Young Junior Miss Giddy once told me that she wished she had more stories. Asking her what she meant – she said that she wanted to have some boneheaded tales to tell everyone. Over and over again.

Sure, there was a little sarcasm there. I do tend to repeat things, particularly those little events from life that have developed into what those around me who put up with them now refer to as; “my stories”

So tonight we embark on a new chapter here on Bonehead – what we’ll categorize as Bonehead Back Stories, because it’s sounds a little more hip than “Old guy repeating the same shit again.”

Tonight – let’s start out with …

The Dodge Coronet Station Wagon – Part One

Nope this wasn’t one of my early vehicles. It didn’t even belong to one of my friends. It actually was owned by Mrs. M – my pal Bernie’s mother. I’m not trying to hide anyone’s identity here – it’s just that their surname was a very long and difficult to pronounce phonetically German name which was terribly misspelled in my high school yearbook – so I wouldn’t do it any justice to try and pretend I knew how to spell it now.

Anyway – it was a 1968 or 69 – puke gold Dodge wagon. A lumbering hunk of Detroit metal , belching oil and leaving loose parts in its wake. It was the vehicle Bernie learned to drive in, and wound up borrowing way too often after the State of New York had a brain-fart and anointed him as a licensed driver. One of my fondest memories is hanging with our crew at Bernie’s house, when he decided he should practice some parallel parking for his road test the following week. He persuaded his mother to give him the keys with the promise that he’s just do some parking drills in front of the house and maybe a couple of three-point turns.

This is what he did. For the first three minutes as his mom looked on from the front door. Trouble is, it was winter and kind of chilly. So, sensing that her son was going to be a responsible child and remain slowly parking and turning in the area of the house, she shut the door and continued with whatever it was she had to do inside.

Bad move. With the door closed and the sudden freedom of being removed from under mom’s watchful eye, Bernie did a quick three point turn (nailed it too) and sped off down the block. There were four of us in the car, Bernie, me, Larry and Bullet Bob. When he got to the corner, three other idiots jumped in. Then Bernie turned around again and headed back up the block, slowing down to pass his own house, then speeding up again to get to the other corner. This is pretty much where it all went to shit.

It’s a big wagon, but there were now seven of us in the car, so it was getting tight. Bernie spotted Tom Jones (not the singer, a rotund stoner  vintage 1979) and his brother Tim. Seeing as how it was a little cramped inside, they thought well, why not jump up on the roof – they could hang onto the roof rack. Guess it seemed like a good idea at the time. Bernie hits the gas and we fly down the road – the assholes on the roof hung on and had a grand ole time. Believe it or not – now back once more at the far end of the block we meet up with some other clown from our crew – little Ricky Fiedler, who’s had a death wish since he was a toddler.

Ricky thinks it would be swell to ride up the block on the hood of the old Dodge, seeing as how the Jones brothers made out ok up on the roof. He jumps on, leans his back on the windshield and we take off. In all the excitement however, Bernie forgot to slow down approaching his house. As we speed by with six asshole teenagers inside the car hanging out the windows, three even bigger assholes literally hanging onto the speeding vehicle and the biggest ass of them all behind the wheel we notice the front door to his house opening.

It’s said that when you’re in a train wreck, everything slows down the moment you realize disaster is imminent. That’s how we all felt at that particular moment.

Bernie’s mother had just stepped outside for a smoke and to see what we were up to. She got a full on view of her station wagon laden with idiots in black concert t-shirts tearing up the residential block at probably twice the speed limit. We’re all shouting and laughing, but we all fell silent at precisely the same moment that our eyes met hers. Unfortunately, that was right as we were passing by – no where to hide this time.

I can’t say I can recall the look on her face. Like each of us (well, not Ricky) we were in a state mixed with shock and fear. I can recall the look on Bernie’s face however, and it is the look I always conjure whenever I hear the phrase “Oh Shit!” Of course, he slowed the car to a stop and most everyone took off. Not me, what was I going to do – she was my ride home. So he drove the car back into the driveway, and sheepishly stepped out. He tried to create some sort of diversion by explaining that the extra teenagers had fallen from above, but she simply laced into him in German , which made it all that much more frightening.

He couldn’t have anyone over his house for a few weeks, and his driving privileges were relocated to practice with his mother in the car. He did pass his road test, and was actually allowed to use the car thereafter on a fairly regular basis.

The car and Bernie’s ability to use it or any other family vehicle met a nasty end later that winter. More on that next time!

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