driving was what we did. every weekend, sometimes both friday and saturday nights. pink floyd in the tape deck, a bag of chips, a couple cokes and the open road. we would intentionally go off and try to get lost on the backroads of clermont and adams counties in ohio. funny thing about that: when you do it for a couple years, it gets harder and harder to get truly lost.
but this post is about the day we got really stupid.
we were bored. it was summer. a saturday afternoon. the sun was out, it was warm, there was nothing to do. we hooked up early that day because we weren’t going to be able to go out that evening.
scott was driving that trusty old granada that had taken us so many miles down so many roads. we drove around for a while trying to think of something to do when he finally turned to me and said, “do you want to jump myrtle’s tit?”
well, this was a new one on me.
“myrtle’s tit? you get a girlfriend or something?”
“no, you dumbass,” he replied, using his hands to give a visual. “myrtle’s tit is a stretch of downhill road in anderson township that has a big bump halfway down it. you can jump it and go airborne!”
“woo-hoo! let’s do it!” was my response.
we arrive at the hill and sit at the top, making sure there’s no oncoming traffic before making the big run. coast is clear, we’re buckled in, tunes cranked, scott guns the engine, and we speed off.
now, i’ve heard of instances where people talk about life suddenly going in slow motion but it always sounded a bit fishy to me. this was the first time i ever experienced it myself and it was stunning.
we hit myrtle’s tit at a high rate of speed and the world slowed to a crawl. you feel the crunch of the road, see your knuckles white on the dashboard, feel the car going airborne as the back tires finally follow the front, severing contact with the pavement. time stretched and it felt like we must’ve been free falling for ten seconds or more. the adrenaline hits around this point, and you think you can do anything.
then the film speeds back up, the thud of 3156lbs of steel reestablishing ties to terra firma brings you back to your senses, and you let out a loud cry of victory and surprise – you left the full ashtray open, both of your cokes are uncapped, and your bag of doritos unsecured – all of these items now occupy space throughout the interior of the car.
we pulled off at the bottom to collect our wits, relive the excitement, and clean up our mess.
we drove a couple more hours that day, but we kept hearing this metallic ka-thunk-ing sound coming from the rear. we stopped to look several times but found nothing. it wasn’t until we got to east fork lake that scott finally realized what it was. we pulled over, walked to the back of the car, and took the hubcap off the passenger side rear tire.
the rattling ka-thunking? two of the lug bolts snapped off, the third one was stripped almost to the end, and the fourth one was quite loose. we’d been driving on essentially one lug bolt all day.
that was the beginning of the end of that sweet car. it didn’t last too much longer after that. but the memories of myrtle’s tit? they’ll last forever.