The Stupidity Of Youth & The Relentlessness Of Age
So last week I picked up my little fart from church school and then took her to Shitzsky’s for dinner. Inline in front of us was a grandfather with his grandson that had just done the same. As Juno and I waited our turn to order, I began to overhear the grandfather berate the little girl behind the register.
He got louder and louder, the cashier began to cry, the grandson ran for the door… And then it happened – The old man dropped a series of racist bombs on the little girl with the kind of veracity you only see in movies set in the 1960’s.
Forgetting I had my own little girl with me for a split second, I jumped in with the full intention of shutting the old man up by any means necessary. He resisted and I stood there knowing I had a choice to make. I could punch my way to justice and a jail cell or bring it down a notch and let him slide.
Ten years ago, there wouldn’t have been a decision to make. It would have ended with me in cuffs and a smile on my face. But as I stood there, feeling the pain in the cashier’s eyes and struggling with my temper, I looked down at my little girl and saw nothing but utter fear.
For days afterwards, I labored over the decision I made. I thought of things I could have said… things I could have done… things I could still do and still might… And really, got nowhere with the mental anguish of it all. By Thursday, I had given up on all of the scenarios and chalked the whole thing up to there being no right in a world of wrong.
I figured a hot rod rage would help alleviate the affliction, so I loaded up in the Model-A and violently hit the country roads west of Austin. I wound the flathead up tight, made a shit ton of noise, gave the thing a quick wash, and by the time I got home was feeling a lot better about myself. I parked the car just outside my bay door and went back to work.
About thirty minutes later, rain threatened and I went to move the car into the shop. I keyed the starter and the solenoid clicked. It was sprinkling now, so I quickly ran into the shop and grabbed a screwdriver to jump the solenoid. Nothing happened. Now, it was pouring.
I threw the car in neutral and tried like hell to push it in, but the incline on my driveway wasn’t having it. Soaked, I grabbed some ratchet straps and hooked one end to the crossmember of the Shoebox and the other to the spreader bar of the coupe and slowly began to ratchet the car into the shop. By now the wind was blowing like mad, water was everywhere, and flash flood warnings were blowing up my phone.
After about thirty minutes of this one-man circus, I had the front-end of the car in the shop while the ass-end hung out in the monsoon. I had ran out of slack in the ratchet straps and ran out of options. “What now?” I thought.
Just when I was about to throw in the towel… again… my wife pulled up. She was dressed to the nines and had a client in mere minutes, but jumped out of her car and into the weather without hesitation. Together, we were able to push the coupe into the shop with just moments to spare before the hail came.
Afterwards, I sat kriss/kross/applesauce on the floor of my shop looking as though I just gotten out of a swimming pool fully clothed. Staring at my wet little coupe and waiting for it to shrink, I thought…. “This has been my week… in a nut shell.”
Speaking of nut shells, ten years ago today I made this stupid little video in my youth: