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The terms of the Federal Witness Protection Program prevent me from discussing this. Suffice it to say that I am fond of long walks on the beach.

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    My name is Mud

    By on March 19, 2014 in Memory Lane with No Comments

    I got my first real girlfriend…Debbie, about the same time I got my driver’s license. She lived just around the corner and I was almost as excited with the new girlfriend as I was with my new driving license. She had curves and everything.

    Now, the combination of driving, and a new girlfriend presented some very intriguing and wonderful possibilities. Back in the 60’s, there were literally a dozen drive-in movies within a reasonably short drive from my house. Years later, as a parent of 2 girls, I felt very fortunate that most of them had been converted to strip malls and condos. Debbie’s parents were also quite aware of this fact and put Debbie, (quite wisely), on a VERY SHORT LEASH. Drive-in theaters were definitely out. But…that didn’t stop us from taking our drives out to the flats of Coyote Point, a local park along the bay shore, where we would park and explore nature from the comfort of the roomy back seat of my mom’s trusty Belvedere. I would do my very best “Wally Cleaver” and explain to her folks that we were going to a daytime matinee downtown and I would have their young daughter back before the sun even began to set…cue the big, innocent smile. I mean, what could possibly happen?

    Well, one day we decided to “go to a matinee” a la Coyote Point, during a rainstorm. For me, it didn’t get any better; being alone with Debbie … parked in a car… during a rainstorm. The place we parked was a secluded, fairly level dirt area with some pot-holes and a lot of bushes. The rain hammered on the metal roof of the Belvedere.

    hEventually, it was time for me to take Debbie home. That’s when things began to head south. The rain had stopped. I reluctantly started the car and put it into reverse to back out. I slowly applied the gas and heard the wheels turning but we weren’t moving. Hmm. I applied a bit more gas and the wheels started spinning faster but we weren’t moving at all. I didn’t panic … yet. I tried going forward and then backward to rock it out of the hole that the spinning tires were digging and again, nada. I did the forward/reverse rocking maneuver several more times with more gusto, but we were still stuck.That’s when I started to feel the first inklings of panic.

    “Okay, don’t worry. I can get us out of here.” I told Debbie who was starting to look a bit panicky herself. ” I’ll get out and push from the front while you put the car in reverse and s-l-o-w-l-y press the gas pedal…OK?”

    “OK …” Debbie replied with obvious trepidation.

    Now, Debbie didn’t possess a driver’s license, and even more importantly, she didn’t possess the skills required to gently press on a gas pedal. I also quickly discovered  when I got out of the car and carefully made my way around to the front of the car that, (Shit!) …there was mud everywhere. I was slipping and sliding just trying to make my way to the front of the car. Finally, after much maneuvering, I got my feet planted and was ready to push.

    “Okay, gently now, put the car in reverse and step on the gas.”

    I should have rephrased that to put more emphasis on GENTLY stepping on the gas. She stepped on the gas and the wheels spun like a blender with the top off spraying mud everywhere. We tried again with no success. I then waded through the mud to the back of the car and asked her again to put it into drive and “GENTLY” step on the gas. Wrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! The tires spun and covered my pants and shirt with a spattering of mud.

    “Crap! This isn’t working. I’ll have to find something to put under the wheel to get more traction.” I said as I surveyed the bushes.

    I looked around and found a decent size branch that I jammed under one of the back tires. I then went to the front of the car and positioned myself to push it backward again.

    “Okay Debbie, put it back in reverse and step on the gas pedal as slowly as you can.”

    This time the tires caught just enough to move the car back with me pushing on the front. Finally! Success! We’re home free! But my feeling of triumph was quickly extinguished when I realized that my clothes were soaked and covered with mud. Shit! I could picture our homecoming.

    “Hello Missus Cleaver….what a nice sweater you have on.”

    “Young man, why are you covered with mud? How could that happen in a movie theater? What have you done to my daughter?”

    “I Uh …”

    There was no possible way that I could come up with a plausible explanation. Think JB! Then I remembered that there was a small Laundromat not far from where we were. We could wash my clothes and then be home free. hIt was brilliant!

    We drove to the Laundromat and parked directly in front of it. I then crawled into the back seat where I would have the room to surreptitiously take off all of my clothes, except for my neon-white underwear. Debbie grabbed my muddy clothes and headed into the Laundromat to remove all evidence of our muddy misadventure. I was feeling pretty smug in the back seat thinking how clever I was when I suddenly heard a bell ringing in the distance.

    Soon, I noticed a few young kids walking on the sidewalk across the street from where I was parked. I then realized that I had parked directly across the street from an helementary school and that bell had signified the end of the school day. Within a few short minutes there were dozens of innocent young children walking by the car, empty lunchboxes in hand, staring, with awe and wonder, at the big skinny kid, apparently, with no clothes on, trying to sink as low as possible in the back seat of the car. I bet that sparked some interesting dinner conversations that night.

    “Billy, how was your day today?”

    “It was fun mommy. I learned how to do subtraction and I drew a picture of an airplane, and I also saw a big kid with no clothes on sitting in the back seat of a car on the way home from school.”

    Mom stares at dad. Dad stares at mom.

    “Billy…do you remember our little talk about not talking or getting into a car with strangers?”

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