Monday, November 19, 2007

Are my He-Man days over?

“Daddy truck broke.”

I really couldn’t argue with Junior Destructo Man 2.5. Technically, I suppose a flat tire doesn’t ‘break’ the truck – but it does make it pretty darned useless for a while.

It was pitch dark (already, at 6:30 p.m., please see “Burn In Hell, Eastern Standard Time below for more philosophy on this) and my truck was sitting seriously wounded on a city street with its hazard lights blinking. The right front tire was F-L-A-T to the rim. [Crap].

We had just pulled out of the driveway at a friend’s house, hereafter referred to as the Truck Bermuda Triangle (TBT). This is the same driveway where, a couple of months ago, one of the posts on the truck’s battery had completely corroded out. Next time we visit them, I’m parking across the street.

But back to my flat tire. I’ve only been driving it since February, and standing there I suddenly realized I barely knew where the changing tools were. After sending the family back into our friend’s house, I dug out the tools and flashlight in hand starting searching under the truck for a jack point.

My friend the owner of the Bermuda Triangle showed up a minute later while I was still rolling around under the truck.

“Do you have a road service?” he asked. “To heck with this. Why don’t you have them change it?”

Well, God Bless DriveAmerica. That’s just exactly what I did. I, He-Man, called the road service and had them send out a kid with a tow-truck to change my damned tire.

“Hey, you got your jack out,” the Kid observed. “Why did you stop?”

Because, junior, it’s dark, I’m old enough to be your daddy, twice as cranky, bald and lazy. Now get to friggin’ work. I figured being truthful was the best way to keep my manhood from falling off. It worked. My spare tire got installed and my dick is still attached.

But it did make me wonder. Are my He-Man days over? 20 years ago I would have changed that tire myself, even if it took me all night and the truck fell off the jack and took out one of my lungs. Of course, 20 years ago I wouldn’t have had a wife and a 2.5 year old waiting in a nearby house. But I would have had an assault rifle in a gun rack and just shot the thing if it really pissed me off. And I would have smoked a pipe through the whole event.

Hm. The pipe is long gone. And I’m now down to just one semi-automatic rifle. No, make that two … er, three. OK, three. But only one of them has a high-capacity magazine. And it should really be two anyway, because a Ruger 10/22 barely counts as a gun, right?

Also gone are a bunch of He-Man books, mostly either sold off at a recent garage sale or simply thrown out because they were too stupid for anybody to buy. Dumbass stuff like “Getting Even” or books on trailcraft or about survival skills. Most of them were old and yellowed, some even falling apart. Nowadays you can find better info on the Internet anyway.

Does any of that mean my He-Man days are over?

Nah. I’ve still got the Uzi.

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