Friday, March 5, 2010

Great Ideas Begin With a Cold Drink and LSD

**This story is an enjoyable account of how a Mexican man can really be trying too hard. If you read this and are NOT Mexican or of some Hispanic descent of the male variety, you may be perplexed. It is important you know this about Mexican men. 1. Most of us have a full-time job. 2. Most of us also have some sort of part-time job. 3. On top of that, many of us have "side businesses" going all the time. 4. Oh, and reason we're good boxers is not because we always win, but because we never quit. Now then...

The weather was been terrible in the Chicken Friend Nation (Dallas-Fort Worth) all February. I'm talking 10 inches of snow, and rain, rain, and more rain. We haven't seen the Sun much, and our energy bill is through the roof.

In the midst of that miserable weather, which we're not used to, about the only positive thing is the real snowmen the kids got to build, the snow fights, and even the sledding down the few hills around here.

The world heard about our weather. No news there.

What did create some news in my world is a decision a family member made on the whim, as they say.

Now, this may incur -- on my behalf -- some Man Law penalties, that I'm sorta selling out a man in my family. But, he's what I call, "small market," as he's not an online person, and surely will NEVER read this.

Also, he and I had enough laughs that day (after some fine lagers and many four-letter expletives) that this serves a one of those memories...

The temperature was in the low 30s. It was about 7 p.m., on a Monday. Mrs. Commish had an event at school she organized, so I usually do what I can to support her by attending, setting things up, etc. The call came in as we had finished setting up.

"I'm stuck in the mud. Can you come help me get out?"

In Mexican man terms that really means, "I did something really, really stupid. My wife is yelling at me through the door, and I'm running out of beer."

So, I left the school, jogged back to the house, got in my truck, stopped to get a fresh supply of cool lagers and headed to the crime scene.

Let me quarterback this for you...

Their house used to be our house. Dad and I built a chain link fence on the east side of the house, which we were very proud of. It -- the house -- sits on a corner, and the garage doors are on the east, too, instead of the front like most homes.

My Mexican cohort had done the following:

In a fury of rage, after an argument about dinner -- probably --, he decided he needed a reprieve from the home front, and the perfect excuse was to deliver a generator he had sold to a guy. The generator is/was one of the bigger types, i.e., heavy as hell to handle. The generator was placed inside a storage shed (I proudly built), which sits towards the back middle of the backyard. To his defense, it is a jog from the shed to the driveway, but a much easier jog to negotiate than what he actually did.

After the dinner which, caused this alarmed state of euphoria to begin with, he had a couple "soothing drinks" to ease the moment. And, in that soothing he thought, "Why not just drive my truck all way to the shed in reverse? I can load the generator much easier that way."

Well, soothing or not, he forgot the soil in this area is painfully deceiving. And, at the time of this incident, miserably moist and soft.

The drive in reverse to the shed was no problem, though he had to turn the front tires in an awkward angle to get real close to the generator. Feeling proud, accomplished and much better, he started loading the generator.

It was getting dark and colder. There was even a slight drizzle.

The front tires, turned almost all the way, began to sink.

It didn't' matter that his is a diesel, 3/4 ton Ford. It didn't especially matter that it went in fine. The truck was officially stuck in that backyard mud, and sinking by the minute.

Remember the movie, My Cousin Vinny? Marisa Tomei kept talking about positraction (LSD, but not the drug, rather limited slip differential) rear ends? By the way, I don't think anyone can quite describe LSDs quite like she did.

His truck did not have LSD. He attempted to place some boards under the one tire that would spin but no success.

Mud was everywhere, and when I did see the situation, I began to wonder what damage this backyard mud derby would have on the sprinkler system.

His blood pressure had risen. His soothing became altered rage. His outlook was desperate.

Just then, I arrived, still dressed in business rags, but with my Dodge 4x4 (the official Dallas Cowboys truck of the Najera Family as you can see to the left).

Mexican engineering requires two things: 1. Cold beer. 2. Lots of pointless argument about the plan.

The complexity of the thing was that the truck was facing in an angle which was not conducive to a straight pull. If we tied a chain the way it was, we ran the risk of pulling the Ford straight into the north wall of the house. Really bad move.

So, we made a serious but much less dangerous decision.

I could pull the truck straight from the street. A small problem, though, kept pestering our plan. There's the matter of the fence dad and I so proudly built. We decided fences could be re-built, but trucks did not belong stuck in the mud in backyards.

Ten minutes later, the fence was down and the truck was pulled out almost effortlessly by my truck, which I was proud of. With nearly 200K miles, I wasn't sure it had that kind of torque left.

Once we tied the fence back to the posts with rope -- literally -- , we sat to enjoy a second cold lager and recap the evenings events. Needless to say, the man did not get his generator that night.

We decided that next time a great idea like this comes along, for safety, we might want to consult each other, just in case.

The sprinkler system? We shall soon find out...

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