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Front Page » November 14, 2006 » Opinion » When simple things become complex
Published 2,908 days ago

When simple things become complex


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By RICHARD SHAW
Sun Advocate publisher

For most people, the complexities of existence are often more than they can deal with. Taxes, death and kids (not necessarily in that order) often take them to the max of their ability to cope.

But for me, it's the simple things in life that do me in. Give me a good car wreck, a kidney operation or a divorce and I come through them with flying colors. It's the little things that almost drive me over the edge.

Take Sunday afternoon for example. My wife had recruited my youngest son to do some yard work around our place and he was out there in the cold wind picking up after our dogs and many of the other critters that are attracted to our yard. A few weeks ago we had bought a new washing machine, because our old one had lost it's balance (much like I often do) and walked itself right off the cement porch in our utility room down the stairs with about as much grace as an elephant on a greased tight rope. Since it's apparent demise and replacement it has been sitting on my back porch waiting to be hauled to the landfill when I got the chance to do it. My son had mentioned that he wanted it, because he thought it could fit in quite well with the d�cor at his bachelors living quarters, where no washer of any kind existed. I was all for it because about once a week I have been coming home at lunch to find his clothes laying all over the utility room while the washer purred away with his laundry in it. It always reminds me a little too much of the days when he lived with us.

To make a long story short (or I guess longer since I am just adding to it) he decided he wanted to move the washer to his house. Once we got it in my truck he looked at it and said, "Nah, I don't think I want it after all."

It seemed like perfect timing to now haul the thing to the dump, especially since there were other various metal objects at the bottom of my property which also seemed destined for the great blast furnace via the Carbon County landfill. I talked him into helping me load those up, tasks that we proceeded in doing with little incident of injury which was surprising. Usually someone (me) comes away from such activities with smashed fingers, ripped skin or any of the other kinds of abrasions and contusions that can be had at such an event.

So I drove off to the dump, leaving him behind to pick up further dog residue in my yard and arrived at the landfill safe and sound. I checked in, and since there was only metal in my truck there was not the usual ritual of driving to all the various deposit spots where we now must sort out the rubbish of our life before someone will haul it off or bury it for us.

I went to the metal pile and easily pushed and shoved all the big pieces of metal out of my truck with no incident as my Ipod played in the cab with George Carlin blasting from the stereo. As I climbed down from the back bumper I was particularly interested in a piece he was doing on how Cheerios are unsinkable in milk. He mentioned that the only thing that can make them sink is the fruit we use in our morning cereal, particularly peaches.

That simple act of listening and laughing was all I needed to cause a near disaster. As I stepped down, coincidentally, or on purpose, one of the very fruits he was talking about in his monologue attacked me. Someone had dumped out gallon sealed cans of fruit, peaches to be exact, right at the very spot where I was depositing the washer and other large pieces of U.S. Steels past. My foot just caught the edge of one of the full cans. Had it been an empty one, It probably would have just crushed with the tremendous middle aged weight gain I have acquired in the last few years, but the sealed can held fast and my ankle twisted up and sideways, something high topped work shoes would have prevented, but running shoes actually contribute to. As I fell backward I landed on the deposited washer, and my good leg came up nailing itself on the bottom of the bumper of the truck.

The truck was sitting on a very slight incline, and I had left it in neutral for some idiotic reason. As I lay there waiting for the pain to approach my brain I realized that the truck was beginning to roll. I could see it was headed for the down hill, and despite the fact that the landfill was empty of any other Carbon area junk depositors, in my mind I pictured it coasting down the incline and gaining enough speed that it would end up across the landfill's campus in the animal pit. Of course all the animals there are dead, so none of them would have been at risk, but if you have ever been to the animal pit at the dump, you would understand why I would not have wanted my truck to end up there.

I jumped up and chased (in a hobbling fashion) the rolling vehicle. The drivers door was open and I could still hear Carlin blasting away with one of his famous lists (this one about the American consumer) and I dived in the vehicle head first and was able to slap my hand on the brake, stopping it's forward motion. I lay there under the steering wheel for a second, my ankle feeling like it had been crushed by a vise, my other leg throbbing from it's direct contact with the truck bumper and my pride nearly dragged under the rear wheels of my vehicle.

I looked around; no one had seen me actually perform this ludicrous stunt although I could see another truck by the entrance with it's load being examined, so I got in my truck and drove home without further incident.

When I got home I was hobbling around the house and my wife asked me what was wrong. All I told her at first was that I had twisted my ankle, but after while I finally came clean, and told her the truth. She just shook her head and said "That's my Ricky."

Some day I will write a story about how I broke my collar bone with a motorcycle helmet or how I fall up the stairs (yes up the stairs) all the time.

But that can wait for another time, when my ankle and my ego are less sensitive.


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November 14, 2006
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