Sunday, June 29, 2008
My legs vs. a 1989 Ford Bronco II
I promised an explanation for the Ford Bronco story. Here it is.
It was my senior year of high school, on a balmy day during spring lacrosse season. Spring on the Eastern Shore is a bipolar season. It will go from 34' at night to 89 and humid at 3 pm, and back to snowing the next day. We are also very blessed to have ridiculously fast moving thunderstorms come through quite often during this most bipolar of seasons.
So my brother and I are home by ourselves, as our parents have trusted us to not burn the house down while they are out doing errands. Said thunderstorm comes rolling in. It has been a hot day so all the car and house windows are down and various warm weather patio equipment is outside. My brother and I divvy up the storm preparations: He is responsible for all of the house windows, I'm responsible for the vehicle windows, and we will meet up on the patio to drag in everything. I grab the keys. And this is where disaster strikes.
Our 1989 Ford Bronco II was a piece of crap. Nothing worked on it, yet we continued to drive her. This particular model of Bronco was one of the first with power windows. Thus the car battery must be on to put the windows up. It also had a broken emergency brake so we parked it in first gear to keep her from rolling away. Most importantly, for some odd reason the clutch did not need to be pushed in to start the vehicle. Some of you may be able to predict the story from here.
I opened the door and sat one cheek on the seat, to reach around the steering wheel and turn the battery on. I accidentally started the engine. Since this POS didn't need the clutch in, it started right up. Since this POS was already in first gear due to a broken EB, it took off. Right through a row of leyland cypress trees separating our driveway from the neighbor's yard. My poor legs are still outside the car. As we sail through the trees, the door partially shuts on my legs. I slip out a little and am hanging on to the steering wheel for dear life as I slowly do circles in the neighbor's lawn. Finally I push the brake with my hand, turn the Bronco off...and promptly run to the neighbor's front door to apologize for tearing up their lawn.
They take one look at me covered in pine needles, dripping wet from the now torrential rainstorm outside and already black and blue from the traumatic ride through the trees while pinned in the door, and proceed to carry me to my house where my brother has kindly finished the storm preparations without bothering to check on me. The parents are called and the Bronco is returned to the driveway (not by me, thank you very much).
After many ibuprofen and icepacks, I am able to tell my traumatic story to all who are gathered. When finished my father gives me one of those looks that says it all: We are so glad you are okay...but you're an idiot. And yes, the Bronco is a POS.
In the end, everyone was okay. Well, everyone except for me. And the Bronco. I couldn't walk for a week because of bruising beyond belief all up and down both legs, and the Bronco had a nice thigh-sized dent in the door that allowed a backseat passenger a view of the road even with a closed door. We eventually fixed the door, but my pride has never recovered.
I also have never learned to drive stickshift.
edit: this is a funny story. to this day, I still laugh about the "Bronco Incident," and frequently get made fun of for it. you have permission to laugh too.