"THE GARAGE DOOR STORY"
Our oldest daughter Lauren got her driver's license when she was 16. And despite all those years of watching her take unimaginable risks playing SUPER MARIO CART, her real world driving was surprisingly great. Best of my knowledge, she followed the rules the same way her dad does. Which is: If a rule made sense - certainly follow it. If it didn't make sense - well - why conform? This is also the way driving rules are followed in Italy - and probably a lot of other countries. My wife says that in Italy traffic rules are only "suggestions".....
It was a beautiful spring morning in the middle of the work week. It was around 7am, and all of the Wistroms were headed out to take on the day. Maria and I were headed to work while Lauren was driving to high school with her sister Ashley as a passenger. Lauren had her own car - because - well - everyone was just happier that way.
Parking spots. With three cars in the household, we had assigned parking. My pickup truck (another story some day) was parked in the driveway in front of the left garage door. Lauren's little Subaru's spot was in front of the right garage door, and Maria's SUV was inside the garage on the right side.
It took a while for Lauren to become proficient at one of the house rules: WHEN YOU LEAVE, YOU HAVE TO REMEMBER TO CLOSE THE GARAGE DOOR. This had been a problem in the past. Lauren wouldn't always remember to close the garage doors when she left - and in my opinion, that left the house essentially screaming for burglars. By golly after a while - Lauren was really great at making sure she closed that garage door when she left. Although we have a front door - we never use it for anything except when company comes. (Remember when we actually had company??).
I know you smart Aleks already see what's coming, but keep reading anyway, ok?
Lauren and Ashley left through the garage like every other day. I was right on their tail, and Maria was last out the door. I jumped in the truck and backed it down the slope of our driveway and into the street. I slowly started down the street. Slowly because I wanted to make sure that everyone was out of the house and the garage doors were closed. I hit my remote and watched the left door go down.
Right on cue, Lauren hit her remote to close the right hand door... at the same time Maria threw the SUV into reverse and hit the gas. I watched in horror as I saw the white reverse lights come on as the garage door descended.
The noise of that SUV smashing the ever loving crap out of that door was just spectacular. Boards buckled and broke from the sheer force of that Ford Escape's momentum. But it didn't stop there. Pulleys and springs went shooting out onto the driveway from both sides of the door. There was enough of a gap still there for little wheels to go rolling down the driveway. To say the least - this garage door was FUBAR. Here's the dictionary definition for those of you unfamiliar with the term:
"out of working order; seriously, perhaps irreparably, damaged"
I remember pulling over and jumping out of the truck. The next thing I did was start swearing. Yes indeedy. I can swear pretty well when I put my mind to it, and I was in FULL FORM that morning. I have a fairly decent memory, and to the best of my recollection I only said 4 of George Carlin's "7 words you can't say on TV". Have you forgotten about that? Never heard of it? Oh my!!~! Go watch that masterpiece of comedy here. Yes, he really does say them all (and then some). My suggestion would be to not play this video if you're offended by swearing - OR - if you're in a public setting where anyone else can hear it. Side note: I saw George Carlin in person doing this routine. He was a master of language and satire. I miss his humor.
Back to the story, Jerry!!!
I must have gone on and on during that rant, by bet is it probably went a full 60 seconds or so - which is a long time to continue to swear. Maria and the girls kept switching their gaze from me to the garage door, as I pointed out every aspect of the situation that was making me unhappy.
I finally stopped. Probably just to catch my breath, or think of any other way to describe how I was feeling. At that very moment, our beautiful, wonderful, articulate 13 year old daughter Ashley asked my wife the funniest question I've ever heard:
"Mom.... Does dad have Tourette's?"
For the life of me, I can't remember if I burst out laughing then and there, but selective memory says that I did. This has become one of the Wistrom family's beloved moments. Both of our daughters have the ability to see the humor in almost anything. That's a pretty good tool to have in life.