About two months before getting my drivers license, I sat in our truck pondering a plan to sneak the old girl out for the night. It had been months since I first thought of the scheme, but tonight it was time to go for it. The plan was to wait until it got dark and with little effort, push the truck down the street. It was an old 1979 Chevy pickup truck with no license plates or insurance. I did not care, because I was tired of walking the two miles to the place that everyone met, Crow Hill. It was time to take a joyride!
I spent most of that afternoon preparing the truck for the journey. Gasoline had to be siphoned from my mom s car to ensure the truck had enough for the trip. Chains that held the tailgate shut had to be taped up so they would not make any noise while pushing the truck into the street. The taillights also had to be covered so the brake lights wouldn t shine through the windows. Hours were spent meticulously cleaning the interior, making it suitable for female passengers. The main objective was to pick up some girls and go cruising that night.
While eating dinner that night, I remember my dad asking me if I had anything on my mind. I told him I had plans that night and would not be home until late. It was around 8 pm when I left the house, and walked down the road. There I waited until after dark before making my move. It was a hot sticky night and I knew the windows would be open as I pushed the truck 50 feet of the front of the house. Pushing the truck past the house; every squeak and rattle from the suspension roared out into the quiet night, echoing between our house and the neighbor s house. As I passed the living room window, my heart raced as I saw the back of my father s head as he watched the television. I knew if he turned his head, I would be in an enormous amount of trouble. I made it to the street, started the engine, and drove off looking behind me to make sure that no one was peeking out of the window. The coast was clear; so I pulled over and took the tape off the taillights and was ready to go.
I drove to Crow Hill. People gathered there to park with their girlfriends and to hang out and party. As I approached the crowd, everyone turned to look at the unfamiliar vehicle advancing. There was a small campfire burning, and the reflection of the fire lit up everyone s face in the dark night. I saw a few people that I knew, so I pulled up to meet them. My friends Ricky and Jim walked up, and I could tell they were drinking. What are you doing driving your old man s truck? Ricky asked. I replied, just out on a joy ride. As I started to walk over to a group of people, I heard the truck start. As I turned to look, Ricky and Jim were taking the truck for a ride. I yelled, STOP! They kept on rolling, spitting gravel and dust in my face as I chased behind them. I could not believe it; they stole my father s truck! I was in an immense amount of trouble now. As they went around the bend, I was able to look down the hill to see the truck heading to town, at a high rate of speed. I could hear Jim s sick sounding laugh as they roared on. Not only did the truck have no plates or insurance, neither of them had a license and they were both drunk!
The next two hours were pure hell. I drank heavily to kill the pain induced by my so-called friends. Perhaps these were the longest two hours of my life. If there was ever a definition of the phrase worried to death, this dilemma certainly is a good example of it.
About two hours later they came pulling in. Miraculously the truck was still in one piece. It would have been wise to go home at that point, but I decided to take a ride with some of my friends. There was another place nearby we called The Pits. We decided to go. Since all chances of finding female companionships were exhausted, we loaded up the remaining beer and headed down the road.
Finally, the night was starting to improve. A friend had some cigars and handed them out for the short ride. The music was blasting, beer tabs were popping, and the dark cab quickly filled with the aroma of cheap Italian cigars. While driving on the extremely bumpy road, I banged my cigar into the steering wheel. Sparks lit up the dark cab and fell onto the cloth seat covers and carpet. I quickly started to put out the impending fire, not paying attention to the road. Just as the situation was under control, I looked up and a huge oak tree was quickly coming head on. I took swift action, swerving to avoid an accident with the tree. Just missing a head on collision with an immovable object, I sideswiped the tree, ripping off the rear quarter panel, and rear bumper. People, beer cans, and lit cigars flew around inside the cab as I tried to regain control of the crippled truck. The truck spun around a few times and into a cornfield where it came to a rest. Laughter from my friends filled the cab as I sat there silent, trying to figure out how to explain this to my father.
The house was completely dark as I approached the driveway. No longer worked about being caught, I drove up to the house and parked in the street. Everyone was asleep as I quietly walked to my bedroom. It seemed like hours lying there tossing, turning, and thinking about the consequences that awaited me the next morning. It was sometime in the early morning hours when I thought of the ingenious scheme that would surely get me off the hook. I would be the first one out in the morning, get in the truck and wreck it into the large oak tree at the end of the big field. This plan would have to be perfectly executed so the skid marks on the wet grass matched the damage on the truck. I knew there would be a complete investigation by the old man, and it would be much easier to explain the damage this way rather than admitting I took the truck on the road.
Somehow, I got away with this. The funny part is later that day, while driving to the store with my dad; he noticed the skid marks and the missing bark on the tree where the real accident took place. He made the comment look, someone must have had an accident last night. I kept my mouth shut and agreed. As always, my father had the last laugh though. Two months later, I was given the keys to the truck, missing quarter panel, bumper, and all.