Boredom Kills

, , , , , , | Working | July 3, 2019

An older pickup truck was left at the far end of our parking lot for repair. Apparently, it would not start. I am bored, so I grab the keys and go out to see if I can start it. Why it was left so far away, I have no idea. I don’t plan on being out for long, so I don’t bother to put on my coat. Minus 20C? That’s nothing… So, I get in and close the door. I slide the key into the ignition and turn it, nothing.

I give it a couple of seconds and try it again. Still nothing. Not a sound. No whirring, no clicking, not even one measly little click. I give up after trying a couple of more times. Only mildly disappointed, I reach for the door handle. The handle flops down as soon as I touch it, broken. No big deal. I reach for the passenger door and pull on that handle. That, too, falls down.

Uh-oh… I look down for the window crank. Missing? I look over at the passenger door window crank. That’s missing, too. You’ve got to be kidding!

The rear passenger window will never move. It has been fixed firmly in place since the day the truck was built. Nope, no sliding hatch at the rear window, either. And to top it off, I didn’t bring my phone. Cut off from the entire world, in a parking lot, at work.

Now what? I am at the far end of the parking lot – a good 100 meters away from the store entrance. It is -20, and I am locked in with no coat. The truck is facing away from the store so frantic waving won’t do much good. The windows are starting to fog up and I am starting to feel the cold. If someone even bothers to look from the store into the parking lot and see the back of the truck, they will not see my head. And with this old, worn-out bench seat, I can hardly see over the steering wheel, the curse of being 5’3”. No one will see me from the back or the front. On my left is a long strip mall, but a huge mountain of snow is in the way. I’m pretty much isolated.

I wonder how long it will take for someone to realize that I have not returned, and then how long after that before they start to look for me — if they even try. Hours? Days? Weeks? I start writing my last will and testament in my head — a lot of good that will do.

Finally, I see someone driving towards a store over the right side of the hood of the truck. [Nearby Store] is open! The gentleman gets out of his car and walks towards the store. He’s only about 50 meters away. I have a bright idea: honk the horn. That will get his attention, and of course he will come over and open the door for me. I push on the horn… Silence. I push it harder. Still nothing. I pound on the horn. Not even a fart. Whoever said silence was golden got it so wrong!

Maybe, just maybe, I have been locked up so long that I have gone deaf, or my ear drums are frozen, or this old rust bucket has extremely good sound proofing. The horn has to work. I look over to see if he reacts to my frantic pushing on the horn. Nope, no reaction. Apparently, the horn doesn’t work; either that or this truck is equipped with an ultra-high-frequency horn that only dogs can hear. Either way, I’m screwed.

Resigned to my fate, I come up with an idea for those that eventually find me. I will make a scratch in the door for every day that I survive in the truck. At least they will know how many days I survived in the wilderness, a mere fifty meters over the right fender from [Nearby Store]. The doors are so scratched up already, they probably wouldn’t even notice my survival scratches. When it rains…

I sit there for a few more minutes. It’s probably my imagination, but the air seems to be getting stale. Locked in a dilapidated old pickup truck. Who cares about being embarrassed? I just want out!

Something catches my left eye, beside and behind my left shoulder. No way! Duct tape? I look over my left shoulder, with a near perfect shoulder check, and find a thick plastic sheet duct taped over where the back seat side window used to be! YES! Why didn’t I notice that before?

I may not be able to blow bubbles with bubble gum or swim more than four feet at a time, and I don’t weigh enough to operate a skid steer, but I can proudly say that I can tear my way through a plastic bag. Oh, yeah! Woot… Woot…

It takes a while, but the plastic was really, really thick, okay?!

I squeeze through the slit I made in the plastic window — thankfully, I weigh less than 130 pounds — and drop to the ground head first. It is not the prettiest of exits, but no one knows I am here, anyway. Who cares? I am free!

I dust some of the snow off my clothes, feel a slight bump on my forehead, no blood. Good!

I feel like I just broke out of prison. I am sure the guilt about ruining a perfectly good plastic-n-duct tape window will diminish soon… Yup, gone already, no guilt left at all. Suhweeeet! And I was still clocked in, too! Nice!

I race back to the shop at least a half hour after I left. Whose bright idea was that, anyway?

I’ve learned my lesson. Next time I am bored, I am going to stay put and just close my eyes. I am never again going to underestimate the value of being bored.

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