Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The Move 10 Years Ago

Hopefully our move to South Padre is a little less eventful than the last move we made 10 years ago. Part of what follows is an accounting of it, along with lessons learned – and a great deal of poetic license as suggested by Sandy Feet and her deep thought: “Why am I hearing the theme song to the Beverly Hillbillies?” On that artistic theme, though some of it very true:

Ten or eleven years ago I had a junky old pickup truck and went down to rent one of those trailers you can get for $20 a day. I paid the money and then backed up – and heck, nothing to hook the trailer up to. The ole redneck says “Don’t take this personal, son, but your truck doesn’t have any balls.”

I did sorta take it personal but with that special energy that comes from moving, I went to the closest Auto Zone and bought some very discrete equipment, which they promised would never fall off. If I had a torque wrench. Well, with large pliers I was able to sorta tighten the 1-7/8” ball and hook up the trailer.

Back at the house, mama was using a garden rake to gather up all the kids toys on the carpet, which was actually quite a challenge because the kids kept busting it out all over the floor again. This was the final load, with the beds, the broken laundry machine, and whatever was left on floor. By golly I had both the pickup and trailer loaded about 12 feet high in the air, with the most complex ropes and strings you ever saw. We had the dog in the back of the pickup but unfortunately, the goat had to stay.

As I took a final gander at the old shack I said “Gee, that’s not too bad, we ought to get our rent deposit back no problem.” I dropped the truck into first gear and the muffler fell off. It was smokin’ and hot so I did sorta leave it there, hoping the landlord would cut me just a wee bit of slack on that. But loud, lordy, this truck all the sudden had those elusive balls, I tell ya. The backfires were especially impressive. Boom! Mama and I looked at each other, smiling. She pulled my finger and it did it right on cue. Blam!

We did pretty good until we got almost to Leander, a little cedar-chopper town northwest of Austin. See, there was some roadkill in the middle of the road with a bunch of buzzards on it, so I had to swerve. I suppose I got a little nervous and threw a cigarette butt out the window, too. Bad move, but we composed ourselves. As I looked in the rear view mirror, I noted that when we swerved, we left a little hillbilly trash in the road so I pulled over the side of the road. That’s when I noticed I had set the blankets and dog on fire with my darned cigarette … and the cop with the bubble-gum machine and siren.

So here I am, gathering up clothes, plastic buckets, toys, and putting out dog fires with a can of Old Milwaukee, when Mr. Johnny Law parks behind us. The blankets were still smoking from some mysterious origin I couldn’t find. Of course, the kids started wailing like banshees and the dog was sorta barking and looking a little rabid, I suppose. The engine was steaming from somewhere, too, probably the radiator - again. The cop walks up about half way to us and stops, throws his hands up in the air, and leaves, spinning out gravel all over us.

My eight year old son was impressed. “Cool!” I winked at mama and said “I think they like us here.” Even the baby girl stopped bitching about needing to pee, and smiled. We pulled into that brand new house and backed up the driveway, turning off the engine with a final “kerblooey” back-fire that dropped what was left of the exhaust system onto the concrete. The neighbors were impressed, I can tell you that. We were home.

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