Excerpt from “The Love Bug” adapted by Mel Cebulash ~~Herbie~~

picture-LoveBug-CebulashJim explained everything, including the strange actions of the little car, while he poked around its engine trying to find answers to his own questions.
“Well, I knew it would happen,” Tennessee said sadly. “Now it’s already starting to happen.”
“What’s starting to happen?”
“Us human beings had a chance to make something out of this world,” Tennessee said. “We blew it though. Now some other kind of civilization is going to take a turn.”
Jim got a wrench and went back to work on the little car’s engine.
“I’m sitting on this mountain with all the swamis, monks, and gurus around me,” Tennessee continued. “I’m looking out at my stomach, and I got some contemplation going. I see things like they are. I see that all this was coming.”
“What was coming?”
“The machines,” Tennessee said very seriously. “We stuff them full of information and teach them to be smarter than we are. A car is a good example. We give more love and time and money for it than our wives and kids get all year. Pretty soon the machine starts to get an idea that it is somebody.”
Reaching for another wrench, Jim said, “I think you were on that mountain top too long.”
“Oh, I’m not saying a mechanical thing can’t be a friend. When I was broke one summer, there was this giant claw machine out at the amusement park. The claw used to drop cameras and watches down the hole to me. I could sell them and buy lunch. That claw was a real friend.
“On the other hand, that traffic light down at the corner hates my guts. I never did anything to it, but still it gives me the stop sign every time, and it makes me wait six seconds longer than anyone else. I timed it. Other people have things like that happen to them all the time.”
Jim faced his friend. “Tennessee, that traffic light is just a lot of nuts and bolts just like this car. Everything finally explains itself one way or another.”
“I don’t think you got the picture,” Tennessee said sadly.
“I got it,” Jim said. “What this car did tonight was caused by some kind of mechanical problems. I just haven’t found them yet, but the real picture is that this little bug can turn on the speed. You know how it is. They make a thousand cars exactly the same way, but one or two turn out to be something special. Now, I could be kidding myself, but I think I can make something out of this motorized beetle.”
After closing the little car’s bonnet, Jim went upstairs to the bedroom, while Tennessee got a blanket and gently folded it over the little car’s rear end. “I’m your friend,” he whispered, patting the little car’s roof. “If you need anything during the night, call me.”
Then Tennessee hurried upstairs. There Jim explained that he was going to take the little car out for a test run in the morning. Tennessee said that he would go along for the ride. Minutes later, Jim was fast asleep, dreaming about races he would win with the speediest little beetle in the world, and Tennessee was also fast asleep, snoring.
On the freeway the next morning, Jim said, “What did I tell you? This little bug runs like an electric clock.”
“Yeah,” Tennessee agreed, “Herbie’s all right.”
“Who’s Herbie?” Jim said.
“The little car. I named it after my Uncle Herb, who used to be a fighter. After a few fights, his nose got to look like this little car. Do you mind?”
Jim smiled. “No, I’m not sure how you figured out this little beetle is a male, but Herbie’s fine with me.”

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1 Comment

Filed under Fiction, Literature

One response to “Excerpt from “The Love Bug” adapted by Mel Cebulash ~~Herbie~~

  1. The book was adapted from the Disney film “The Love Bug”, which was released in 1968.
    The film is based on the 1961 book “Car, Boy, Girl” by Gordon Buford.

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