My Uncle's Story

Call me lazy, but to tell the truth, no story I could tell today would outdo the story that I just read from my uncle's life. Allow me to cut and paste the story for your enjoyment. Just so that you know, my uncle is actually a rocket scientist. I'm sure that he used all his problem solving skills while he was working for NASA.

When I was a senior in High School (1975-1976) I worked for a sign painter doing odd jobs. One day my boss came back from a visit to his Dad's with part of his inheritance. A like new 1940 Chevy coup. Original dark green paint, clean interior, not a dent or a scratch on it. It immediately became his pride and joy. He brought it to work every day, and parked it inside the shop where it would be safe.

One day while he was away on a job and I was alone in the shop, I needed to paint some sign faces. The paint booth was open on one side, and parked right in front of it was that 1940 Chevy. I knew that overspray got into the shop, and I figured my boss would not appreciate white primer all over the front of his car. So I decided to move it. Right across the alley was an open field where I parked Dad's Pinto. I would push the Chevy there!

I opened the outside door, opened the driver side door, and started to push and steer at the same time. It was easy. The floor sloped towards the door, so I was going pretty fast when the open driver's door caught on the building's door frame and bent, and bent, and bent. When the car finally stopped the door was pointing forwards, and there was a huge crease in the bodywork in front of the hinge!

I ran out another door, got behind the car, and pushed. It might as well have been cast in concrete. So I went back into the shop and got a come-a-long; a portable winch. I hooked it to the front bumper, and then to the front support of the paint booth. Cranka, cranka, cranka. The car didn't budge, but the support column bent where the come-a-long was attached! Now what?

Well, Dad's Pinto was right across the alley. Maybe I could push with that. So I got right on the bumper of the Chevy, and pushed - and stalled. Dang clutch! So I pushed and stalled, pushed and stalled. The Chevy didn't budge. Maybe if I got a running start!

So I backed up across the alley, and gently as I could got my running start. I hit the Chevy's bumper, and an amazing thing happened. I watched in slow motion as the Chevy's spring-mounted bumper slowly compressed. The car didn't move. Then suddenly the Chevy shot away like an arrow out of a bow! Right across the shop, and into the front support of the spray booth! This straightened the booth's support column, but dented the front of the car!

Now back where I started, with the booth fixed, but with two dents in the Chevy, I started to put the come-a-long away. That was the moment my boss came back, and asked what I was doing. After I explained, and he had examined the new (and only) dents on his car, he went into his office and locked the door. I didn't see him for the rest of the day. I still don't know why I wasn't fired (or killed). He left the Chevy at home after that.


Th. said...


I have some dumb-kid dinged-car stories, but alas! nothing to compete with that!

daltongirl said...

I felt like I was watching a Tim Conway/Don Knotts movie while I was reading this. Could. Not. Stop. Laughing. Then I read it aloud to DB, who got sick to his stomach and had to go lie down.

redlaw said...

Oh man, that made me squeamish thinking of all the dents and just flat out destruction I have caused to a few of my dad's cars.

Great story!

Stupidramblings said...

Very nice.

I worked as a mechanic for 10 years. I only dinged (as in *ding*) 3 cars while I was working there. I found that if I told the truth right away and didn't try to hide it, things went much better than they did for those who tried to hide their mistakes. I bet that's why he wasn't fired--for telling the truth without preamble...

Limon said...

Poor guy. I hate the "I just did a stupid thing that will probably get me fired" feeling. Good for him for not trying to hide it (though don't know how he would go about doing that).

April said...

That reminded me of "Tommy Boy" at the gas station. Hilarious!