Posted in tough times

Throwback Week: Dental floss and duct tape

By Elizabeth Prata

Editor’s Note: I’ve written 5,141 essays here at The End Time, daily since 2009. Please enjoy some of the previous writings you may have missed.

This essay first appeared on The End Time in August 2012.


My car died. It was resurrected with lots of money. Apparently that is all it takes to resurrect a car.

What happened was, I drove to school yesterday and all was well. When I left at 3:15 it wouldn’t start. I called AAA for a jump. The guy had gotten lost and was given wrong address so it was quite late when he did arrive. Improbably, he arrived in a small Z28 red sports car and even more improbably, he unfolded his wheezing, 6’4″ 300 lb frame out of his car and then limped over to my car, explaining his truck was broke and his ankle was sprained. I said, “Oh.” He had me try to start my car, and it clicked but didn’t turn over, apparently the major clue it was the starter and not the battery. I said “Oh.” After fooling around with the car it was 5:00. I took a friend up on her offer of a ride home and left my 1993 Ford Explorer hulk sitting in the school parking lot, to think over his evil, non-starting ways.

Today I got a ride in to school with a friend and went to the training session I’d been scheduled for. At lunch time I called AAA again, this time for a tow. The guy arrived pretty quickly (in 58 minutes) and he backed his truck up to mine to get in position, got out to chain my car up, and that’s when his truck stalled. He mumbled something like “not this again”, dropped to the ground in what was obviously a well-practiced move, rolled his string bean, jean-clad body under the front wheel-well, jiggled something, and the truck started up again. He returned to chaining up my car. The stop-drop and roll move was performed two more times as his truck stalled and was re-started in this entertaining and unique way.

I watched my car be towed off into the sunset, admiring my frugality in wringing out as many miles as possible from it (215,345 and counting) but wondering if the old dear will now be my albatross money pit. It also occurred to me as my woes were added to the sprained ankle broke truck guy’s and the string bean jiggle the truck guy’s, that times are so tough we are all really hanging on with dental floss and duct tape.

Be kind to one another. We never know the other guy’s troubles. We’re in tough times, so we know he’s got ’em. Jesus said the Golden Rule is, “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12).



Christian writer and Georgia teacher's aide who loves Jesus, a quiet life, art, beauty, and children.