Early that morning, we left Disney World for the 13 hour ride back home. I was feeling pretty good as I have always was an early riser. My mom had given me a very nice car for my graduation 2 years earlier. She actually purchased the car from our next door neighbors.. It was a 1975 Oldsmobile Delta 88, Mint Green w/ a white vinyl top. It was a V-8 and didn’t get great gas mileage. We decided to drive straight thru to New Orleans with brief stops for gas, fast food and potty breaks. Things were going smooth until we reach Slidell, LA, about 50 minutes outside of New Orleans/ Metairie, LA. We started seeing smoke coming from the hood along with the windshield being sprayed with water. I pulled over at Exit 2 immediately to see what was wrong and the engine was overheated. It seemed like the car was bone dry and no water in the radiator, which was steaming like a hot tea kettle on a cold morning. Needless to say, no one stopped to help us for about an hour. Finally, two men from the Stennis Space Center in Slidell, LA stopped to help us. They happened to have a few gallons of water and by now, the engine had cooled down. We filled the car up with water immediately and were back on the road in no time. Unfortunately, we only got about 10 more miles before the car started shaking violently and smoke started coming from under the hood again. This time the smoke was black and not white. As I opened the car hood, I noticed the engine was on fire. We were just north of the 5 mile bridge to cross into Chalmette, LA. It was a mess. She was scared and for the first time my anger got the best of me. I had a car on fire and it was burning out of control, my wife was on the side of the road crying and all I could thing about was calming down with something to eat. We traveled with plenty of goodies. Once I knew she was safe, my main objective was to save the food, chips and candy that was in the car. OMG, the son-of-bitch was on fire and it seemed like 20 minutes before a fire-truck showed up to put the car engine out. The car was not totaled, but the engine had to be fully replaced. We didn’t have the monies for this, so my Mom stepped up and paid for our car to get the engine replaced. It wasn’t a freebie by any means. I had to pay my mother back $50 per week until the total was satisfied. At the time, I barely remember, but I think it cost almost $1400 for a new engine and too have everything rewired. We were able to ride in the tow truck all the way back to Metairie, LA. My sickness was in full swing. You see, even in times of crisis, my old habits of replacing any kind of problems with food were still there. This was one of our first and biggest arguments and rightly so. My wife was so mad at me. She said I was more worried about the food in the car, than getting her to safety on the side of the road. Sometimes I wonder what the hell I was thinking. The car was on fire and all I wanted to do was mask the problems with food. Sometimes I think my head was up my ass. What most people reading my Blog do not understand. The Compulsion to Over-Eat during a crisis is just a serious as being a drug addict, chain smoker, or an all day alcoholic.
Will to Live – Gluttony – Part 14