Over the years, I have had a somewhat contentious relationship with A.'s pick-up truck, known as Big Red. But there is no denying that he has more than earned his keep in the eight years A. has had him. So it was with mixed feelings that A. and I left Big Red at the scrap yard today for his final rest.
But first, he had to do one more job for us.
A. and I spent the children's naptime today loading Big Red to the top of his livestock racks with scrap metal collected from around the property. There was a lot of it. A. kind of hoards junk. But this was our chance to clear a little of it out, so into Big Red it went.
As I was rummaging around in the shed for yet another bin of rusty hardware (yes, there was more than one bin of it), I accidentally stepped on the teeth of the metal rake that I had left leaning against a table. The tines went flat on the ground and the handle of the rake flew forward and smashed my face, right on the edge of my eyebrow.
Despite the obviously severe provocation, I only uttered one relatively restrained, "Goddammit," before clutching my face and hunching over until I was sure I could stand without crying. It swelled up immediately and I think by tomorrow I'm going to look as if I was in a prizefight and lost.
Anyway. After we had loaded Big Red until he could hold no more, I miraculously found the vehicle title in the first place I looked and we took off for the scrap yard in the Small City. I followed A. in the Subaru, fully convinced that at any time Big Red was going to expire in a burst of flame and we would have to call a tow truck to get him to the scrap yard.
Considering A. has been seeing smoke from the dash--some kind of electrical problem--this was not as unlikely as you might think.
However, Big Red heroically labored all the way to the scrap yard, onto the scales to be weighed (scrap metal is paid for by the pound, so that's how they figure how much they owe you), and into the yard itself to be unloaded.
Big Red's final act, however, was one of vengeance. As I was getting back into the truck so we could drive it to the part of the yard reserved for junked vehicles, I caught the leg of my jeans on the rusted-out metal around the wheel well and ripped the shit out of the thigh of my pants. I had a flap about five inches across just hanging open, leaving my thigh exposed for all the world to see.
Well, screw you too, Big Red. You're the one headed for the crusher. HAHA.
Very luckily, I was wearing my large corduroy shirt over my sweater, so I took the shirt off and tied it kind of askew around my waist to cover the rip. It made me look incredibly stupid, I'm sure, but better to look like a fashion victim than walk around the grocery store with my pasty white thigh on display.
And with that, we said good-bye to Big Red, collected the not-insubstantial sum of money owed to us by the scrap yard, and drove off, pick-up-less for the first time in many years. The end of an era.