I have done a pretty good job at convincing one or two people for a very brief period of time that I have All The Skills and know Prettymuch Everything. This leads to the expectation that I can handle shit on my own and accomplish things. But just because I told you that I got signed off by the Forest Service to drive around with a 20 foot utility trailer does NOT automatically mean that I know anything about driving with trailers. I mean, these are the people that let my oldest daughter run a chain saw, for Heaven's Sake. Even so, I have had to make good on all of my bad-ass bluffing from time to time and drive with a trailer. Even a trailer that is loaded down with a loosely stacked, fly-way, wanton pile of trash and a seriously lack of good tie-downs. I feel like at this point I should give myself a pat on the back for having tie-downs at all, or thinking of them, even if I did have to borrow them from my daughter's boyfriend. But still. The thing is, how EXACTLY do you tie down loosely stacked, wanton trash that would just as soon float along the highway as be planted forever in a big smelly landfill? I mean can you blame it?
Well if you're me, you half-ass cover it with a mostly shredded tarp that is more holes than solid, and then you drive fast enough that the cars coming along behind you won't know where the odds-and-ends of carelessly strewn remnants of a former life along the road came from. Because I do things IMperfectly. Certain husbands of friends and relations who occasionally shake their heads at me and repair my toilets and stuff would be happy to know that at least this time, I actually hooked the trailer up the RIGHT way, which is no small feat since the actual ball receiver on the hitch somehow got twisted. As in, perhaps SOME ONE at SOME POINT that I was once married to actually flipped the poor trailer and it still hasn't recovered completely. Anyway, it was hooked up right and completely, if not perfectly, this time. And I made it to the dump without anyone catching up to me to tell me that I lost a broken Rubbermaid tote at mile marker 277.
It was a stressful drive, since I have some trust issues with trailers anyway. But I made it to the dump and I unloaded all of the garbage, without even saving any of it in case somebody could use it for something (once again, a HUGE accomplishment for a Stecker). But the most important part of all of this, and the thing that was causing palpable anxiety for the forty minute drive (other than the gas light that came on right outside of Northport), was Backing The Trailer Up.
All I could hope for was a desolate landscape with no witnesses to the 117 point adjustment it would take me to get the 12 foot trailer backed into a space 20 yards wide. But alas, it was not to be. Some hairy redneck with a stakeside truck was right in the middle of the 20 yards target, throwing out his load of tobacco cans and carpet scraps with questionable stains. I took a deep breath and I did my best. My best invariable involves me chanting instructions to myself out loud, interspersed with curse words. Things like 'wheels go opposite' and 'left is right' and 'next time hire somebody' as I eyed my backwards approach.
But guess what, you guys? I did it. PERFECTLY. Without a single pull-forward-straighten-out. I backed that puppy right into almost exactly where I intended and it was even aligned straightly with the redneck stakeside. I would've taken a picture but I didn't want him to judge be for being superficial while I was throwing away my collection of wine bottles, rain-soaked self-help books, broken surround sound system and mate-less socks. Image is everything, my friends, even if it is imperfect.