Winnie and the Optimist

It’s been awhile since I posted any stories about Winnie and Raylene. You can read about their travels here:
Winnie on Tour

Nature Makes Cats Too Smart

In today’s story they are dealing with an overly optimistic great-nephew. 🙂

Winnie and the Optimist

“Looks like your gas tank is a little low, Willie.” Raylene commented from the back seat.

Willie waved his hand in a dismissive way. “Don’t worry about that gauge. It’s broken. I been meaning to get it fixed, but haven’t gotten around to it yet.”

Winnie, sitting beside her great nephew, leaned sideways and eyed the gas gauge. “The needle shows almost empty. So how do you know when you’re really low on gas?”

“By the odometer. I just keep track in my head. Only a few times I’ve actually run out.”

“A few times? But not today, I hope? We want to make it to the airport in good time, Willmont.”

Willie gave her a reassuring glance. “Chill, Aunt Winnie. I’ve got this.”

“Um… Here’s a service station coming up,” Raylene said. “Maybe you could fill your tank before we hit the freeway. Always be on the safe side, you know.”

“I’m sure I have enough gas to get you to the plane. You ladies just relax and leave it to me. No point worrying about things before they happen.”

The ladies exchanged glances and Raylene shrugged as if to say, After all, we can’t force him to stop for gas. She sat back and tried to forget the gas gauge, focussing rather on the scenery. Soon they were on the freeway headed for the big city and their holiday cruise.

The gas station was several kilometers behind them and the sign coming up read: Airport Exit 8 km when they felt the car give a slight jerk. Then another. The motor gave a few little coughs, ran rough for a moment, then stalled.

“What gives?” Willie guided his car to the shoulder. “We can’t be out of…” He peered at the odometer. “Oh, spaz! I thought that was a three. It’s an eight.”

“Sometimes it’s better to…” Raylene timidly began.

Winnie drowned her out. “We’re going to miss our plane, Willmont! Your dad was in the Boy Scouts when he was a youngster, wasn’t he. Didn’t he ever teach you the Boy Scout motto: ‘Always Be Prepared’?”

Willie rolled his eyes. “No sweat. We’ve still got lots of time. I’ll hitchhike back to the service station and get a can of gas. Won’t take long at all.” He got out of the car.

Winnie and Raylene joined him and all three stared at the car.

“Be back in a jiff.” Willie crossed the highway and held up his thumb. A few minutes later a car stopped. The driver nodded sympathetically at the ladies as Willie got into his car and they were off.

“Optimism can go along way,” Raylene commented, trying to inject an upbeat note.

Winnie snorted. “Just not all the way to the airport.”

Winnie and Raylene were still pacing around on the shoulder five minutes later when a car slowed and pulled up behind Willie’s. They recognized the driver as one of the fellows from the Senior Apartments in their town. He stuck his head out the window. “Damsels in distress?”

Winnie hurried over, exclaiming, “Howard Downing! You are a sight for sore eyes! My nephew Willmont was driving us to the airport and he ran out of gas. He got a lift to the garage back up the road.”

“But we’re scared we’re going to miss our plane,” Raylene added. Never hurts to stir up a little sympathy.

“What a coincidence. I’m headed to the airport myself. My brother and his wife are coming in at 12:15 from Vancouver. Would you like a ride?”

Raylene and Winnie both exclaimed. “Would we!”

Howard helped them transfer their baggage to his car. Winnie beamed at him. “You’re a lifesaver!”

Raylene stashed her tote in the back seat. “We should leave Willie a note to say what we’ve done, don’t you think, Winnie?”

“Nope. We can call him when we get to Toronto. He should be home chilling by then.”

“Don’t you think he’ll be worried if we just disappear?”

Winnie gave a dismissive wave with her hand. “He can just relax and leave it to us.” She sat on the passenger side and firmly shut the door.

Howard held the door open for Raylene and winked at her as she sat in the back seat. “The young gotta learn sometime.”