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Friday, September 12, 2008

The story of the tank.

When I was in high school my dad had the great idea to buy a work truck from my grandpa. A big, brownish-tan, older Ford F250 with an extra long flat bed and bad gas mileage. It rode like a tractor, and come to think of it, my dad never did any manual labor, so I have no idea why he wanted it as an extra car. This truck was an invincible tank. A shopping cart could run into the side of it and just bounce off. I swear to you, once my dad was driving through our neighborhood and he heard a thump on the passenger side of the truck, pulled over to see what the noise was, and it was a little kid on a bike! The kid went down his driveway, obviously not looking both ways, and he rode right into the side of the truck. Don't worry though, the truck was fine. Not even a dent.
Besides my dad, the rest of my family had a deep disdain for the truck. It bordered on hate, really. I only remember riding in the truck whenever a friend and I wanted to anonymously drive by a party and scope out the situation or drive by a crush's house. It was a perfect stalker-mobile. No one would ever assume we'd be in it! And there was that New Year's Eve, when a bunch of us piled onto the flat bed and paraded around our neighborhood, banging pots and pans to our neighbor's dismay. My mom was driving the tank and as we pulled onto our street we were greeted by a cop car. Luckily, he liked our spirit of celebration and let us off with a just a warning.
The day finally (finally!!) came that my dad decided to give away the truck to someone that worked for him. My brother and I couldn't contain our excitement. Finally, we'd be rid of this truck forever! This worker had a ton of kids, was short on money, and was somehow thrilled about his new set of wheels.
About a week later, this new tank owner came into my dad's office beaming. He reported to him that his kids usually take the bus to school, but on the day that the big brown truck entered their lives, they begged and begged to be driven to school in it. They couldn't contain their excitement. They wanted everyone to see them in it. They were ecstatic and loved their new ride and felt like the luckiest kids in the world.
This tank put a lot of things into perspective. Pretty humbling. I have it too good.
(And, don't tell my dad, but sometimes I wish we still had the tank, but only for stalker purposes.)