Gut Rumbles

March 26, 2005

done that

I once drove a truck exactly like this one when I made deliveries for the byrd cookie company back when I was a senior in high school. It was an old Ford that I believe was built some time during the Roosevelt administration--- and I mean Teddy, not Franklin.

That old bitch was possessed. Stephen King must have seen that thing to get the idea for the book Christine. Yes, it would take off on its own, in low-crawl gear, when you started the engine. The clutch felt like sticking your foot into a vat of jello and the gears seemed to make up their own minds about whether they wanted to mesh or not. I learned to by-pass second gear altogether after a few rides in that suicide machine. It just wasn't worth the effort.

I put that critter into a ditch one day when I was unloading a riding lawn mower from the back. (Long story how I got that job.) I backed up to the ditch, put the truck in first gear, set the parking brake and opened up the back doors. It had a ramp that telescoped out of the back for hauling big loads of cookies, so I extended that. I thought I had figured out a clever way to get that lawn mower off the truck all by myself.

As soon as I rolled the lawn mower onto the ramp, the fucking truck just started BACKING UP, all by ITSELF! I remember jumping out and trying to stop that behemoth with my 145-pound sinew, but it was no use. The truck rolled into the ditch and bogged up to the rear axle in the mud.

I unloaded the lawn mower and tried to get the truck out of the ditch, but it wasn't going anywhere except deeper in the hole it had found to burrow in. I was 18 years old and scared to death because I was gonna have to call my BOSS and tell him how I put his company truck in a ditch. It really wasn't my fault--- that truck was a rolling piece of shit and the parking brake didn't work---but I was really worried at the time.

Luckily for me, an elderly black man happened along about that time. He must have had a landscape and yard-care business, because his old truck was loaded with all kinds of shovels, rakes and trimmers. He saw my dilemma and stopped on the road. "Gotta problem, son?" he asked.

I explained what happened and he said, "Gimme a hand and I'll pull you outta there." He had a tow-strap and I crawled under the truck and hooked it up. He hauled my ass out of that ditch. l will never forget how grateful I was for what he did.

I drove the truck back to the Cookie Factory that night and washed all the mud off of it (that was one of my MANY jobs there--- I had to wash every truck every day), but this time I was getting rid of incriminating evidence. I never told Mr. Byrd about that incident.

But I started hauling two cinder blocks in the back after that, and whenever I parked that truck, I chocked the wheels, front and back. That bitch bit me once, but I wasn't going to give it a second chance. I never put it in a ditch again.

By the way, I was delivering the lawn mower to Mr. Byrd's house and I had to go over there the next day and cut his grass. When I was finished with THAT job, I had to get the lawn mower back on the truck and haul it back to the Cookie Factory. I managed.

And I kept the truck out of the ditch, too.


Thanks for the link, despite the fact I been bit, I still love old trucks and tractors. They represent all the good things from America's past. Big, tough, and no nonsense.

Posted by: Billy Budd on March 26, 2005 07:11 PM
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