Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The view from behind is often not pretty

I am not a backing-into-a-parking-space kinda guy.

Nor am I a one-handed parallel-parking-using-only-my-mirrors kinda guy.

And the desire to own, drive, or attempt to park any vehicle that has a back end longer than the length of a typical garage, just isn't on my want/need list.

Given those last three statements, it's quite obvious that I most definitely am not a pulling-something-behind-my-vehicle kinda guy.

In my small town (and let's face it, just about anywhere in Okie-land), if you have a vehicle with a posted towing capacity in it's owners manual that doesn't have a tow hitch, ball, bar, or some other pulling attachment of some sort dangling off the back end, you are persona non-grata.

And the only reason I have such a contraption on the back of the Elky, was because it came that way from the little old Cajun dude in Louisiana whom I bought it from some 3 years ago.

As such, and since the Elky does have the little steel ball of pulling power and enough oomph to pull a trailer, my F-i-L thinks nothing of asking me to haul a load of our house restoration leavin's to the dump via his little 4-walled 12-foot trailer.

And every time he comes 'round with his little trailer and we have a big day of demolition ahead of us, I get that anxious rattling at the end of my keychain, knowing that my trailer pulling and backing up skills (or lack thereof) will yet again be put to the test.

Well, our 10'x17' mudroom is coming along nicely, and will be soon be resplendent with a deep doggie washing capable laundry sink, an industrial size slide out laundry folding table, four open lockers (NFL style...the NBA style just didn't suit S for some reason) complete shoe puttin'ontakin'off seats, upper storage for sports equipment, and lower storage for shoes, acres of cabinet space for linens, towels, and seasonal clothing, a sleeping area for Franny, a fold down hand-wash delicates hang drying rack, three overhead light fixtures, broom closet, hidden ironing board, and a gift wrapping area.

Oh, and a little art space corner for the girls to get their painting faces on.

But all this construction comes at a price, and that total was paid in full with my recent trip to haul away the lathe-plaster-sheetrock-lumber-nails, dust and dirt that we removed to make way for the new and improved mudroom.

Let's just say that it probably took me longer to back that trailer up the 50 foot, 13 degree inclined ramp leading to the open maw of the dumpster pit, than it did for my F-i-L and I to load the old mudroom lathe and plaster offal into that darn little trailer in the first place.

Luckily only one fella was waiting - with the patience of a Farmer watching his wheat grow - to dump his load after me.

I was too preoccupied with the sweat-inducing goings-ons out my rear and side view mirrors to notice how smirky, surprised, or self-satisfied the Farmer was (and deservedly so) as he watched me struggle with and against my Sisyphusian 2-wheeled boulder.

A good friend of mine in LA, after he bought his boat, took his trailer to a large empty parking lot to practice, practice, practice pulling and towing and parking his boat trailer.

Very soon after, he became a pulling-something-behind-his-vehicle kinda guy.

Maybe there's hope for me yet.

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