"The devil is on the loose today!"
I met a woman yesterday who said that. Repeatedly. It was the very first thing she said to me, and she proceeded to say it frequently throughout the course of our time together. Who would say such a thing? The wife of the man who came to tow our truck.
I need to back up as well as clarify a few things.
A truck is called a bakkie (pronounced buck-ey) in South Africa, so I'm going to refer to it by its proper name in context.
We had been in Piet Retief (Niel's hometown) since Monday ministering at a youth camp. We were driving back in our bakkie yesterday and were about halfway home when... THUMP! There was a loud noise; the bakkie shifted and threatened to go wildly out of control; and the back left side begain dragging.
(Note: the right-hand side is the driver's side; I was on the left, the passenger side.)
I looked out my window and watched a tire bounce at quite a speed past our bakkie and through the field for about half-a-kilometer. Very confused, I said to Niel, "I think that's our tire!" Having pulled off onto the dirt, we came to a stop and got out to take a look. Sure enough, the back left tire had completely come off! The nuts must not have been tight enough and it just shook free. God's hand of grace was surely upon us...
After several hours alongside the road, the tow truck arrived. However, the "lifting" portion of the tow truck wasn't working and the engine started overheating! It seemed like something out of a movie to see the tow truck, with our bakkie hitched to it, almost in need of towing itself!
The owner of the towing company, Marco Santi, was heading up this whole operation. He and his two sidekicks were like The 3 Stooges, and we just had to shake our heads and laugh. Marco’s wife came by in their bakkie to bring something that was missing from the tow truck. When she arrived, she walked over to me and said (in Afrikaans):
“The devil is on the loose today!”
She proceeded to tell me about the numerous accidents that happened throughout the day which, according to her, was all because of the devil being on the loose. When I drove with her later, I introduced myself; she replied, “You can call me Mrs. Santi.”
The 24 hours which followed make for a very long story, but suffice it to say that we are home safe; our bakkie is mostly fixed; and we survived the day the devil was on the loose!