May 26, 2005

The Cactus and the Land Yacht

Its Thursday and, therefore, time for a good embarrassing story about myself. There are plenty and I feel the need to share the bounty.

By the time I turned 13 (remember this age, please...its important), I'd already started smoking. Some call that precocious, others stupid. That, however, is beside the point. One evening my parents went out to a dinner party at a friend's house and I found myself with a surprising lack of cigarettes. What to do...what to do...why, hop in the car and go by myself some, of course. (Do I need to remind you that I was 13?)

This was 1985 or 1986 and my dad had a big-ass Buick Land Yacht. And when I say "big ass" I need you to interpret this as "fucking huge" okay? I found the keys, started the Land Yacht's massive V-38 engine and headed to the local 7-11. The closest one was not all that far from my house and the easiest way to get there was by taking a shortcut through my junior high school parking lot (because I was 13...we've established that, right?). I was just cruising through the parking lot, 7-11 and nicotine in sight. No problems whatsoever. None. Nada. Until I crashed head on into a two foot cement post, that is.

The good thing about the Land Yacht is that t takes a direct hit from an intercontinental ballistic missile with a 10 kiloton nuclear warhead to cause any significant damage or harm the occupants. I was fine. Shaken up but fine. The front fender? Not so much. But priorities are priorities. My mission was clear. I had to get smokes. Then I drove home carefully, parked the car exactly as it had been and, for the first time in my life, became an extremely devout Christian and welcomed Jesus into my heart. It was a short-lived thing but I thought it might help.

My parents came home and found me, on a Friday night, doing homework, something that didn't happen often even under the best of circumstances. Of course, they asked about the car. They'd been at the grocery store earlier so I implied that it was quite possible someone hit the car while it was parked in the lot. My mom fell for it. My dad? He acted like he believed for my mom's benefit. Then he shot me an odd smile and said, sure it was hit in the parking lot.

I can't be sure but I think that still remains our little secret.

Posted by Chris at May 26, 2005 08:49 AM

Okay, your dad gets the "World's Coolest Dad" award.

Posted by: Mooalex at May 26, 2005 09:07 AM

Wow - your parents are amazing! The text-messaging is totally forgiven. You're a lucky guy.

Posted by: carrster at May 26, 2005 09:08 AM

OMG, how that sounds so much like an incident I had with a Dodge Ram. Of course I was 16, driving permit and all. I thought i was tough shit, so my friend and I took my car went on a mission to go to Walmart. Well, getting there was not a problem. Finding a place to park was crazy though. So when we finally found a spot, and i have to admit, it was a tight squeeze, but not a problem! I can remember saying something like "it's fine, we can make it in" or something along those lines...and the next thing i know, i'm scraping bumper to bumper with a Dodge Ram. So we decided it was in our best interests to get the fuck outta there and find a new spot. So where did we wind up? Probably about 3 spaces down from the Dodge Ram. And did the Dodge Ram in turn have any damage done to it? OF COURSE NOT. My car however, was christened with a sweet foot long "brush burn" type spot on the passenger side bumper. Maybe if people didn't have such "land-yacht" sized vehicles, this may not have happened in the first place. Or maybe I just needed some more practice parking in tight places. Hey, I did only have my learners permit.

Posted by: Michelle at May 26, 2005 09:08 AM

your little secret until now that is ... if she reads your blog you are SO GROUNDED!! = )

Posted by: LOUP at May 26, 2005 09:12 AM

She may ground you until Bean's born for that one. And you didn't get in trouble? How is that possible? I got in trouble for BREATHING TOO DEEPLY when I was young. God! That sucks!

Posted by: Queen Of Ass at May 26, 2005 09:16 AM

Hee, how much do I love the fact that you didn't let crashing your dad's car deter you from getting your smokes? That is commitment. Or crazy. Take your pick. But you got away with it? You know the Beanette can use this story as ammo down the line right? Best not to let her see it.

Posted by: Fraulein N at May 26, 2005 09:38 AM

That is one cool dad! My ass would have been grounded until I turned 30.

Posted by: donna at May 26, 2005 10:28 AM

i would have gotten in TROUBLE! so much trouble. besides, it was my older brother's job to do things like that. he once drove a dodge dart through the plate glass window of a porche showroom.

Posted by: jodi at May 26, 2005 10:30 AM

HA, My mother was the same way "enough rope to hang ya self" she'd say. I got sick on vodka and OJ when I was 14. I came home told my mother I had the flu and i was dizzy, she took one look at my bright red nose and told me to sleep off my flu.

Posted by: Krista at May 26, 2005 11:23 AM

Hahahahaha! You little miscreant!! :)

Posted by: Zandria at May 26, 2005 11:28 AM

Ok, my teenager is 13 and that story well lets just say now I know why I never leave the house without him. Poor kid ;)

Posted by: Chrissie at May 26, 2005 11:29 AM

OMG! Can your dad adopt me?

Posted by: Marie at May 26, 2005 11:32 AM


Posted by: ::c:: at May 26, 2005 11:37 AM

All I can say is that your dad is way way way cooler than mine would have been!!!!

Let's just say that recently my parent bought a new truck and my mom still has not driven it because she doesn't want to be the one driving it when it gets its first ding.

Posted by: Amy at May 26, 2005 11:39 AM

You know you could always text message him about that. I'm sure he'd appreciate knowing that you know how col he was that night. I still don't know if my parents knew how druck I was the evening that I trip on the step up into the house and fell flat on my face while they watched t.v. not five feet away. I suspect they did.

Posted by: j.tonic at May 26, 2005 11:40 AM

I'm so over here LMAO. I had a similar experience, except I was 8. Brand new car and my best friend and I were playing "road trip" (oh my at the foreshadowing) when I decided to put the car in "N". I had seen my mom do it before and nothing happened, yano! Yeah, well, we were in a steep parking lot and gained momentum as we sailed down the hill, across a road, and into a ditch. I hide under my bed for 4 hours I was so afraid of my Dad. When I finally had to pee so bad I couldn't stand it, I was busted and beat to near death.

I won't even get into all the fire hydrant and mailbox impressions in vehicles that would follow this innocent beginning. conclusion, I'm impressed that you got away with it and you are one lucky cactus!!

Posted by: Bayou at May 26, 2005 11:42 AM

Hehehe! You and I must have had the same parents! I was in an accident 2 weeks before my 16th birthday, at the 7-11, chasing down my boyfriend, and gave the cops and my parents a sick tale of being pursued by a possible, would-be rapist. The bad guy left of course when he saw the cops coming. They felt so sorry for me that they not only didn't give me a ticket or ground me, they took me out to dinner and let me sleep late the next day. I feel guilty to this day.

Posted by: Q at May 26, 2005 12:05 PM

Wow. Sounds like your parents are as liberal and cool as mine are.

Posted by: Pixie at May 26, 2005 12:25 PM

Wow. No wonder you're such a bad-seed now-- ;-)

Posted by: Ginny at May 26, 2005 12:37 PM

Oh, and for the record--your little bean will be that age someday, payback's a bitch :-0

Posted by: Ginny at May 26, 2005 12:39 PM

ohhhh...this is SOOOO going to come back to haunt you when your kid grows up....

Posted by: kalisah at May 26, 2005 01:15 PM

I never did anything like that (I was the good girl) but my Mom did. She was also 13 and her older sister's boyfriend had a really hot, red convertible. So, what do you do with a hot, red convertible parked in your driveway with the keys in it when you're 13? You take it for a joy ride, that's what. And total it, obviously.

Posted by: heels at May 26, 2005 01:33 PM

I can't believe you got off so easy! You must have some really cool parents.

Posted by: Milly at May 26, 2005 02:37 PM

The thing that really bothers me about this post is that I'm 22 years older than you. Baby! Get off the internet! Go mow the lawn or something. I'm going over to read Old Horsetail...

Posted by: vicki at May 26, 2005 03:26 PM

Oh my God, that's funny. I think your dad has some good perspective on life: kids *should* get into a little trouble. As long as it doesn't kill 'em (or someone else) in the process, a little trouble is healthy.

Of course, I never got into any trouble, so my perspective is probably a bit skewed. I regret all the stupid stuff I *didn't* do.

Posted by: Spring at May 26, 2005 03:58 PM

Wow I don't know how I managed to fall behind... i guess you guys going on vacation threw off my reading schedule. :P but i'm got my brain back into reading mode & i'm all caught up now. thanks for those laughs btw. i really needed it.

Posted by: angel at May 26, 2005 05:27 PM

This is where my mom would have looked at my dad and said, "She's your mom's revenge for the torture you caused..." You'll have to remember this when baby cactus grows up...

Posted by: Azzy at May 26, 2005 09:11 PM

Oh boy! I hope you have a good hiding place for the keys to your land-yacht. You will probably need one if the Beanette is anything like you! Yikes!

Posted by: Nicole at May 26, 2005 09:45 PM

Your dad was way cool!!!

Posted by: Nina at May 27, 2005 12:02 AM

I read this post with envy,... I had the bad luck to hit a few stationary things in my life,.. a mailbox, a deer (okay, that one was mobile), a shower stall (unattached,... long story, way too long for this comment) and so on. And every time, my mom seemed to be able to read my mind.

I recently drove a huge ass car like that across the state of Wisconsin for my "mother-in-law-to-be" and that was scary enough. *insert mother-in-law joke here*

Posted by: Heather at May 27, 2005 12:58 AM

haha 1977 Oldsmobile Land Yacht was in residence at our household for more years than should be allowed. So I KNOW how FUCKING HUGE you mean :)

Posted by: stinkerbell at May 27, 2005 04:58 AM

what, no grounding? no whooping? no punishment? that's so not fair! i demand to go back in time and be ungrounded for the time i stole the car and drove to a town an hour away where there was gonna be a who concert! i want chris's parents!

Posted by: wildcat at May 27, 2005 03:26 PM

My mom had that same Buick. It was huge. We called it The Boat. I failed the parallel parking section of my driver's test because I was afraid of hitting the posts with that thing.

Posted by: Kelley at May 27, 2005 06:00 PM

your parents must be pretty cool! my parents would have gone ballistic!!

Posted by: Dawn (webmiztris) at May 27, 2005 06:12 PM

I think you used up one of your nine lives there!

Posted by: :: jozjozjoz :: at May 28, 2005 03:59 AM

I pulled a similar stunt. Only I was 14 years old. The car my father drove at the time was a 1982 Pontiac Firebird. The rearview mirror was not attached at the time.

Due to the L-Shape of our driveway/carport...I was looking behind me to make sure I wouldn't hit the wrought-iron fence. I heard a horrid scraping noise. I had turned too far and the front of the car was dragging the inside of the carport.

My answer? I dropped my bike. The pedal did it. It was just about that size.

Would have gotten away with it, too. Except for the fact that the next daylight...the color on the car was brick. The color on the brick was car.

I was a teeny bit grounded.

Posted by: Holly at May 30, 2005 03:19 PM