What do you do when, right as you pull onto 4th Street (between Taco Bell & Chick-Fil-A), one of the two unbelievably heavy industrial shelving racks that are tied into the back of your borrowed pickup truck breaks free from its tethers, rolls straight off the back of the truck, lands upright on its wheels and begins rolling down the street in the opposite direction in which you were going? You grip the wheel maniacally while stopping the truck, yell, “We’ve lost one and it’s rolling down the street!” and watch as Kansas Slim leaps from the passenger side of the vehicle to sprint after the careening cartzilla. Hazard lights get turned on. Slim strong arms the unscathed and unwieldy rack to the grass at the side of the road. Cop cars sit all over the parking lot of the Chick, but no one notices what has just happened in the middle of the street. We decide to let the rack sit where it is until we safely deliver the other rack to Slim’s place (the odds of anyone stealing it off the side of the road are probably nil…these things weigh a ton, and not everyone in Gadrock is into the industrial look). We worry that the remaining rack will fall out too, so we lay the rack over. I hop in back with it and ride like a thirteen-year-old headed to the river on a summer day. Except I’m not thirteen, and it’s not summer. When we go back for the escapee, it is still sitting on the side of the road where we left it. I think it may be sneering at us as we pull up. We manage to get it back up into the bed of the truck, and I distract it with stories of the nice place in the country where it’s going to live while Slim Eagle-scout secures it. I ride in the back again, this time to RBC. I want to call my sister to tell her what I’m doing at that particular moment, but she would probably alert the po-lice and then we’d have a heck of an escort just for shits and grins. Instead, I just keep my head down and my hands on the rack. No one seems to notice the red truck cruising down Rainbow Drive with a redhead hanging on to an industrial shelving rack in the back. Nope, folks ‘round here don’t think that’s unusual at all.
I can’t tell you how relieved we were to finally get that last rack safely stored away. Once we were back on the road (heading again to the mall for the more manageable remainder of the load), every time I took a turn or hit a bump, Slim and I would catch ourselves cringing and looking back at the bed of the truck to make sure nothing was falling out. We would then repeat three times, “There’s nothing back there…there’s nothing back there…there’s nothing back there.” Slim and I agree that we can’t wait until enough time has passed and we have an opportunity to ask each other, “Do you remember that one time when…”