Friday, January 12, 2007

Ah Memories!

We had our first frost last night. Frost is about as close as we come to snow around here. Rooftops were covered by a thin silvery layer this morning, and the grass was stiff and crunchy. There has been some talk that it may snow this weekend. I wouldn’t believe it, but after the snowfall we had in 1999, I guess anything is possible. It certainly feels cold enough.

You can always tell who has a garage and who doesn’t on frosty mornings. When I see someone driving down the road with the windshield dripping I sympathize with them. I used to have to hose off my car in the mornings. I’m glad I don’t have to do that anymore. Thinking about it brought back memories.

The first car I ever had was a Chevy Nova; 1977 or something like that. It was white on the inside and dark green on the inside. I called it “The Pickle.” My parents got the car for me before I even had my license, and one day while they were gone I swiped the keys and took it for a joy ride. I don’t know what the hell I was thinking.

I picked up a friend and we headed towards West High to cruise the parking lot when I noticed it was low on gas, so I pulled into the Larson’s market on Valhalla Drive. Realizing the tank was on the other side of the car, I attempted to back into place along side the island. Keep in mind, I was 15 and had never driven a car before. I thought I was doing pretty good until I heard a loud scraping sound and the car lurched to one side.

My friend and I exited the car, laughing hysterically, to see what had happened. My backing up skills weren’t so great at the time, so instead of backing in straight, I had backed up at an angle and ended up going over a curb surrounding a flower bed. Half the car hung over the flower bed with the under carriage caught on the concrete curb. Not knowing what to do, I looked around for help.

A man nearby, noticing our predicament, walked up and offered his help. After getting down on the ground and looking under the car he told me I would have to call for help. He said if I tried to drive the car off the curb it could destroy the undercarriage of my car. Suddenly, I wasn’t laughing anymore. I panicked. I couldn’t call for help! How could I explain why I was driving? How would I pay for it? My parents would find out and I’d be grounded for life! I was determined to get of out there.

I thanked the man for his help and jumped back in the car. I told my friend to hang on, and I hit the gas as hard as I could. Wheels squealing, I drove the car up and over the curb, wincing at the noise as I did. I don’t know for sure, I but I imagine that sparks flew. I didn’t look back. Laughing hysterically again, I somehow managed to maneuver the car back to my friend’s house and then to my own with out getting caught.

That was the first and the last time I ever stole a car.