Monthly Archives: September 2011

The Time I Was Hit by a Truck.


Ahhh, memories.

So I used to work on cars.

Now, before you get all impressed by picturing a little 100 lb pixie taking apart an engine, let me specify: I helped build systems in cars: Sub/Amps, remote starts, keyless entries, CD decks, component speakers…stuff like that. If you ask me to look into an engine, I may as well be looking into the human brain.

My friends that worked with me are car-guys to the core. They are constantly tweaking something in their vehicles…melting down plastics and cutting into parts of their interior with ideas in mind on how to rig something or trick out said vehicles in order to show them at events and such.

One of these guys—a supervisor—was named Keith. Keith owned an S10 that he had altered so many times that, at the time our story takes place, it was mid-paint job. And by mid-paint job I mean the truck was three different colors. To be honest, I’m not sure if it’s a solid color to this day. Anyhow, Keith had the license plate on the tailgate tilted, adjusted the truck to rev out at a higher RPM and—most importantly—he had a remote start installed.

Now, this S10 had a manual-transmission. It was a stick-shift. For those of you who tragically do not know how to drive a stick (insert chuckle here), it’s actually pretty simple. You push the clutch of the car (a pedal located by the break and gas) and switch gears. Then you lift the clutch and proceed until you’re in a high enough RPM to switch it again—or to downshift (as in the case of turns).

So that was stick-shift-101. The reason it is important to know this is that, in order for a manual-transmission car to start, someone has to be there to push in the clutch.

…unless you illegally bypass the neutral safety switch during the install, effectively tricking the car into thinking that the clutch is constantly pushed in…

…which responsible adults would never think to do…

So, of course, my car-guys sprang on this endeavor wholeheartedly. They bypassed the neutral safety switch, installed the remote start, and Keith happily showed off his ability to start the truck and then jump in while it was slowly crawling.

I think it was a ploy to impress the girls.

Keith and the boys remained proud of their accomplishment for about two years.

One day a guy came in asking that the guys in the shop build a custom sub-box for under the seat of his truck. The boys took Keith’s truck out to the store to buy the lumber for the box. I stayed at the shop and finished up a couple of small installs on my own.

I’m just finishing up the paperwork for one of the installs when the bay door in front of me opens up. The boys back the truck into the bay and unload the lumber. Keith is there talking to the customer.

I, ever-trusting, barely look up.

They toss Keith the keys.

Keith catches the keys and does what absolutely any person who has spent that kind of money illegally altering a truck would do: he auto-starts the truck.

I look up.

The truck kicks back.

It smashes the desk.

The desk breaks, pushing into both me and the wall behind me. Glass from the desk’s case shatters. Seat covers fall everywhere. Two 6ft tall tool chests filled with tools jolt forward.

My car-guys—the genius riggers who can honestly answer any single car-question you could ever have—left the truck in reverse.

Keith’s boss—Lonnie—comes running in.

Lonnie: “The hell?!”

Keith: “Uh…wait, where’s Munchkin?”

Kara: “You guys suck.”

Oddly enough, I was fine—probably because the wall and the desk took most of the hit. The desk was repaired and there was a 3ft hole in the wall for a while.

I would be the one person to get hit by a car indoors with nobody driving it.


Flowers, Life and Writers’ Block


This is something I wrote when I was 20 years old and at a loss for words (for once). To deal with my sudden disconcerting writer’s block, I came up with this:

I want to write about flowers. I want to write about how they are beautiful, about how they are symbolic, about how, no matter what, they are in some way appropriate for the mood, depending upon their type, depending upon their color, and depending on their season. I love flowers. I wish I was a flower. I am a weed.

I want to write about coffee mugs. I want to write about how, no matter what, you can always tell the comfort level of a household by what type of coffee mugs are in the house. You can see where people have been, if they are grandparents, if they are mothers or if they know people who have been to NYC or Las Vegas. I love how you can tell if they have or want a sense of humor, how old they are, how much they drink coffee, how much coffee they drink at a time, if they like tea, if they like personalized coffee mugs with photographs and names written on them, or if they like the standard school-system coffee mug that comes as a complimentary gift through active participation in PTO, SAC, or faculty.

I want to write about pasta. I want to write about how you can tell a person’s eating preferences and attitudes towards life through the types of pasta you find in their pantries. I love how you can predict raman noodles in a college dorm or apartment, I love how you can catch spaghetti or cavatapi  in any ethnic house hold, how mac and cheese is found in the home of a child or a bachelor, and how women collect far too much of it during the rainy season.

I want to write about pancakes, about how it’s different to wake up when it’s raining versus when it is sunny, about how the dust in the air is only evident around light fixtures, and about how, for some reason, everybody at one point or another, searches in a card shop for generic “thank you” cards with amazing, meaningful sentiments.

I want to write about how, for some reason, it takes people moving away before they come together, and I want to write about what it feels like to realize that I’m a twenty year old who wants to be married and retired and content with somebody who is not only my love, but my companion above all. I want to write about what it is like to watch a father and son wrestle in a pool during summer, about what it is like to see a mother watch her child graduate, about what it is like to see two people who have been married for over twenty years sit down together by a fire and drink wine and laugh about day to day activities that don’t mean much, but make up their lives enough to be incredibly important and wonderful.

I want to write about what it is like to watch fireworks go off in a beach when you’ve just snuck out at around midnight with your friends…about the crackling, about the whistling, about the waves that crash evenly and passionately onto the shoreline as one of you skims by on a skimboard while everyone dances eccentrically around the bursts of color and noise and heat and night. I want to write of the struggles of relationships, of the amazing bond you find as soon as somebody is about to leave for a long time, about the happiness of a return, of the mystery of a kiss, and of the complex void of the heart. I want to write it all. I want to end my writer’s block.

~ Kara “Munchkin” Adamo~