Monday, August 3, 2015

One Fry Short of a Happy Meal

Due to the frequent rains we have been getting this spring, it has been up until a week ago before I could finally back our van down over the steep hill in our side yard to the basement door and load up all the debris from my ongoing office remodel. I have slowly and surely been making progress on deconstructing the walls and low ceilings so that I can start over again with modern wiring, duct work, etc before putting the walls back in.

I got everything loaded up and could tell that I had more weight in the van than I've ever had but thought it would be able to handle it just fine for the five mile drive to the dump. I got in and tried to drive up the steep hill in the side yard to my driveway but spun out. I backed down and tried a second and then a third time with similar results. Not really wanting to unload everything, carry it board at a time up the hill and reload it, I backed up as far as I could go and stepped on the gas. The hill has a natural ramp to it between the house and where it really drops off about ten feet from the house. Go too far one way and I'm rubbing paint off the house and van. Too far the other way and the van if rolling ass over wheels all the way to the bottom of the hill or into an oak tree, whichever comes first. However, I successfully navigated the ramp and made it up to the driveway but only just before the wheels were starting to slip on the grass again.

I made it to the dump and this time instead of using the dumpsters as I had always used in the past, they made me drive out to the pit and actually throw it right where it would shortly be buried. Backing up to the edge of the pit, I was actually backing down an incline so before I got out, I made sure to set the parking brake to ensure that the van didn't roll off and down into the pit with me affixed to the rear bumper screaming like a little school girl. I got everything unloaded and got inside to drive away but instead of going, I could feel the wheel settle in like I was stuck. With all the rain we have had and this being on top of buried garbage, the car had made divots into the dirt but it certainly wasn't buried. In fact, it looked like it was just spinning in the loose grit on the top surface.

I tried rocking the car back and forth but wasn't making headway. I tried putting anything I could find without nails under the front tires to get purchase and "rocking" it back and forth but couldn't make any headway. Finally after awhile some dump workers came over and tried pushing but again we made no headway. Finally they got a four wheeler over with a chain and we pulled it out and that is when we noticed that the back wheels weren't turning. I had forgotten to release the emergency brake, something I seldom use on this van due to it having an automatic transmission. I thanked the men totally embarrassed with my brain fart, released the parking brake and drove away with the smell of hot rubber from spinning my front tires still in my nostrils. I'm glad they don't know my name because I'm sure they laughed about it over some beers with their friends later.

On a side note, while I was unloading my stuff, there were pictures fluttering all over the place in the slight breeze. One of them caught my attention and I picked it up. In the picture was a 16 year old girl taking a selfie in some sort of strapped dress where the straps covered only part of her breasts and with the neckline no where in sight. Judging from the writing on that picture and others nearby, her name was Anna (last name withheld) and she had recently celebrated her 16th birthday. I'm not sure why someone would take a picture like that especially on a hard copy and assume that just because they threw it in the trash it was gone forever. It is certainly a reminder to me with two daughters of my own that pictures these days can be forever and they needed to be reminded of that fact.


sage said...

Muddy ground can be tough (I remember using chains to get up muddy hills). Good reminder about the photo, but then I'm sure who ever tossed the photo wasn't excepting someone to be "dump diving" :)

Ed said...

Sage - With today's All Wheel Drive vehicles, Traction Control and better tire compounds, I haven't seen a set of tire chains in a decade at least, much less own a pair.

I'm guessing the girl threw them in her trash at home and thought as soon as it was in the dump truck, it was gone forever. She didn't think that perhaps her bag would bust open upon delivery to the dump and be flying around where others were throwing things away and could see. I guess that is one of the reasons I bought an industrial shredder a couple years back and everything important goes in there first before heading to the dump.

sage said...

One of the funniest dump stories I've heard recently came from a friend in MI who lost her cell phone--one with a tracking device--so she went to her computer and watched her cell phone move up and down the streets and then head out of town and stop... At the landfill!