hurt.” So I bought him a plate of ribs.
When he was eating that and just about done, I said, “How about a cigar?” You look like you could use a relaxing smoke.”
“What have I been telling you? I don't want anything to do with you, Montana,. I want to be through with you.”
And we're still friends. We just don't sell each other cars