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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Embarrassed (07/19/07)

TITLE: Hinging On Stupidity
By George Parler


In my line of work there can be times when sleep becomes a rare gemstone buried beneath the gravel of the job, that demands your attention around the clock. But long hours can fog the mind and lead you into some of life’s interesting, red-faced, somebody-dig-me-a-hole embarrassing moments. Those precious moments in time that friends and family always seem to remember at every get together. You can rescue someone from a burning building and be declared a hero and within a year no one remembers. . . well. . . except for the person you rescued maybe. But make a dumb mistake, no matter how big or small and you’re tattooed for life. The following is from one of my many tattoos.

After I had worked many long hours, my Supervisor asked if I would take the company truck into town to pick up some cabinet hinges for him before I went to bed that morning. So being the good employee that I am I took off to the hardware store in town. History would later show I should have gone to bed instead.

Arriving at the store, I had parked across the street due to the crowded parking lot in front of the store. As always, due to my habit of forming bad habits, I left the keys in the ignition.

Inside the store, it was taking forever to find the right hinges with the inexperienced sales clerk I was dealing with. But after seeing that I was not impressed with his lack of knowledge concerning cabinet hinges he called the manager for backup. It was a good thing, since I didn’t know any more about cabinet hinges than the sales clerk did. Tired, and now frustrated, I signed the ticket for the hinges, jumped in the truck, and headed back to the office.

Driving back, my thoughts were of how great it was going to feel when I slithered between the covers for some much needed sleep. The music on the radio was a little too soothing as my eyelids felt as though they weighed one hundred pounds each. Reaching over to turn off the radio I noticed it was a CD that was playing and not the radio. First time I noticed that it had a CD player. I wondered what else was new as I glanced around the truck cab. Then, as a sledgehammer gets one’s attention when it hits you between the eyes, I slammed on the brakes and came to a screeching halt to the side of the road. "OH MY GOD, HELP ME", I prayed . . . I was in someone else’s truck! I figured the police would be closing in any second. I was going to jail with a bag of hinges!

I made a "U" turn in the middle of the highway. If I was going to jail for Grand Theft Auto a ticket for an illegal “U” turn wouldn’t amount to much in the grand scheme of things at the pressing moment. I figured the police and the owner of the truck would probably be standing in the parking lot of the hardware store gathering forensic evidence from the alleged crime scene. I was getting dizzy from holding my breath as I turned the corner, but there was no one in the parking lot. So I parked the truck back in the same spot from which I stole it from . . . I mean . . . drove it from. And to make matters worse, I turned back to look at the black pickup truck one final time as I opened the door and got into the solid white company truck!

I drove away totally embarrassed with myself. What an idiot I was. I could just see myself trying to explain to the arresting officer how I mistook a solid black truck for a solid white one. A psychological examination and a cat scan would have been in my immediate future I’m sure. But how was I going to save face with this back at the office. No one but I knew about it so the best thing would have been to just keep my mouth shut. Which would have probably worked. . . At least up to the point where my supervisor asked me where the new hinges were. “You’re not going to believe this”, I muttered as I remembered the last place I saw that bag of hinges was in a black truck!

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This article has been read 979 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Elizabeth Baize07/26/07
I am going to have to read this to my family. I think I'm picking my jaw up off the floor!! This sounds like a true story, but if it is fictional, you did an excellent job of making the unbelievable believable! Thanks for sharing.
Dee Yoder 07/26/07
So funny! It wouldn't be so bad if the truck had at least been WHITE! Love your title, too. :)
Virginia Gorg07/27/07
I've heard of forgetting where your WHITE vehicle is parked, but getting in a different color... What a hoot! Humorous, well told, and I loved the last line. This shows your talent.
william price07/27/07
Enjoyed the laughs. A little work on presentation and this would be on the top side of very good. God bless.
Gabrielle Morgan07/29/07
A great story, well told. A normal human reaction to forget the hinges when the mind was totally focused on the drama of taking the wrong car. I related very much to this, as I have often gone to the wrong car by mistake.
Joy Faire Stewart07/30/07
Love your humor and the last sentence is priceless.
Joanne Sher 07/30/07
Loved your voice. Perfect for the situation. Got quite a few laughs out of this. Glad you're back, George :)
Kristen Hester07/31/07
Oh, this gave me a good chuckle. That's the sort of thing I could do...even with enough sleep. Good story telling. I enjoyed this!
Phyllis Inniss07/31/07
What a title and what a story! You're a good story teller and you manage it so well with your humour.
Lynda Schultz 07/31/07
The title is perfect, and the story is a hoot. The black/white truck was story enough, but leaving the hinges behind was a great touch. (If this is a true story, then we'll have to give credit for the hinges, not to creative genuis, but to lack of sleep!)
Jan Ackerson 07/31/07

I'd suggest eliminating some of the introductory material, and expanding the middle section, which is top-notch. I loved it!
Charla Diehl 08/01/07
Really enjoyed this embarrasing moment. Good read. Perhaps a little more "showing" and a little less "telling" would have moved in along more smoothly. Loved the ending!
Patty Wysong08/01/07
Oh! Thank you!! I really needed this laugh after some of the 'heavies' I've just read!! Too GOOD! I loved this. Just loved it!! :-) And I love how your title ties in and draws in.
Loren T. Lowery08/01/07
Too funny. This was simply a fun read and a great story. I, too, was wondering if you happend to leave those hinges in the truck. Guess some things we do are just meant to be known.
Julie Arduini08/01/07
This is a classic! I'm still grinning, even the title is funny. I agree with other comments, I'd get right to the meat of the story, it's too good to wait on!
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/02/07
A really funny story told well.
Joanne Sher 08/03/07
Well, now. If 15th overall and 6th in advanced is how you do when you're "rusty," I'm SCARED of what kind of contender you'll be when you're "nice and shiny." Congrats, George. ;)