Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sand adventure

Awhile back I found myself driving from Midland to Andrews so that I could look at one thing, turn around and go back to Midland. There are a lot of sandy spots down there, and on my way east to Midland I went around a curve and saw a big stock trailer off in the ditch, with a past-middle-age lady and a younger lady standing off to the side, and sand flying everywhere. I'm kind of a sucker, so I pulled over. The first thing that struck me as odd was that the truck did not match the trailer. It was a huge fancy high dollar horse trailer, the kind that usually has a big fancy pick-up to pull it, but the truck was an old brown early 80's model Chevy crew cab, Alabama plates. You don't see Alabama plates in the middle of the desert very often. The next thing I noticed was that the guy in the driver's seat had one eye that opened wider than the other, making the iris seem smaller in contrast.

I asked if they could use a hand as he stuck his hand out to shake, and he said "BOOOOOOOYAHHisHEEAAAHHtoteeehallYOOOOUUUWEEAAAHHSSSINUSSahfaaxxxatisssssFOOOOOSOOOOOOO"

I didn't have anything to say to that, but I did catch myself before I actually started scratching my head. I did my best not to look bewildered, but it must have shown because the girl walked up and said "He crawled out of some Louisiana swamp and you can't understand him when he is excited"

I looked back at him and asked "You a cajun?"


(Once that was cleared up I was able to translate his first statement as "Greetings kind sir, your arrival has lifted a heavy weight from our troubled hearts. We have found ourselves in a predicament that seemed hopeless, but now, with your aid and assistance, perhaps we shall soon be once more upon our way")

He grabbed his crutch and stepped out, which was when I noticed he had a leg in a cast. Once again, the girl saw my question and explained that he had wrecked their good truck and broken his leg doing it, so they were using their old pick-up. The older lady had been driving and had gotten them stuck pulling over to check on their animal, and refused to drive anymore. The man had been trying to get them out but was having trouble working the clutch with one leg. She said she could drive a standard some and was willing to try, and I told her that was fine, I was pretty sure if she put it in low gear and held the clutch down I could pull them out of their hole, and then when they were on good ground all she would have to do was ease the pedal up.

So that’s exactly what we did, except when we got to the part where the going should have been easy, things got rough and then the cajun started waving and hollering. I got out to discover that their truck had stalled. He kept repeating to the girl "LOORANGA, LOOORANGA", so I showed her how to put the transfer case into 4-Lo, double checked the straps, made sure her front hubs were locked, and got back in my pick-up to try one more time. This time I told her wait till I had them to the edge of pavement, and then put it in gear if I couldn't get them onto the shoulder. Things went great until her front tires hit the pavement, and then we came to a violent halt. Once again, I got out and could not fathom what had gone wrong. Everything looked great, like it could drive out by itself. So I asked her to try easing it up, real gentle like.........and found out that she wasn't in first gear, she was in reverse. Once she found a forward gear, it came right up onto the shoulder

That was when things got interesting. The trailer, that I had assumed to contain horses, started to rock, pitch, and roar. My three newfound friends did everything in their power to studiously ignore that there was even a trailer back there. I looked at the old lady, who still had not said one word, and then to the girl, and asked what kind of horses they had in there.

"Not a horse"





"I see. Mule, donkey?"

She shook her head.

I gave it one last try, “Elk?”

She shook her head again and I decided if they didn't want to tell me, I could take a hint and mind my business. I suspect they had a walrus in there, but I could be wrong.

Now that they were out the man hobbled up to shake my hand again, using lots of random vowels and consonants to try and communicate his gratitude. And I swear to you, at that point his big eye and his little eye swapped sizes, which was more than a little bit disconcerting. Then he crawled into the back seat, and kept grinning and talking in my general direction. The older lady got into the passenger seat. I reminded the girl that it would be ok now to go back into two-wheel drive, and watched her climb into the drivers seat and lurch haltingly into gear, heading off to wherever it was they were going, to do whatever it is they intended to do with a large angry animal on their arrival. I guess it could have been a moose.


  1. Dude, I knew Obama wouldn't let me down on the unicorns and rainbows