Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Recently, a few different sets of friends have brought up my penchant for naming things. Slippers, wellies, sewing machine, iPod, rolling pin, long board, my currently broken video camera, all of these items, and many others have names. One friend asked what the name of my car was, and I said, "I've never named a car. Why would I name a car?" I, of course, was inadvertently lying. I forgot about Morton.

One summer, when I worked for the local parks and rec district, my friend Rachel and I had a truck assigned to us, and we called him Morton. We knew automobiles usually had feminine names, but if you saw this truck, you'd know like we did that he was all geriatric male with nothing going for him. The rest of the parks and rec community called him 308, and when people would ask which truck we were in, or notice him outside, they'd always smile coyly and say, "Oh, you've got 308, huh?" as if they knew something we did not. They didn't have anything on us, because we knew Morton sucked.

Morton was an early 90s electric blue Chevy, with no mounted rear view mirror, and a slow reacting brake pedal that took a long time to get used to. While most of the other fleet had air conditioners and cd players (your tax dollars at work), we had nothing but wing windows and the FM dial.

But we were very much endeared to Morton by the end of the summer because of all of the adventures we had inadvertently put him through. On the very first day, we accidentally created a dent in Morton's side by misjudging the width between two posts. Soon after that, we got Morton stuck in the mud, and used our cell phones to call for assistance because we were too embarrassed to use the radio. It happened again two weeks later.* Then there was that time that we accidentally spilled a 5 gallon tub of paint all over his bed. Oops. Just so you know, Rachel and I are not idiots**, we just made a couple of poor judgments.

What Rachel and I did not know about the parks and rec job, is that no one does anything. NOTHING. Whilst we were going about the area and repairing picnic tables and painting benches and buildings, we happened across a lot of employees who were not doing anything. When I say, "not doing anything" I mean, we found several at Starbucks, or lounging in a beach chair reading the paper. About a month in, when we had finished our chore list for the summer, we were slow on telling them we were done and instead decided to go to Starbucks*** ourselves, because they had frappuccinos, and air conditioning.

*Morton's tires were not what they once were and in our defense the ground did not look muddy at all. Unlike the time we were recruited to help move picnic tables into a park in preparation for a Kenny Loggins(!) concert. We were riding with two macho guys called Rick and Randy. Rick drove into the park first, and got his truck, and the trailer full of picnic tables seriously stuck in the huge amounts of mud that were evident from the street. Then, Randy, in an effort to save Rick did the exact same thing. Both trucks stuck in the mud, so why not go to Starbucks? Rachel and I didn't have our purses with us, so we waited. An hour later, one of the nice mechanics showed up to tow the trucks out of the mud. Rick and Randy aren't back from Starbucks yet? Really? Rachel and I moved the trucks and trailers, and then waited for another long while for Rick and Randy to come back.

**Ok, maybe I am, but Rachel is one of the brightest people I know.

***We also devised a plot to leave one of our cars at a park, then come by and leave Morton in its place while we went downtown to see a noon time performance by Guster.**** We decided, instead, just to take the day off because we were moral and a little bit chicken.*****

****Guster was cooler back then.

*****It totally would have worked.


Britt said...

oh, totally could have pulled off some ferris bueller stuff at that job! love the post! love you!

Rachel said...

How true, my friend. How true. Except I'm not sure, I might have been a bit dumber back then.

beckie said...

Brilliant use of the * note. Kenny Loggins! You didn't want to cut footloose?

lulu123 said...

you worked for the parks service? there are so many mysterious and unknown facets to you molly that i never cease to be amazed.