Tuesday, February 10, 2009

King of the Road

Craigslist is a great place to buy and sell things on-line. Too bad for the incredible shrinking want ads in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. I’ve been looking for a small utility trailer. Some asking prices, near retail new, make me wonder if I’m the only one who heard the news about hard times. I found two trailers listed to my liking, so I answered the ad by e-mail.

I would be interested in taking a look at these. I live near Stone Mountain but am in your area several times a week. When would be a good time?

about any time just give me a call.

I would like to try to come by at 10 a.m. Monday. Also please provide an address, with directions, if possible, via US 78 and Hwy 316. I am severely hearing disabled, so I do not use the telephone if I can avoid it.

any day after 3 pm. take 441 toward Madison around 15 miles from loop 10 you will come to a convient store on left just past it there is a old train depot turn left go to stop sign turn right when it forks take your left and look for the trailers on the right.

I never found your place. I want to try again Wednesday I understand current law requires registration of utility trailers. Do you have titles? If not, I think an affidavit that it was "home-made" is acceptable.

i do not have no titles both of them will be homemade trailers.

I am interested in the little green metal one. Since there are no useable tires on this one, could you swap the tires from the other trailer. If you can do this, and I could pick it up and drive off with it one day next week, I can pay $150.

i will put the tires on it but i will need $200.

OK. That's a deal. I can come pick it up on Tuesday after 3 p.m. For filling out Homemade Trailer Affidavit, I will need Your Full Legal Name, day, month, year trailer built, trailer weight empty.

i dont know what year it was built or the weight i got the trailer to pull behind my golf cart and was not planning on putting it on the highway if this is a problem i will understand.

I will just fill out the form with my best guesses, age of the trailer about 12 years, weight 600 lbs. I assume your full name is what’s on your e-mail address. One other thing. I have a 2 inch ball on my hitch. Is that ok, or do I need a different size ball?

That my name and it takes a 2 inch ball.

The seller and his four strapping teenage sons coupled the trailer and hooked the safety chains to my hitch. I drove about 30 miles pleasantly surprised how smoothly the trailer pulled behind my car. I have rented trailers from U-Haul, and sometimes it is hard to know who is hauling who. At the Monroe intersection of US 78 and Hwy 138, a wide cloverleaf like the interstate, a school bus whooshed along side me, and I could feel the wind resistance differential between my car and the bus. Then my car got heavy, and I looked in my rear view mirror. The trailer bounce twice and took off in a direction which was not the same as the one towards which I was driving. The trailer twirled like a Cossack dancer with one leg extended and spun across the wide median and into the two lanes for oncoming traffic, miraculously unpopulated at that moment. Finally the trailer came to rest on the opposite shoulder of the road. I pulled into the median about the time two blue-light specials appeared. The first Georgia State Highway Patrol Officer said he saw everything. “Looked like the wind just picked you up,” he said. Both Officers were absolute heroes. They directed me to a turnaround, re-connected the trailer for me. This time, I added a second safety chain. I thanked the Officers for their help. “You be careful,” they said.

Come the weekend, I purchased a one and 7/8 inch trailer ball, scraped the flat anthills of rust from the trailer, and my grandson Chance helped me paint it for five, maybe ten minutes. First we spray painted our names in the bed of the trailer. To christen it and bring good luck, I told Chance. I do not get many projects he can participate in at age five, but I thought about plastic Coke bottles, a moment on the lips, a lifetime in the landfill of memories.

Copyright 2009 by William C. Cotter


annette said...

well, babe, like Tammy and George used to sing...

"we ain't the jet set
we're the ol' chevrolett set"

Tina said...

I am properly impressed with your successful acquisition of the trailer, and the paint job, and the fact that you are still alive after the incident on the highway.

margo said...

This was so well-described and amusing that I could see what was happening in my mind's eye as I chuckled at the comedy of the event.

Your work reminds me of deceased humorist and fellow-Georgian, Lewis Grizzard.

Paw Paw Bill said...

I worked at The Atlanta Journal with Lewis Grizzard. Lewis Grizzard was a friend of mine. I am no Lewis Grizzard.

Thank you for thinking in that way nonetheless.

tommy said...

Gawd, I love stories with happy endings!!

Paw Paw Bill said...

Mee, too. With photos, if possible.

luther said...

I don't remember Lewis Grizzard until after the first time you left Atlanta. I checked on the internet, too. Of course, there's no reason to let the facts get in the way of a good joke.


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