About The Author
D. R. Prescott has written a novel, a collection of short stories, a nonfiction book, a collection of essays, planetarium show/display scripts, two family histories, technical articles and business plans as well as written for and edited several newsletters.
Awards and published work include Writers' Journal, Long Story Short, Taj Mahal Review literary journal, The Orange County Register, Writer's Digest, and Writing.com and four books among other challenges.
As a former aerospace executive and planetarium program director, Prescott currently writes and explores life in Orange, California.
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"Sentience can be annoying."-DRP Abt. 1990
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Since 2008, Prescott has been a regular contributor of
essays and short stories to
The Taj Mahal Review Literary Journal
Get your copies now at: http://tajmahalreview.com/
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Still Grinning
D. R. Prescott's HOMEPAGE at:



D. R. Prescott

         It was one of those few bright moments during my daughter's teenage driving years. It started with the telephone ringing. I answered.

         "Dad, I've got a problem." She said with that sweet melody tinged with fragility that triggered my over-developed "protect-my-young" instincts.

         "Are you alright?"

         "Yeah Dad, don't worry. I'm okay. My front tire is flat. Can you come over to Carl Junior’s and help me?"

         "I'll be right there. Corner of Lincoln and Valley View, right?" I answered with a finely-tuned parenting reflex. For a moment, I considered that I might have been overly conditioned from sixteen years of daughter manipulation.

         "Yep. Thanks, Dad. I'm sorry. Love you."

         The receiver went dead. She didn't even give me a chance to say goodbye! I put the receiver in its cradle and headed for the bedroom to dress. It was Saturday and I had the audacity to take a nap.

         Pulling into the Carl Junior’s parking lot, I saw my daughter waving from a parking stall toward the back of the lot. Her car was parked in the most difficult position possible to change a front tire. She looked so beautiful in her white blouse, white jeans and white tennis shoes.

         Suddenly, I started grinning as a terrific idea crystallized unexpectedly. It smacked of genius! I almost began to tremble under the sheer weight of its elegance.

         I got out of my car and checked the damage to hers. She was right. The front tire was certainly flat. There was a telltale dent in the wheel's rim and a square rip in the sidewall.

         "What happened?” I asked suppressing a really intense urge to bust out laughing. I had heard this story before on a previous tire adventure.

         "Well, Dad, I really don't know. I turned in here and the darn thing just went flat." She shrugged and gave me that look. Most fathers know that look and shrivel under it.

         Undeterred by her sweetness, I pressed the point because I had a plan. "You didn't happen to hit the curb when you 'just turned in here', did you?"

         "Well...” She always starts her explanations that way. It is like ‘Well…’ will make it better. "Maybe, just a little. How did you know?"

         "Call me psychic.” I said while I started grinning uncontrollably.

         "You're not mad?" The disbelief and relief in her voice forced me to fight off a sudden impulse to hug her, pat her on her beautiful head and console her before I struck.

         "I'm glad you came fast. I've got to get home and pick up my books and get to Francine's house in thirty minutes. Will it take long for you to change the tire?"

         "No, it won't take me long at all.” Had I emphasized 'me' too much?

         "Wait a minute; you want me to change the tire?" She looked perplexed. I loved it!

         "Your mother and I did raise an intelligent kid."

         "But Dad, I just got this outfit."

         "So?" I said rather bluntly.

         "You're not going to let me out of this, are you?"


         Beaten but still a little defiant, she opened up her trunk. She found the jack and the jack handle. I carefully explained how to use the jack safely as I had previously done when I showed her when we bought the car. I felt the spare tire while she was jacking up the car and my grin got wider. I feared that I was about to become hysterical which would ruin the whole thing. I suffered on.

         With the car jacked up, she managed to get the lug nuts off by bouncing all of her one-hundred-twenty-pounds on the jack handle. I grinned. She put the spare on the wheel and tightened the lugs. I checked it and grinned. Of course, I wanted to make sure they were tightened properly. She let the weight of the car onto the spare. She frowned when the spare tire took the same shape as the tire she had just destroyed.

         "Dad! It's flat too!" She was grief-stricken.

         "What were the things that I told you to check periodically when we got this car?"

         "What do we do now?" She pleaded totally ignoring my question.

         "There is a gas station right over there. Gas stations have little hoses. One of those hoses has air in it. The trick is to get the air in the hose into the tire."

         "But, I can't drive over there or I'll ruin the tire. You told me that!" She said with a touch of sarcasm.

         "Right! It is sure nice to have a kid with a good memory for some things. What are you going to do?"

         "You're not going to make this easy, are you?"


         It must have taken her fifteen minutes to take the spare off, roll it over to the gas station and return to replace it. While I waited and watched, I developed a little concern. It would be terrible if I couldn't control this grin. It was one of those that comes from deep within and threatens to burst blood vessels if sustained too long.

         "Well Dad, I did it?" She said as she wiped her forehead leaving a streak of dirt across her brow. Her new, pretty white outfit looked, no other way to say it, abused. I handed her a rag to wipe her hands. I wanted to be helpful.

         A couple years later, she joined the Air Force. She called one night from Wright Patterson Air Force Base while stationed there in the late 1980’s. She wanted to tell me two things. First, her current vehicle had a bad water hose and she fixed it herself. Second, she excitedly read a letter written by her Colonel nominating her for Airman-of-the Year.

         She now has three children; her oldest starts driving this year, 2008.

         And, I'm still grinning.

(982 Words)

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