I am not joking, she was naked. I don't joke about nude women, you know my situation.
The bumper was pushed into the body just enough to make it worth a claim, and she ran into me! I heard the tire slide shoosh on the ice, and that sick thoonk of deforming plastic, and I knew I'd be late for work again and my insurance rates were going up. I thought she must have seen the scowl on my face as I got out of the car, because she had rolled down the window and was holding a hand toward toward me in the classic crossing guard STOP position. She yelled, "Wait, Please!"
I stopped. She was frantic, tearing at the passenger seat with her free hand, still holding me at a distance with her palm hung out in the frigid air.
"Oh fiddlesticks, I. don't have time for this'" I muttered and walked a few steps toward her before the possibility of her digging for a pistol stopped me again just paces from her windshield.
She was having no success ripping the cover from the seat, and she hadn't noticed my approach. She mumbled a gentle curse, and sat up. She saw me, and I saw her. Our faces expanded together into silent screams. She ripped her arms across her chest, and I mumbled a little curse of my own. It seemed a long time, but surely just a moment, we stayed frozen that way.
She composed herself before I could. "Um... I'm not wearing any clothes."
"Yes," was all I could manage.
"Do you have a blanket, or something..."
I woke from my trance and started thinking again. I crunched back to my car, glancing down at the licence plate, repeating it to register in my muddled mind. If this was an escape ploy and she took off, I'd need more for the police than "Find a crazy woman with perfect auburn hair, fresh makeup, and an ample chest responding to the crisp morning!" They'd probably throw me in jail.
There was nothing in the car to use for a cover. I did look. I wasn't even wearing a jacket, just a flannel shirt. So I took off my shirt and walked back to the scene of the accident. Averting my head, I handed it through the window. I heard a shuffle, then she thanked me.
"I'll want it back," I laughed, but the cold was already biting at me.
She had a sheepish little smirk. "I really am sorry. Haven't had a chance to mount the studded tires, you know."
"Okay." Oh yeah. The accident. I'd almost forgotten. "We should probably pull into the parking lot there and swap information."
She nodded and drove into the lot while I repeated her tag number one more time. I followed, and we parked in front of the coffee shop I'd left just minutes before. My glove box had my insurance info and a pack of post-its, but no pen. My cell phone had 2 missed calls. That would be my buddy at work, telling me to get my rear in there before my supervisor missed me.
"Do you have a pencil?" I asked, waving my post-its.
"Sure! Right here in my p..." She reached for the purse that wasn't there, stopped, then turned back, slowly shaking her head.
I thought for a minute, then remembered the coffee shop waitress with the embroidered name tag. Amy. She'd been my surly waitress and snippy cashier, resentful that I hadn't tipped after she'd left my cup empty, then responded with sarcasm when I refilled it myself from the waitress station. But she had a pen. I extended my "wait-a-minute" finger to the naked lady, and went into the cafe.
I've been through those doors a thousand times, and I'd never noticed that little No shirt, No shoes, No service notice. Honesty in advertising should require them to add that service is not guaranteed, however, even to those in tuxedos. Shirtless through the doors I went, and there stood a glib Amy, one hand on her hip and one hand in the same traffic cop stop the naked lady had used.
For all the customers to hear, she read the sign in a sing-songy twang, then pointed to the door.
"No wait, I don't need service. I just need to borrow a ..."
"I saaaaiid...," she interrupted, "Noooo shirt..,"
I walked out. Then I remembered my oil rag. Perfect. Wrapped around the jack stand in my car was a filthy torn t-shirt I'd long ago tossed into the cleaning bin, and eventually stuffed in the car to quiet rattles and wipe the dipstick when I checked the fluids. I put the god-awful rag on, winked at the naked lady, strolled right past Amy (wiping the smugness off her) and went straight to the cashier desk. I'd remembered using a pen there. I hadn't remembered it being on a chain.
Amy walked over. "Do you have a pen?", I asked. She just nodded at the chained pen.
"What kind of waitress doesn't carry a pen?" She just looked at me.
"Alrighty then." I tried to remove the pen from the chain, but the damn thing wouldn't release.
"How do you get this blasted thing off?", I said to myself.
"S'bove my pay grade!", Amy said as she wheeled and walked away.
Then there was a knock on the glass. The naked lady had evidently seen my dilemma, dug in her car, and found a pen. She was standing in the full length window in my shirt waving the pen and knocking. Every face in the place was glued to the action. If I hadn't been too much of a gentleman to notice, I'd seen she had long shapely goosebumped legs that, as my father used to say, went aaalllll the way down to the ground. When I didn't respond right away, she came through the door. All the chatter and silverware clanking stopped.
"I found one!" was all she said.
I caught Amy checking the woman's feet. The woman had evidently watched the shirt&shoes exchange, then donned a pair of ice grippers found when searching for a pen. They weren't exactly shoes, just friction strips that strap over normal footwear, but evidently they were shoe-ish enough to pass muster with Amy.
I couldn't help but think ' this woman has no winter tires or underpants, but she's got a shirt (borrowed) and shoes. (after a fashion)
I don't know why we got a table (booth, actually), but it was warmer inside, so we swapped info and got a cup of coffee from Amy to justify the use of the table. When she sat the shirt hiked up a bit and she politely spread a napkin and put it in her lap. An eight year old still got cuffed by his mother for leaning to gain a better vantage.
"I guess I ought to explain," she started, flipping her hands.
"Gotta admit, I'm curious," I said.
"I was just going to check the mail. No wait, let me go back. I was getting dressed, I had my face done, my hair done, and my underwear on. I had laid out my favorite blue power dress because I've got a meeting today with the board. I set everything on the counter last night and I didn't realise my cat had slept on them until I started to put the dress on. There was white hair everywhere."
A pair of prim ladies stopped at the table on their way out of the shop. "I have never needed coffee THAT bad!", one of them said. "Here, dear", she offered, "I always carry an extra pair.", and she put a little bundle in the naked lady's hand. After they'd left, the naked lady opened the packet, and laughed at the tiniest thong either of us had ever seen. She discreetly slipped them on, commenting on beggars being choosers, then continuing with her story. The eight year old was piqued again, and his mom tweaked his ear and changed places with him, probably because she wanted nearly as badly to see what was going on.
"I put all my clothes in the dryer to fluff the hair off them. I keep one of those tape hair removers in my car, so I went into the garage to find it, but while I was there, I saw the list I'd made the day before, and got distracted."
A great big guy in old work clothes slowed down as he walked past our table. I glared at him, but she just smiled and went on about her clothes; or lack thereof.
"On the list was 'deposit paycheck'. I was really worried about my paycheck. It always shows up on Thursday, even though it's dated Friday and the bank won't cash it until then. But it wasn't in the box. That's the first time. I've been meaning to get direct deposit, but I still don't trust them, you know? And I still like the feel of it, in my hand."
The big guy was back, and he was carrying what looked like a pile of black canvas. "Ma'am? This here's just a set of bibs. They won't fit, but they'll get you by 'til you find your pants. My name's in 'em. I'm just down the road."
"Bless you!", she said. He absolutely glowed as he cuffed my shoulder and strode away.
"So! I'm in the car, worried about my check, and I'm late. The sun's not up yet, I have tinted side windows, and the mailbox is just two houses away! I fire it up and go for it!"
She's sliding the coveralls on, now, and the little boy sitting backwards in his seat is heartbroken. She doubles the cuff twice, but a satisfied sigh says they'll do.
"I get to the mailbox and my neighbor, Ernie, is just coming off the bike trail. He sees me and waves, then starts going through his mail. He can't see into the car, but I'm not stopping. I flip a youie, and wait for him to leave. I forgot, though, that now the box is now on the wrong side of the vehicle, and I never went after the mail without clothes on, so now I have to drive completely around the neighborhood to get back to where I can get at the box. My neighborhood is steep, and I wasn't aware it snowed. The first time I slipped, I thought I'd better give up on the mail and take the gentler hill back to the house. So now I'm in traffic. And I'm hiding. And I hit you. And I'm so totally embarrassed."
I followed her home. The car did fine. She returned my shirt. I smelled like used oil for a week. I wish I could tell you we got together, had twelve kids, and lived happily ever after, but I didn't see her again. I got written up for missing work, the deductible was higher than the damages to my car, and my rates went up anyway.
I see the big North Slope worker once in a while. He got his bibs back the same day. Said she was a really sweet lady. He introduced me to his friend as his hero; the only guy he's ever known with naked women chasing him down the public thoroughfares.