I’ve made some bonehead moves in my life. Like this past Saturday, when I drove to Newton to meet my sister and her family and to drop off some printed materials for Bruce Behymer, our Buyer’s Edge sales representative in Harvey County.
I parked the truck, met Bruce in the parking lot of a restaurant and gave him the goods. Then I went in to meet Janet and Orvin and the boys. Everything was great until I went back out to drive back to Hillsboro.
I couldn’t find the truck keys in my pocket because the keys were inside the locked truck. And they weren’t in the ignition, they were lying in plain sight on the seat.
I believe this type of thing happens to other people all of the time. Just not to the same people all of the time.
Orvin summoned to the restaurant a tow truck operator with magic tools and what-not to get my keys off of the seat. After a few attempts the guy fished the keys off of the seat and pulled them through the weather-stripping that he had forced apart with his magic gizmos.
All I could think of was Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again” song.
Most of the time when I leave town on a road trip I put a spare set of keys in my pocket in the event that something like this happens. So far, I have never had to use the second set of keys. I might have to employ this strategy for short trips as well from now on.
I can’t figure out why I even put the keys on the seat in the first place. I have never done that before.
On another recent occasion I did think I was really smart. I thought my van had a loose vacuum hose so I was going to open the hood and check.
But when I pulled the hood latch, nothing happened. Normally, it just pops up when you pull the latch control inside the vehicle. If someone else had been around I could have asked for help.
Then a light went on. I saw a shovel leaning against the building so I decided to put the blade of the shovel between the hood and the frame just above the grill. Then when the latch was released, the weight of the handle of the shovel would pop it up. This worked like a charm.
I tend to feel giddy temporarily when things like this work.
Another time I was trying to air up a wheelbarrow tire that had popped off of its rim. When I started to air it up, the air just flowed out all around the bead of the tire because it was too far away from the rim.
A light went on again. I took off my belt and pulled it around the outside of the tire and cinched it up as tight as I could and applied the air again. This time with a little jiggling the tire sealed up and the air flowed in to fill the tire.
I had the privilege of going to the Peabody Printing Museum with Derek Hamm recently. For someone like me, it’s a walk back to my seventh-grade summer when I first worked for the Bruces at the Star-Journal.
I’m sure there are still a few of us hot-metal guys around, but not many. Except for a few of the museum pieces, I have experience running that equipment. Given what the computer can do, it would make no sense to go back to the old ways, but the nostalgic part of me wishes we could do it that way again.
If you wish to share your comments or ideas, my e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.