Posted by: tlnemethy | May 21, 2012

Pretty sure children don’t make that grating sound when being run over.

Through the ever evolving job description I’ve acquired, I now drive clients around on their whim. For many who know me, driving is not necessarily something I enjoy doing, but especially so when the van I’m driving has no rear-view mirror and I have no idea of where anything is located. My boss told me I could just follow her so I agreed to wake up at 4am and drive, knowing I wouldn’t get lost. The morning of, she changes her mind and draws me a sketchy picture before sending me on my way. Alone. I started the van, but couldn’t find the seat adjuster, so I ended up just stretching my toes as far as they could reach to awkwardly press the gas.

I’m glad it was so early though, because it totally looked like I was driving a stick shift for the first time with all the weird false starts and burping down the road. Then came the next obstacle of parallel parking. These vans are beasts, but at least they have a snub nose. After having sufficiently made my way to a hotel and back, I was feeling pretty pumped.

Then the shit storm hit. We’d chartered out a few boats for about 20 people in a dentist convention and they were Imagesupposed to get back to shore by 3:30 so we could gut and fillet all their fish before half of them had to catch their flight at 6:00. That seems like a pretty impossible task. We were not thrilled, but with every hand available in the processing room, we tried to get it done. At least I got to put on a pair of waddlers (what I like to call the rubber boots). By 5:00 we were still vacuum sealing freezer packs of fish and throwing it into cartons to be thrown in the belly of the plane. Tension was everywhere, Squirt nearly cut his thumb off while filleting, and I was developing a stress rash on my wrist.

Then I was voluntold to drive one van of clients to the airport. Having only been outside the lodge once, I was not happy about muddling my way through, but my partner in crime was gonna lead the procession, so I kept mum. Have I told you how janky the vans are? Because they really do need some work. She pulled out and I started reversing, but of course, my van had decided not to start because they are so tempermental. I then pretended that was part of my plan all along, so the handful of clients inside didn’t worry about my driving capabilities.

Finally having gotten the van to actually reverse, I only moved backwards about 6 inches before there was a horrible grating sound and I possibly might have sworn. Big no-no in front of clients, although they really don’t mind most of the time. I parked the van and debated jumping into the sea with the fish carcasses strapped to my body, hoping that the hungry sea lion would eat me. Brief heart attack over, I worried that I’d clipped the car to my right. But, I’d obviously run over a small wooden child from the sounds of the grating. A client opened his side of the van door and said that instead someone had placed a wooden step stool under my chassis.

Why would anyone do that? Whatever, I had him pull it in and we were off. The first part of our convoy was thankfully, still patiently waiting at the stop sign. No hijinks ensued the rest of the way. But that could be that my heart had imploded and I was just a driving shell, emotionless and with only a single mission. 

At least later that night I finally got a chance to meet the lion-dog face to face. ImageHe is adorable and cuddly and super friendly. I petted his mane and was ecstatic for the rest of the evening. His owner was pretty much as sketchy as I figured he’d be. I found him pushing a dolly of buckets down the road aimlessly, at least his beard was sweet.

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