The Tailpipe

Inga stepped off a curb. The chauffeur of a Rolls Royce did not see her as it backed up. The Silver Shadow about to hit the girl, she dropped to the cement. The vehicles’ under-carriage hooked her designer jeans, dragged her under and braked; inches from her nose a long stainless steel cylinder.

Squeezed below the auto, Inga peered out, saw patent leather shoes, a man in a tuxedo looking at her, handsome – upside down? He flattened himself on the street, crawled under the car towards her, reached, took her hand, and thought, ‘My God, look at what I’ve run over’ and asked, “Are you hurt?”

“I don’t think so.”

He, “Don’t move. I’ll stay with you while they jack the car up. We didn’t see you. I’m so sorry. What is your name?”

“Inga, I should have looked where I was going.” She thought, ‘What a throb. I wonder if he looks this good standing up.’ “What is your name?”

“Clark, I feel rotten running over you, but it is great to meet you. Kind of romantic under here isn’t it?””

She said, “I’ve never met a man under a car before, if only there was candlelight, who knows what might occur?”

He, “A little cramped for that.”

A switch in topic advisable, she asked, “What am I looking at directly above me?”

“A tailpipe, made of stainless steel, runs almost the entire length of the car.”

Inga, “Tailpipes are awesome.”

Clark, “I suppose so.”

The two didn’t see reverted faces peering at them under the car, nor hear the jack ratcheting up the Rolls. They were busy shooting love arrows at each other. They knew – this was it and had many dates. One day he pulled his roadster up to a six car garage. Escorted her to a door, opened it. First thing noticed, his Rolls Royce, up in the air about three feet, on cinder blocks. A glow spread out from underneath it. She stooped and looked; dozens of small candles on the garage floor, flickering.

He wheeled up a mechanic’s dolly for two, custom upholstered in satin, on their backs, side by side, she snuggled in his arms. He slid them under the car. In candle light he asked her, “Inga, will you marry me?” Placed a ring on her finger, a gorgeous ten carat pear shaped diamond.

“Clark, this ring is positively vulgar. I love it. Yes.”

“Wonderful and where would you like to go on our honeymoon?”

“I know where I would like to spend our first night.”


“Here, under the tailpipe.”