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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Loud, Proud, and Likely to Crowd; or Holy Cats, That’s a Big Truck You Got There, Grandma

I should’ve never let her park in the church parking lot.

Still.  It’s Mary, for crying out loud. Who’s going to stop her?

The vehicle that had pulled up to the house just before the serving job had been shocking in its size.

“Holy Hannah,” I had grunted, pulling myself up into the passenger seat, “what is this?  Are we going to a construction job afterwards?”

“This,” Mary chortled, “is the 2004 Ford King Ranch Powerstroke Turbo Diesel.”

“Not much of a vehicle, is it?” I said.  “You couldn’t get more than, what, 77, 78 bags of groceries in here.”

“Scoff if you will,” she said, “but up here, we are lords of all we survey.”

“Hmm,” I said.

“LORDS,” she repeats.

And now, in the ice-cold darkness of a Minneapolis night, the starch slowly leaving our once-crisp shirts, our spines compressed from almost five hours of standing, the previously empty parking lot is a sea of cars.

The truck rumbles with a display of engine-ness rarely seen outside of Monster Truck Rallies.  I mention this aloud.

“That’s not a word,” Mary says.  “You can’t say “engine-ness”.” 

I stare at her.  “I retract “engine-ness”.”  The cab of the truck is relatively silent. 

I check my side mirror, her gauges.  “So, um,” I say, “what’re we waiting for?”

Mary is staring out the rear-view.  “You know,” she says, “I thought we’d be the last ones out of the lot.”

I turn to her.  “Are you saying what I think you’re saying?”

“Probably,” she says.  “Unless it’s about how much I’d like a cigarette right now.  Because I wouldn’t.  Like a cigarette right now.”

Neither of us smoke anymore.

I sigh a little inward sigh, open the door, and drop 30 feet to the ground.  (Truck height is approximate and not to be used for gambling purposes.)

Saturday night, roughly 10:15.  Fully 40 degrees warmer than it was when the Polar Vortex settled in last week, it is, of course, still winter, still cold.  The stars cut through the black overhead with a fragile, cruel beauty.

I zip my coat to my chin and step to the back of the truck.

“OK,” I shout, “Come back, back, back…”



Will Mary and Pearl ever get out of the parking lot?  Come back tomorrow for Part Two in which we find our heroines inching toward freedom!

30 comments:

Shelly said...

Hey- hey! The King Ranch is right in my back yard and I know the drops from the cabs of those trucks too well. I have found wearing a quick deploying parachute helps in the landing. I can't wait to see what happens next.

And the happiest of birthdays to you, Pearlie!

Pearl said...

Thank you, Miz Shelly! And is that truck not just the biggest thing you've every seen?! Incredible.

Ponita in Real Life said...

Oooooo, nice! I lovely the "engine-ness" rumble that a truck makes. But a dually?!? Holy hannah, what is Mary hauling with that thing? I had one once... and pulled a trailer loaded with 8 horses. But parking's a bitch, ain't it? ;-)

Ponita in Real Life said...

"Lovely"?!? What were my fingers thinking? I hate it when they do their own thing and ignore the signals from my brain. Love, just plain love... ;-)

Pearl said...

Ponita, not exactly a city vehicle! We managed to get a couple of laughs out of it, but ooooh, that parking lot. Like to give me an anxiety attack.

Daisy said...

You could put three Smart cars in that truck! Does it come with fold out steps?

Pearl said...

Daisy, I think it comes with a ladder!

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
heheheheh - am giggling cuz my sister has a dinky-toy version of this and I STILL have to get her to park over at the kerb so that I stand a gnat's chance of actually climbing into the thing. This one would have me taking height sickness pills!! Hope your (birth)day is going good. YAM xx

jenny_o said...

But the view! Mary is right, you are LORDS! For short persons in particular, this should be a huge selling point. I know it would be for me.

Birthday? Pearl? Well, holy hannah, girl! Have a great one!!

Should Fish More said...

My truck is a similar vehicle, and in my small MT town doesn't rate a second glance. When I take it to Seattle to see the grandkids I find city driving easier if I appear distracted and perhaps inebriated...other vehicles tend to stay clear of me. I think of the bumper as a 'feeler' of sorts, letting me know the location of other cars.

Dawn@Lighten Up! said...

Hey now - my first car was a truck. A Ford Ranger. The itty bitty baby to Mary's big behemoth. Oh, I loved it so.

Delores said...

i love driving a big vehicle...but now we have a normal sized car and when those monstrosities park on either side of me I can't see if it's clear to back up.

Pearl said...

I once had a Mazda B2000, a lovely little truck for which I learned to drive stick. I do love a manual transmission...

Joanne Noragon said...

I used to drive a huge van to shows. I knew every inch of Sarah, and I especially knew if my mirrors fit, my van fit. However, I cannot tell you how often I would be heading for my spot to unload and have to deal with a man who popped up like a jack-in-the-box, indicating which way to turn my wheel, how far to back up, STOP. The penalty for backing over him exceeding any gratification I might get, I just maneuvered while he shed testosterone.

vanilla said...

Riding shotgun in one of those a while ago, deer jumped in front, truck rolled over it, hardly felt the bump.

fishducky said...

Happy birthday, funny lady!!

esbboston said...

Hah! That is similar to mine! I have the same color scheme in a four door 2005 F-350 eXcept mine has two wheels in back instead of four.

esbboston said...

I spent a week in Houston getting into and out of my son's F-150 without the running boards was veRy difficult for me compared to the larger higher F-350.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

I can't get into or out of trucks without a stepladder or forklift.

Hope you're well and staying warm, Pearl.

xoRobyn

fmcgmccllc said...

And now you know part of what helps me lose the weight, up/down and in/out. And some days I get to do it all without seats.

Elephant's Child said...

Oh my. And, is fishducky right? Are you another Capricorn? Happy, happy birthday. May your fertile mind always find the fertiliser it needs.

Launna said...

My dad drove everything for a living.. even transport trucks, now that is something to get in and out of... lol...

I know what you mean about those really high trucks... you feel like you are far from the ground :)

Suldog said...

My Mom, 80-years-old, bought a huge SUV. The reason? She wanted as much stuff around her as possible in case she gets hit. Now, I'm not one to argue with My Mom, so if she wants to surround herself with four-wheeled armor, OK. My first thought was that a smaller vehicle would be less likely to be hit in the first place - especially the way My Mom cuts those turns - but let it be. She asks me to drive it if we're going someplace in her vehicle, which is fine since I used to drive a dump truck and that was almost as big.

I hope you two got out of the lot safely.

Diane Tolley said...

Just think! If rent is hard to come by, you guys and half the neighbourhood can move into the truck!

The Geezers said...

Well, she doesn't get stuck in the snow much, I'll bet.

In my younger years, I had a jeep with monster tires, then realized that all it earned me was the ability to get to work when everybody else was staying home when it snowed hard.

Little mazda and honda sedans ever since then.

Rosemary Nickerson said...

Hubby got a new truck just before the holidays. I keep moving until I can find a drive-thru parking spot, usually in the farthest reaches of any lot, when I have to drive it.

HermanTurnip said...

Heh....my brother in law has a very similar truck that he converted to use bio-fuel. He fuels up with oil from the fast food places. The thing smells like burnt french fries and makes the most horrible and disconcerting clunking noises as it lurches down the road.

Linda O'Connell said...

We went from a low sitting car to an SUV, and I will never get off my throne and go back to a lowly position. I like seeing the world from higher up. But that truck! I'd surely injure myself.

Mitchell is Moving said...

Oh, crap, how I would hate THAT responsibility!

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

I have never driven a big 4wd but don't think I would have a problem doing so, my youngest daughter would love to have a big 4wd if she could afford it.