Saturday, November 15, 2008

That Man Isn't Fit To Be a Father

On pickup trucks and havin' a good time.

This is the 1999 Ford F-150 XL 4WD Regular Cab pickup with 8' bed.

It's my ride.

It has a standard transmission.

AM/FM cassette.

Maybe a little torn upholstery.

Y'know - maybe little cigarette burn or something.

Whatever. It's one sweet ride.

I was raised in a time where it was a rare but fully acceptable practice to ride around in the back of a pickup truck. Gramp would usually show up on Sunday and do just that. Hell, Gramp would let us sit on his lap and steer.

I looked, and I don't have a photo of any of that, but here's one of me on my Big Wheel just to prove what a daredevil I am.

Daredevil with a sensible sweater, that is.

Ahh - I'm not so sure that's even my Big Wheel. Look - the point is, this was the right time to be raised. We never let anxiety stand in the way of a good time. But that just doesn't jibe with the modern day soccer-mom ethos, and the days of freewheelin' pickup truck rides are over. Now, in certain circles it seems, pickup trucks are the devil.

SUV's and minivans? No problem.

A quick snap from the school parking lot shows a Suburban, a Yukon, and a minivan; all acceptable because (regardless of their extremely similar footprint) they have really comfy seats and a lot of fancy buttons and junk inside. That makes them A-OK.

So last week, I pulled up to the school in the truck so my daughter could drop off something for the bake sale. It's probably worth noting at this point that this is a private school. Part of the reason we can afford private school is because I drive the 1999 Ford F-150 XL Regular Cab pickup truck with 8' bed and standard transmission. The money spent on this school each month could put me in a Beemer or other vehicle with some sort of emblem on it, though I don't think that'd be as cool.

Upon arrival, a gaggle of friends were outside with a sign, raising bake sale awareness. Ordinarily, the let-my-kid-spend-time-with-a-bunch-of-friends-at-once department is an area in which I often fall short. I get a little irritable when a few kids gather at the house and start looking for things to do. When kids look for something to do, things tend to get thrown. Things are swung. This puts Daddy on edge. I imagine the fireplace poker sticking through the TV, or someone otherwise becoming permanently disfigured. Get too many kids together and something is coming down. But you have to roll with some of that, and this scenario was a no-brainer. It was a party upon which I would not poop. I prepared to settle in and let them do their thing.

They spent a total of 15 minutes back there, just goofing off while I kept an eye out via the rear-view mirror. During this time, mothers, one by one, would come out to see what the hell was going on. Whichever mother came out would go back and give a status report to the other moms (even though there really wasn't anything to report.)

At the 15 minute mark, I decided to pop the E-brake and coast ahead about 15 feet. Looked like a better spot to campaign over there, and who wouldn't like a little joyride like that?

Those moms inside there. That's who.

The very second the truck began to roll forward, Mom #3 (who obviously had her eyes glued on us the whole time) ran outside and shouted to her daughter, "Come inside right now!" and shot me a sideways glance that apparently my acute case of Asperger's Syndrome had heretofore left me unable to cipher. It seems that tension had been mounting inside the school lobby from the moment I let those girls climb in the back of my mobile temple of the Church of Satan, and now I am not considered a Friend of the Soccer Moms.

The young lady asked her friends to come in with her so she wouldn't feel like the only one who had to go in, and that was that. Ils sont partis. Since there was no way I could effectively convince these kids to worship our Dark Lord now, and seeing how I'm a completely irresponsible prick and all, I just started the truck and left.

Then I went home and rode my Big Wheel without a helmet.

1 comment:

RONW said...

thus, from this day on, you are banned forever ever after and a day from the good graces of the Soccer Moms.

in Hawaii, it's against the law for 18-years-and-under to ride in the beds of pickup trucks.