Sunday, January 27, 2008

stuck in the middle with who?

My truck is prehistoric. I’ve dated girls who are younger than it. It’s been in the family since its birth which I have no recollection about. As far as my memory extends, it has always been old. Lately, my truck and I haven’t gotten along so well but it’s not because it’s old. Last week my truck added some new sounds to its operation without my permission and I’m kind of upset about it. Whenever I start her up (yes, it’s a “her”), it sounds as if a three-year-old is playing wac-a-mole on my engine block, and I’ve never liked that game.

The strained relationship between me and my truck is shared as I haven’t been the most careful operator. I added a new feature to my truck that will in no way improve its sales value unless I’m selling it to a demo derby driver. The feature I added comes with a story that might offer some philosopher an experience to overanalyze.

A few weeks ago, one of my good friends accompanied me to birthday party for two of our mutual friends. After the party was over (which occurred surprisingly at the same time as our departure), I took my friend and dropped her off in the parking lot of her apartment complex (I wasn’t in the mood to be a gentleman). It had snowed earlier that day and the cold night turned the snow and water in the paring lot into a ghetto ice skating rink. Between the parking lot and the street was a driveway which could also double as a halfpipe for skateboarders, and this too was covered in ice. I reversed my truck into an empty parking stall so I could go down the halfpipe-like ramp headfirst. As I started to go down the ramp, my truck slid until I was perpendicular to the walls on both sides of the ramp, and I started going down the ramp sideways. I got stuck in the sideways position about halfway down the ramp and responded to my precarious situation with a fit of laughter. I had done it now!

I didn’t want to be the only one to enjoy this experience so I called the girl I had just dropped off and asked her to come out and “help” me (all I wanted her to do was be a witness of my stupidity). I quickly surveyed the situation and discovered that I would have to use my bumpers for what the were designed for: bumping. With only six inches from the back and front bumper to the wall, I didn’t have a lot of room to work with. I stepped on the gas and went forward until I bumped the wall in front, then I rolled the truck back until I hit the wall (which happened to be a building) behind me. I continued this pattern until I was able to complete my twenty-three-point turn and get enough angle to finally straighten out. After messing up my rear bumper and leaving a racing stripe on the building, I finally got out of my situation.

This experience has given me something to think about. In some ways, I have felt like I have metaphorically been in a similar situation as my truck over the past few months. I have been unable to go forward with life without getting bruised and unable to reverse without suffering the same affliction. Because of this, I was content to stay put until I was forced to go one way or the other. Well, for me the time has come and I’ve got to move. And it won’t be without some pain but I will be better for it.

I went through the car wash yesterday so my truck and I are on better terms. But if you know of a demo derby driver who’s looking for a new ride, I’m willing to make a deal.