I had some heavy furniture to move from my house, so I rented a truck. The rental company offered a special deal on a 26-footer for the same price as a 7-footer, so I took the big truck rather than the smaller one. I picked it up last Friday.
Hey, I’ve driven heavy vehicles before. I’m not a novice. When I was a teenager I drove a tractor to cut my dad’s grass. And his property had some steep hills. Driving this truck should be no problem, I thought.
And it wasn’t. As I drove toward home I began to feel even more confident. Switching lanes using only the side mirrors wasn’t as difficult as I’d imagined. After driving several miles I was feeling such assurance that I decided to risk pulling off at an exit to buy a bag of pretzels at the Bargain Carb Outlet.
The parking lot was easy. I just parked into two head-to-head spaces and pulled out frontward when I left. The only minor problem occurred when I hit a speed bump too fast and my head smacked the roof.
Oh, I thought, rubbing my pate. I better slow down over the speed bumps.
And when I turned a corner, I bounced over the curb and hit my head on the window.
Oh, I thought, holding my temple. I better make wider turns around corners.
Other than that, I was having no worries.
Until I arrived home.
No one was home. The furniture I needed to load into the truck was in the garage, and I needed to back the truck up to the garage door. Shoving aside any remaining insecurities, I thought, who needs a flagman? I can do this. After all, I have these handy side mirrors!
I looked carefully at the driveway. No vehicles there. No vehicles in the street either. No overhanging tree branches. No other obstructions or impediments that I could see. I pulled the truck forward warily, put it in reverse, and started backing slowly. I cautiously made a wide turn, eyeing the neighbor’s mailbox. I looked back and forth repeatedly to ensure I was lined up accurately. So far so good… Moving back… Back… Almost completely in the driveway now… A little further and…
“What the heck was that!” I screamed. I jumped out of the cab and ran around the truck. I saw that I had backed into my house. The gutter above my garage was crushed and hanging pathetically from the eaves.
Oops. I thought.
I moved the truck forward a bit and went to sit dejectedly on the front stoop. After several minutes I sighed and thought, Oh well. Gutters are only necessary when it rains.
In the distance I heard thunder.