Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Maximum Headroom

Do you remember that TV show by this name? This post has nothing whatsoever to do with that. This is a post about irrational reactions.

This seems to be a standard height for many parking arcades around here. It is also, by coincidence, the exact height that I used to be before my spine decided to compress a bit. I'm still close to 6' 1" though, and seeing it on the sign makes me nervous. I duck. Even while in the van, I slouch a bit as I go under before I realize what I'm doing.

Our van is not near that height. I've never had a problem going under them. And slouching probably hasn't made a difference.


When you put an old, non-aerodynamic rooftop carrier on your van for the summer, suddenly your vehicle is much taller. Taller even that the nasty maximum headroom pole.

But my memory, as with my back, seems not to be getting any younger. I tried to drive into a downtown arcade today and, distracted by the many girls in the back, I forgot to duck. Only the nasty crunching sound on top of my van reminded me. As I backed up a bit, the pole swung dangerously back in our direction. Sigh...

Although the embarrassment of doing this stupid deed with a van full of kids wouldn't have been my choice, we seem to have reached a point in their lives where they are starting to be sympathetic and helpful and strong. As quickly as we could (in the pouring rain) on the ramp of the parking lot, we emptied the carrier, shoving camping gear into the van at top speed to lighten the load while cars honked at us because we were obstructing their entrance.

Did they think I was having a good time? That I chose this small space to rearrange our equipment? That I would choose to damage my carrier and stand in the rain with four girls under 11 to help me? I couldn't back up because of honking traffic, I couldn't go forward because of the maximum headroom pole. Luckily a kind lady offered to help and we managed to fit the whole carrier and the gear (and the girls) into the van.

We have plans for that carrier yet. We have more camping trips to do. But the first plan is to assess the damage and see how to get it secured on top of the van again.

Thank you, kind lady, for getting wet on our behalf and for your stronger-than-11-year-old muscles.

I think I will continue to duck and slouch through the signs. Maybe it does help. Today I was too distracted by all of the girls to react in my usual way and see what happened?

1 comment:

Coralee said...

one to laugh about... later!