So, for me to admit that a “rattle” has been driving me crazy means it really must be quite annoying .. and quite a mystery as to where it is coming from.
The rattle sounded like something small shifting and rubbing against vinyl or metal ... typical materials that are on the inside of a car. It wasn’t an engine noise or an “under the car” thunk that we sometimes hear (not that I’ve ever heard that, Ed). It was definitely inside the car. It would most often occur when I turned a corner or started or stopped a bit quickly (honestly, Ed, I only did that once or twice!)
Having just returned from our two-week roadtrip, I assumed that we had left some small coins (tollways around Chicago, you know) in the bin on the center console, or I had forgotten to remove my ballpoint pen from the small holder on the passenger door where I would put it and my newspaper (New York Times crossword puzzles kept me occupied much of the trip). There were a myriad of possibilities.
Each time I heard the noise , I would go into sleuth mode, fancying myself a fairly astute “ferreter-outer” of noises! I checked out the obvious (no coins in the center console bin and no pencil in the door holder) so moved on to a more indepth investigation. First I removed the pen from the tray in the center console and held it tightly in my hand, only to hear the noise when I came to a redlight. Okay, that’s not it. Maybe it’s that small plastic box of dental piks in the center console (well, you have to have SOMETHING to do while you sit at a redlight). Again, I removed the plastic box from the center console, went around a corner, and, voila! The noise was still there.
I keep my keys on a long ribbon lanyard that is held together with a plastic connector. The lanyard hangs down almost to the floor when I’m driving and I thought the connector might be rubbing against the vinyl of the dashboard column. I removed the lanyard and drove with just the keys themselves in the ignition. For a while, all was quiet. I was congratulating myself on fine detective work, when, a few minutes later, I had to brake quickly (honestly, Honey, the guy in front of me turned really unexpectedly) and there it was ... the rattle.
About the time I decided this was a two-person project and I would have to bring Dr. Watson (aka Ed) into the sleuthing with me, I stopped at a redlight and heard the rattle. For the first time, I realized the sound was coming from BEHIND me. I turned and looked and saw the center drink caddy in the back seat was lowered. You know the thing I’m talking about ... when it’s in “up” position, it just looks like part of the back seat, but when it is lowered, it has two holes to set cans into. Then I remembered that my grandson, Nathan, had been riding back there 2 days before and had lowered the caddy. I reached into one of the caddy drink holders and found ..... one, lonely Hot Tamale!
It came back to me ... along with his pop, Nathan had a box of Hot Tamales.
I called my daughter to share the “funny” with her. My granddaughter, Emily, answered the phone and, since Michele wasn’t home, I told her the story. I didn’t realize that Nathan had gotten on the phone and was also listening. As I finished telling Emily what I had found, I heard Nathan say something. I asked him to repeat himself and he said, “Yeah, Grandma, that was for you.”
Then I remembered. The two of them had been in the car with me that day, Nathan with his Hot Tamales and Emily with Milk Duds. Emily had offered me some Milk Duds and I said, “Sure, but only one. I’m not very hungry.”
From the backseat, Nathan had asked if I wanted a Hot Tamale. I said, “Sure, I’d love one, but not until I finish the Milk Dud.” We reached our next stop and got out without any more being said about the candy. From that stop, the kids got into their mom’s car, and we went our separate ways. But Nathan had kept his end of the bargain ... he had carefully placed one Hot Tamale in the drink caddy for me to have “when I finished the Milk Dud.”
My mystery was solved ... it turned out to be not an annoying rattle, but, rather, a gift of love from my grandson.
Thanks, Naters. You’re the best.
P.S. After I finished talking to you and Emily, I promptly ate the Hot Tamale. It was the best, too!