In 1976 I was an undergraduate at University of Maryland Baltimore County. I was lucky for the campus was pretty much in my back yard. I was still living with my mom and step-father in a row house off Circle Drive in the outskirts of Arbutus.
If I would choose not to drive my 1972 Volkswagon Beetle to class, then I would just go through a hole in the fence behind my house. Crossing that fence was where the campus began and the alleyway where I parked my Beetle ended.
Well, during rainstorms it wasn't a choice about driving because the VW often refused to start in inclement weather. One time I did get it started. I thought I was home free and would not be late for work as a delivery boy at Hollywood Pharmacy in beautiful downtown Arbutus, MD. Fate had another idea in Her mind. Yes, Fate had a delicious sense of humor. Thus, the VW stalled out at the base of a hill and was situated in such a way that I had to push it into an alley.
Here comes the humor. The entrance of the alley had a little bit of an incline. Since the weight of the car was in the back due to a rear engine, I could not get the rear tires over the hump.
So, here I was trying to get the car out of the way of folks needing to get down the alley. And, I could not get the rear tires to go over that hump. Meanwhile, I gazed at the people looking at me without helping. Anger swelled within me.
So, what did I do? With cigarette in mouth to look cool, I gave the car an angry heave and spouted a generalized Baltimorian "f" you and found myself chasing after a car headed straight for the stream. Luckily, I was able to catch up to the car and hurry up and yank the emergency brake.
So, I looked back and saw the stares and smiling faces. Hey, I was better than television. With sweat on my face, I took a breath and decided not to grab a particular part of my anatomy to tell them I was not happy with their behavior. I'm glad I made that decision. A few minutes later, I laughed at myself.
Nowadays, I looked back at the smiles on the Baltimore faces enticed by the humor of a bad-a*s 16 year old pushing and running after his own car that was barreling towards a river. (Well, stream, hey, I was an adolescent. You know, gotta make a story a STORY! That's what men do, right, ladies? We are indeed FOS!).
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