Friday Fictioneers: CLASSIC

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He paused, sweaty in his efforts pushing the old car. ‘Damn thing! Oh wellthat’s what you get when you own a classic! Classic piece of shit right now.’ At least it was small, thank God for that.  He resumed pushing. The car glided down the street, only the squeak of the wire wheels breaking the stillness.

A passerby. “What are you doing?”

“What does it look like I’m doing? I’m pushing a car!”

“Do you want some help?”

“I’m sorry, that was rude. I can’t leave my car on the street, it would be gone. I’d love some help.”


Here is the photo prompt for this week’s Friday Fictioneers stories, by Beth Carter… a writer high in the Ozark hills. Wait a minute… did that sound right?  Anyway, it is quite a photo, and it won Beth the blue ribbon in the  Ozarks Writers League photo contest in February.  home-made_car

As soon as I saw the wire wheel in the corner, I knew what I would write.  The photo up top is the only picture I have of my first car… a 1955 MG TF-1500.  That is my sister Marja showing off the cars for a car show.  It appeared in the Sacramento Union in 1977.  My car is the little one.  I could not tell you how many times I pushed that car.

Here’s all the other stories…

74 responses

  1. I’m sure the photo in the prompt had its share of pushes. Your first car was a beauty. It would be worth a pretty penny today.

    1. Yes, I wish I still had it. Thanks, Kim.

  2. What a great car, a far cry from the one in the prompt, thankfully!! Even before I saw the MG tag, I knew your car had to be British. They’ve always had amazingly cool-looking cars, even though they didn’t all run well. 🙂

    And the wire wheels brought this snippet of song to mind: “Kansas City star, that’s what I are, Yodel-deedle ay-hee, you oughta see my car, I drive a big old Cadillac with wire wheels, got rhinestones on the spokes.” Roger Williams.


    1. You are a wealth of information, Janet. It was a beautiful car.

      1. Could I just be wealth? Please?

        My dad had the first Fiat F-19 in Nebraska back in the day. It was made by Bertoni, was lime green with a lift-off top and didn’t say Fiat anywhere on it. People used to hang out and yell at us to find out what it was.

        Then he got a silver grey Jaguar XKE that was a dream to drive. Put the gas down and there was nary a wait–it just flew. But it drank gas like a drunken sailor drinks alcohol and if it ever had to be towed, you had to get a flatbed, so he got rid of it. I loved driving it, though. Got lots of attention that way. 🙂

      2. Now I drive a Toyota Sienna van and love it! 🙂 How the mighty have fallen. However, you couldn’t carry much in either of those cars.

      3. I’m sure you get attention, no matter what you drive.

  3. I love old classic cars. They had character! I enjoy seeing posts with pics like these.


    1. They did, didn’t they? Thanks.

  4. “Classic piece of S@#$!!” made ma laugh. Great line.

    1. Now… do not try to tell me that’s how you spell!

  5. I loved that question “what are you doing?”..

    Of course it’s easy to be rude to stupid questions… I really liked it Ted.

    1. Me too. When I stop to gas up the boat (fishing rods sticking out) there’ll always be some idiot walk up and say, “Ya goin’ fishin?” I want say, “Nah, I just love draggin’ my boat and trailer up and down the highway.”

  6. Haha. Funny story and loved seeing your classic car, Ted. Great line: “…classic piece of shit…”

    High in the Ozark Hills? I’ll never tell! 😉

    1. I knew it! Great pic, Beth!

  7. Conjures up some great memories, good job

    1. The minute I saw the wire wheel. Thanks Michel.

  8. Great description – and very nice side story too…poor passerby! But all ends well!

  9. Nice! Sometimes its hard not to be rude when you are frustrated.

    1. Yes, and it’s nice to be nice when you realize you weren’t. Thanks, D.

  10. “squeak of the wire wheels breaking the stillness”–the “classic” illusion nicely coordinated to the owner’s frustration (I once had a 63 MGA)

    1. Ah, then you know just what I mean.

  11. “when you own a classic! Classic piece of shit” hahahaha and “What are you doing?” really? LOL
    your story’s a classic. as in timeless classic 🙂
    great car, btw

    1. Thanks, kz. Wouldn’t use it to mow down Zombies though…

  12. Enjoyed that tale very much… and enjoyed the image of your first car; what a beauty…!

  13. The ups and downs of owning a classic car, I guess. 🙂

  14. No contest here–the MG wins the Beauty Contest; contestant number two takes a first in the Green Category for Creative Recycling.

  15. Great photo – just love looking at classic cars. Nice story too, it doesn’t pay to be rude when you’re in the ‘needing a push’ category.

  16. Dear Ted,
    I love the old picture. Classic story.

  17. cars are such a love-hate item. love ’em when they work, hate ’em when they have issues. well done.

  18. I agree with the smart aleck reply to the ridiculously obvious question. It sometimes takes a breath or tow to answer with patience.

  19. Nice story, Ted. And a car that keeps you fit is no bad thing, think of the muscles you’ll get with all that pushing 🙂

  20. Every time I see one of those little cars I remember this limerick my dad used to quote; There once was a man from Boston who came to town driving an Austin, two gallons of gas and room for his ass, his balls hung out and he lost ’em.

    1. this is a funny limerick!!

  21. So bittersweet! I love her tribute to her friend, her last work.

    1. Oh darn! The above was supposed to go to the Trifecta piece. I am too tired to be typing, obviously. Sorry about this, and I will try to do better when I am awake.

  22. think he just wanted to start a conversation..that’s why he said, “What are you doing?”:) apt for the prompt..nicely done

  23. Nice wrap up when he shows his true appreciation for the subject of his scorn throughout. Once a classic always a classic!

  24. It might have been about an MG, but it’s a Rolls Royce of a story. Well done.

    1. Nice Comment, Dude!

  25. I LOVE MG’s ah took me back to when I drove in one …not drove one mind..just in…thanks Ted and yes a lot better looking than the prompt pic 🙂

    1. Nothing like riding in one of those cars… I know you had fun.

  26. This was funny Ted. I am sure even the memories of your old car would be a sweet ache now.
    Nice little walk down the memory lane.

    1. Thanks, P… I had that car for 25 years and had to sell it, because I moved to Chicago and needed the money.

  27. Lovely simple story Ted. My dad had an MGB for many years. We used to go on ‘magical mystery tours’ following a tulip map and ending up in all sorts of amazing places.

    1. I took my daughters on ‘magical mystery tours’ (I love that!) when they were little, and we went on sports car rallys.

  28. That’s an awesome car, Ted! This story totally reminded me of my dad and his own classic car adventures. 😀

    1. Well, I’d love to hear some of them… story idea, B?

  29. I had a very similar experience once – nice job on bringing this to life!

  30. Hi Ted,
    Love the MG. My classic was a ’65 Triumph Spitfire I bought new for $1,500. Hard to believe now. It had dual carbs and it regularly stalled and had to be, you guessed it, pushed. And, like you, I was thankful it was small. Thanks for reviving memories of my lost youth! Ron

  31. That’s a good lookin’ car. I’d take that over my crappy little Focus any day.

  32. beautiful car…yours. Loved the dialogue and action. Internal dialogue in italics. I’ve often wondered how distinguish internal from external. Thanks for showing me.

  33. all that pushing made me tired. ha! Great story, especially the true one. 🙂

  34. Ah, those were the days when we had to push our junky cars – NOT! Nice job.

  35. The picture of your car looks much older than a 55, I would have guessed 30’s, but a stunning line no matter the year. I enjoyed your story.

  36. Great story Ted, you got across all the frustration. Sounds like you loved your car, warts and all.

  37. well, i got some great laughs here, loved your tale of your car ordeal and maybe all the pushing got you strong muscles?!?

  38. Funny I know that feeling too. Nicely written. I enjoyed the read. 🙂

  39. Ha, Ted! While I was reading this, I thought maybe he wanted to push it off a cliff!

  40. Beautiful car, but it’s a labour of love owning a classic car or bike, I couldn’t do it ( I like modern reliability too much), but for a lump of engineered metal to inspire such love and devotion – that’s something isn’t it?

  41. There was a time I’d have seriously considered buying that car, no matter how much pushing it needed…

  42. Lovely story. I’m glad your MC managed to be polite and thankful at the end. Having had a a few classics/ heaps-of-junk in the past, I could well relate the the first paragraph.

    1. The things we do for love.

  43. that is such an ADORABLE car!! Such a shame it caused you so much grief 🙂

  44. This is so funny. First, I love your photo. Your sister is a handsome-looking girl! My father’s first car (that we had as a family) was a black Austin Big 7. Well, it had to be black as in those early days of manufacture, there were only black cars! I remember the leather seats. It started up with a crank handle!

    I like the passerby in your story. Reminds me of a manager I once served under. I passed her a message one time, that X had phoned to say she’d be late for work that day as she was going to Mr Z’s funeral. “Oh, is he dead, then?” she responded. “I hope so,” I returned. “They’re burying him at 11 o’clock this morning.” 🙂

  45. Ted I loved the story, I really did, but seriously I love your sister’s dress.
    I like how frustrauted the MC sounds.

    1. I’ll tell her, thanks Atiya.

  46. Great story. The interesting thing is I rarely see people pushing cars today. I’ve pushed a few in my day, that’s what you did. The picture is insane….except for the shopping carts seats, they’re totally classic. Your sister is beautiful!

  47. What a shot, and a piece of Ted-history. I’m envious of that car!

  48. Your flash definitely had an authentic “been there/done there” feel to it. I love MG’s Ted. I almost bought the last of the new ones in the early 80s, but I used that money to move to NYC instead.

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