Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Hillbilly Journeyman in training

Like many people my age, I did in fact watch the old 80s show, The Dukes of Hazard growing up.

With a Facebook friend recently telling me of a sink hole that developed in the road near my home town, and me cracking a joke, that as Get-us-burg-yians, it probably called for a Dukes Of Hazard moment, I had to break down, and tell the fact that I have in fact, actually jumped a car.

True, it wasn't a cool ass Dodge Charger with a 01 painted on the side, but a 1972 for Pinto in primer(so it would be ready to paint.)

This was not my Pinto, this is shown just for illustration purposes.

 Mine was actually much cooler, with grey primer, and gold painted mag wheels, and a killer radio, with an equalizer, that jammed ZZ Top...

OK it wasn't 15 feet in the air, but maybe 2 feet.

Still, it was pretty cool,  after the fact.

I guess you had to be there....

See, I like to make fun of myself, and other folk of the red neck persuasion, but you know what?  I trained as a journeyman hillbilly for most of my life, so I have earned the right to poke fun.

I say, "I jumped a Ford pinto" and I should need say no more...

That should be credentials enough, for even the most discriminating hill folk.

The world was  a much larger place in those days.

I had a love of fun in those days, just like in today's age.

Except now a days, fun is reading a good book, whereas in those times, driving a car in the field, and doing burnouts, and doughnuts was were the fun was at...

In the country, we start our training early. My first motorcycle

This is my brother on my 50cc motorcycle with my pet Pheasant Fred.

Yes, I did in fact have a pet Pheasant named Fred.  He started following me one day on my 50cc Hog, and later would walk me up to the school bus in the morning, and met me up there at the right time in the evening when I came home, and walk me down the driveway.

After my brother badgered me one day, I finally let him kill it, so he could stuff, and mount it.

I feel bad to this day about it.

It feels like a betrayal.

Especially because he stuck it in the freezer, forgot about it, and my mom eventually threw out the carcass.

All for nothing.

I betrayed him.

I am sorry Fred, I really am.  I caved.  I should have had more character.

Even in the 6th grade, I knew what was important, BAD ASS cars..

Me around 16.  I liked to see if I could fit into the high chair, and my peps thought it was funny. Note the mullet...

Me at graduation(17).. Hill folk don't need no stinking pants when it's hot out!

So, much ado about me jumping the car.

See we were on one of our many trips through my mom's fields while she was out of town.

We did the standard allotment of doughnuts in the field.

We did the requirement of getting the car to go as fast as we could and then pulled the emergency brake around a turn...

We did all of the required car in the field procedures a good hill person is required to, before moving on to other activities..

we got bored at around 2am....

My friend decided he wanted to drive on the road.  It was a nice little trip, until coming back down my mom's 150 yard driveway, the horn got stuck on.

Imagine you are a high school kid, and you are doing something you shouldn't be while your mom is out of town, and just to let everyone know you are both a bad kid, and an idiot, the car horn blows the entire length down the driveway so ALL of your neighbors can know what you are up to....

Me: "quick get down to the house, NO, go back up the driveway, NO get down to the garage..."

My friend had an idea....

He wisely reasoned that if he jumped the car on this dirt mound my mom had half way down the driveway, that it might jar loose the contacts that were making the horn stick on.

He did, and we where air born, but instead of yelling "yehaw!" like on the Dukes of Hazard, I was yelling.... "what the fxxx do you think you are doing!?"





...and we did it.  We were airborne for a good 10 feet, about 2 feet off the ground....

After our short flight, the transmission was leaking anti freeze, but the horn was still on.

My friend went back to plan B, driving down into our garage.



....my neighbors are going to know it's me!

"I'm pretty strong, I will just reach down, and rip the battery cable off the battery"


What I ripped loose was the radiator hose, and somehow I pointed the hose, with hot anti freeze right at my face.(I am guessing the coolant was at about 175 F, as I didn't have the thermostat in the engine block, however, IT WAS HOT..)

"AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!" I go screaming running toward the house, but half way there, my face cools, and I have time to reason the situation out...

I reason, that that was quite a racket, and my neighbors probably might call the cops, so I better call them and let them know 'what is going on', and that everything is okay.

I will put their minds at ease.... 

They need not bother the good police officers.

I imagine since I have just woken up my neighbors,  they are probably frantically sitting on the edge of their bed anxiously awaiting the return call from the state police telling them everything is okay, once they have checked out the situation...

So I call my neighbor... 

The phone rings about 7 times and at that point I realize I actually woke him up, but I am committed, so I have to complete the call.

A groggy voice finally answers weakly 12, or maybe 13 rings in...

"emmm(clears crap out of throat) hellooo.... "

I say: "did you hear that?"

He says: "um, hear what, I was sleeping?"

So instead of being smart, and hanging up(see we had no caller ID in those days), I stupidly recount EVERYTHING that happened, or a slight embellishment of the facts.

I leave out the part about us joy riding my pinto through the field, and invent a story about me working on a desperate friends car that is broke down...

I am up late prepping for bible school, and a friend calls in need..

Being the responsible guy I am, I decide to fix his car.  

While I am carefully diagnosing the problem, the car horn gets stuck on, and my scatter brained friend decides to throw me aside, get in the car, start it, drive it up the driveway, turn around, race down the driveway at 50, jumping a dirt mound in an effort to try to get the car horn unstuck.....

I apologize to by neighbor, and assure him I gave my friend a good talking to for his idiocy.

The next day, after the hangover wore off, we fixed the car, and the next night, HOT DAMN, we were back at the field races.....

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