Redneck Review

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The Swimming Pool Truck

We had a minor crisis a couple years ago when the kids and I
couldn't get the car out of the garage to go to school. It's kind
of a long story, but hey, welcome to my life.

It all started with the fish pond. Not a real fish pond. This was
a redneck fish pond. We bought it at Sam's Club, the Wal-mart
for city people. It was gray plastic molded to look like rocks,
with a little pump to make a waterfall. The whole thing was
about 4 feet long and 3 feet wide. The plan was to put goldfish
in it, and let them grow like those big Japanese goldfish that you
see in real fish ponds. We started with two goldfish that my then
7-year-old son won at the school carnival.

The fish pond was installed beside our back deck, and my
husband fed the fish morning and evening. He bought more
goldfish at Wal-mart and dumped them in. Things were going
fine until we started having problems with the pump. I think
it might have had something to do with the green slime that
now covered the surface of the fish pond, but my husband
said no, it was a malfunction with the pump. He was going
to take it out and look at it when he had time.

So the kids and I rushed out to the garage as we did every
morning, and the garage door wouldn't go up. I thought
maybe there had been a power problem and the breaker
was tripped, so I looked in the fuse box and saw that we
didn't have breakers in the garage, but old-fashioned screw-
in fuses. And this one was missing. To protect his precious
fish pond pump, my husband had stowed that fuse who-
knows-where, and had already left for work. This was
before we had a cell phone. No way to find out where
it was. I couldn't lift the door with that manual chain thing
because the SUV was so big it was parked under that
chain and I couldn't reach it.

We did some brainstorming on how to get to work on time.
My oldest son thought we should call Grandma to come
give us a ride. No good. That was a 30-minute drive
to get us and a 30-minute ride back to town.

Then I thought of the old truck. I ran in to get the key,
and herded the boys toward the barn. About halfway
there, parked in some trees, was the old truck. A 1988
metallic blue Chevy Silverado club cab long bed with
several rust holes and, are you ready for this, an old
abandoned swimming pool filling up the bed and most
of the cab. One redneck's trash is another redneck's
treasure. Someone at work was throwing away this old
pool, and my husband said he wanted it. It was not a
modern pool, but an old one with a vinyl liner and a metal
frame and a bunch of hoses and a pump or filter or some
such heavy metal part.

I put the littlest boy in the back seat under some plastic stuff.
No room for his child safety seat, but he had a seat belt.
He couldn't see a thing except what was under the plastic.
That was fine with him--he found an old striped canvas train
conductor's hat from a trip to Silver Dollar City, and put it
on and babbled about Thomas the Tank Engine.

The other kid had to ride beside me. And by that I mean
like a conjoined twin connected to my hip. He had filter
hoses winding around his head, but seemed game for the
adventure. This was quite a trip. At any moment, I knew
those big flapping wrap-around pieces in the bed were
going to blow out. I could hardly turn the wheel for all
the hoses. And that big metal thing kept rolling from one
side of the floor to the other.

We pulled up in front of the daycare, and the lady peeped
out the door in horror. Once I dragged the little one out,
she opened up and let us in. By now we were about 20
minutes behind.

I took off for the elementary, where I had to get out to
let the other kid disentangle from the hose maze. He
thought it was an exciting trip. I just thought it was an
embarrassment. Not that I'm so high and mighty that
I can't drive an old truck to school. It's just that I would
rather not have taken my hand-me-down pool with me.


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