While reading Mrs 4444s blog entry for her Saturday Sampling post this morning I was reminded of a particular event that occurred about 29 years ago. I’m really surprised that my mind could remember that far back but decided I should put it down here so someday when I can’t remember my name I can read about the fun I used to have as a teenager.
Mrs 4444s entry was about an event that happened with her brothers. Since I am an only child and therefore do not have any brothers – essentially that’s what the term “only child” means – most of my memories of brother/sister kinds of events involved my cousin Derick. Here is Derick now by the way.
Now imagine him much shorter and about 150 pounds lighter (maybe more – I’m not good with numbers). Anyway if I was 15 then he was 12 or 13. Our Papaw was teaching me to drive. Over a series of weekends he would let me drive his car (which we will get to in a minute) around the block and teach me various things about it. It was usually just the two of us. Derick and I always went to their house on the weekends so we were together a lot. But for these driving lessons Papaw would just take me. I loved it, by the way. Just me and my Papaw equaled ultimate perfection!!! (Note to self: find a picture of us)
Anyway, one particular Saturday Papaw was going to teach me how to back out of the driveway. It was to be my first lesson in going in reverse. That should have been the first warning sign but it wasn’t. Derick asked to go with us this time. That should have been the second warning sign but it wasn’t. Papaw said yes – a choice I’m sure he regretted about 5 minutes later. So the three of us go get in Papaw’s car. At this point I need to inform you that THIS is a very similar version (except in silver) of the car I was driving:
Please notice that a family of four could sleep on the hood of that thing. And their extended family could sleep inside of it. THE THING WAS A BUS!
Now you have a good idea of what I was working with. At this point I am behind the wheel, Papaw is in the passenger seat and Derick is directly behind me in the back seat. That should have been the third warning but it wasn’t. Papaw is instructing me on how to put the car in reverse and how to put my foot on the brake to ease out of the driveway while turning the steering wheel slightly to the left. I do remember laughing at this point. I’m not sure if it was because I was nervous – because I laugh when I’m nervous – or if Derick was saying something to make me laugh. So, the most logical explanation for my laughter is Derick – so we’ll go with that.
Ok, I start backing out of the driveway with the land yacht under my control, Papaw instructing me every second and Derick in the back seat laughing or something annoying. In the span of the 5 seconds since Papaw’s lesson on the brake pedal I forgot what he said. I put my foot on the gas instead of the brake. Yeah, I think you see where this is going. I did not turn the wheel nor did I use the brake but the car WAS in reverse. So what does that tell you? Yep, I went straight back at break neck speed in the neighbors yard across the street. Nearly all 4 wheels were in their beautifully manicured front lawn. At this point it’s hard to help you envision exactly how quickly everything happened but I will attempt to try. First of all, Derick is killing himself laughing in the FLOOR right behind me which of course is making me laugh. Papaw is yelling at Derick to get out of the car – Derick is laughing too hard to move quickly enough. I am laughing (remember the nerves and laughter thing) hysterically not only at myself and the situation but at Derick who is laughing at me. The only person NOT laughing was of course Papaw. He is telling me to put the car back in gear and SLOWLY move out of the neighbors yard so as not to tear up their yard anymore than I already had at the same time that he is telling Derick to GET OUT OF THE CAR!!! I suspect he might have used a couple of choice words but I don’t remember those.
Oh my stars that is the funniest thing! I’m not sure what we looked like but I have a feeling Derick and I weren’t the only ones laughing. And I think Papaw and the neighbors were probably not the only ones mad.
So you see I may have been an only child. And Derick may have been an only child. But I still had an annoying little “brother” on the weekends. He nearly got me killed and if I think hard enough about it I’m sure there were other times he tried to kill me too. I’m not sure why because I was always a very sweet, tender and encouraging big “sister”. I don’t know what his problem was actually.
What was your problem Derick? And why did you try to kill me.