November 01, 2011

Oh, Pioneers

A few months ago, my wife became seriously dedicated to the idea of opening her own business. Without going into the details of her business plan, I can divulge that it requires her husband, who is me, to lift and move vast quantities of furniture from a U-Haul trailer into our garage and porch.

My wife grew tired of constantly renting a U-Haul to go pick up more furniture for me to lift and move, so she started looking for good deals on large freight box trucks. For those unfamiliar with box trucks, they're basically some of the largest vehicles you can drive without having to obtain a commercial driver's license. As with the unexpected constant furniture moving, I likewise didn't expect to be the primary pilot of the box truck once one was procured. But, if there's one thing I've learned about marriage, it's to expect the unexpected.

Well, last week, my wife officially obtained a 1992 Ford box truck which gets, roughly, five gallons per mile. This thing drinks more fuel than Lindsay Lohan drinks booze.

I'd driven a couple box trucks before, but only over short distances and always through very rural environments. The box truck my wife purchased, however, was located in the heart of the Twin Cities. This struck me as completely unfair.

People who know me know I'm an easily stressed out guy. Ask me to do something completely out of the ordinary, and my blood pressure is almost guaranteed to spike into heart attack range. Navigating an ancient, gas sucking behemoth box truck through the Twin Cities during noon rush hour easily qualifies as "completely out of the ordinary."

Here's the thing: I've grown to depend on rearview mirrors. I love review mirrors. If I didn't already have a wife, I'd marry a rearview mirror. Large, ancient box trucks do not have rearview mirrors. They have a gallery of side mirrors that shake violently whenever you exceed 50 mph. The only thing that shakes more than the side mirrors is me due to stressful agitation and a constant feeling of an impending traffic accident.

Learning how to drive via side mirrors is like learning a new language, except when you're learning a new language, messing up doesn't lead to sideswiping a Volkswagon.

As I embarked on my maiden voyage with that huge box truck last week, I spent the first 20 minutes trying to figure out the difference between the big rectangular mirrors and the little square mirrors. What I learned is, if a vehicle doesn't appear in the big rectangular mirror, but it does appear in the little square mirror, then that vehicle is RIGHT ALONGSIDE MY BOX TRUCK!!!!!

To my credit, I wasn't involved in any accidents that long and stressful day, and the box truck now sits menacingly in our driveway, just daring me to try driving it again.

And, if my wife's business happens to take off, I'll be driving that horrible box truck much, much more in the future. So, keep your eyes on the local news for a story about some guy driving a 1992 Ford box truck into the ditch because he couldn't figure out his side mirrors.

Posted by Ryan at November 1, 2011 08:40 PM | TrackBack
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