Monday, November 28, 2005

Where was Sheriff Buford T. Justice when I needed him?

Here’s a phrase that will never come out of my mouth again, “Let’s just rent a U-Haul and move this stuff ourselves.”

I always thought overweight middle aged Italian males were supposed to be able to drive trucks, apparently that’s incorrect.

I needed to put some old furniture into storage. If you’ve never been to one of these furniture mausoleums it’s a real treat.

Here is a place, full of crap that people don’t want but pay to store, that is more secure that San Quentin.

First of all they get nervous when Italians want to put something into storage but they try to be funny about it. “I see your name is Calabrese. Who are you putting in there? Ha ha ha.”

“Nobody you know.”

Then they ask the token Homeland Security question. “You’re not planning on storing any chemical or biological agents in here are you?”

“Planning? No… I’m not “planning” on it.”

"So you want me to take my shoes off and go through a metal detector now?"

Meanwhile seven guys who sound like they’re spitting when they talk are unloading drums of fertilizer in the space next to mine.

So I rent my space, on the third floor, and head over to U-Haul with my youngest son to rent “El Truck.”

I called it “El Truck” because anything that big needed a title. I had reserved a small 10’ – 14’ truck but they were all out so we got “El Truck” at the small truck rates.

This is the only time I've ever gotten anything on sale or at a discount. Figures...

This truck could have moved all of Mexico in one load.

All I needed to move was a 241 pound 36 inch Sony TV, TV Stand, Dining Room Set and a bed.

When I hopped up into “El Truck” I was immediately disappointed. There was no CB Radio. How was I gonna ask my good buddies if they’ve got their ears on without my CB radio?

I got out my cell phone and called my son who was following behind me.

“Hey good buddy, ya got your ears on? Can ya hear me now?”

My youngest son was afraid.

“Dad, please don’t screw around in that truck. This isn’t “Smokey and the Bandit.”

Too Late, I had already turned into Burt Reynolds or Jerry Reed. Actually I was more like Dom Delouise in “Smokey and the Bandit II.”

So as I’m driving back to my house to “load up” (that’s trucker talk) I started thinking of the wide open road, fresh air, country scenery, when it dawned on me that maybe I was supposed to join a union to drive something this big. Maybe I was supposed to be a member of the Teamsters.

But the Teamster mind set wasn’t as much fun as the Smokey and the Bandit mind set so I kind of improvised it a little.

“So... How y’all doin?

Anyway not only am I not a truck driver... I’m no mover either. We dropped the TV three times.

I knew we should have given it to the homeless.

Driving back to the self storage facility I started to sing, “East bound and down, loaded up and truckin, we gonna do what they say can't be done…..”

My son was crying.

When I pulled into the self storage lot there was only one space to park in and it was between two other very large trucks.

Here’s another phrase you never want to hear yourself utter, “I think I can squeeze this baby in if I get the right angle.”

So after I hit the front end and ripped the bumper off the first truck I found that although I was now fitting neatly into the space there was no room to pull the ramp out of the truck to unload.

So I nudged it forward…ever so slowly…..

So now my front bumper is locked with the rear bumper of the truck in front of me.

My son was now suicidal.

“Jesus Christ dad now what do we do?”

“We unload the truck.”

We dropped the TV two more times and snapped a leg off of one of the dining room chairs but I packed that stuff into that space like a shopping cart at a Michigan Wal-Mart sale.

Then I went to the front office to confess to the crash while my son figured out how to unhook the trucks. I think he let air out of the tires to lower “El Truck”.

“I kind of hit a truck back there.”

“We know we have you on our video surveillance cameras.”

Video surveillance?

This is a self storage facility filled with stuff that people eventually will forget about.

Video surveillance?

Who designed this place? The same guy that came up with the wrapping on DVD’s?

For a nice twist the truck I tore the bumper off of is owned by a Korean swap meet vendor.

I told him I’d give him a 36 inch Sony TV if I didn’t have to report this to my insurance company.

I’m 10-7 good buddies...come back.