Love People

Muddy Good Time

Photo by Saeid Anvar on

As teenagers, my best friend and I worked all summer long mowing lawns for
extra cash. Unwisely, we spent all of it. One of our favorite things to do was
to go to a little restaurant in town. We ate there so often that I would
venture to say we tried nearly everything on the menu. My friend was more
opened minded to all foods, so he might have. The owner of the place came to
recognize us and usually greeted us upon entering. We did not realize it then
but would after working all summer, that we would have nothing left to show for
our summer of labor.

The exception was our stockpile of four-wheel drive magazines, the kind with
huge trucks and jeeps on the covers. We spent hours browsing through pictures
and reading about all the enhancements people were making to their vehicles. Huge tires, lift kits, winches, and even special packages that helped with things
like rock climbing. While we couldn’t do most of those things, there were some
places around where we could have some fun. This involved taking our trucks out
into muddy areas. The slippery mud provided next to zero traction, which meant
it was a blast. It was like driving in the snow. Our trucks ended up completely
covered in mud. There was a sort of pride involved when we drove down the road
covered in the stuff. Everyone around hated us because we flung mud all over
the streets and their cars.

One day I got a knock at my door. When I opened it, my friend stood there
shirtless in blue jeans, covered from head to toe in mud. It was all over his
face. Honestly, he looked like a wreck. I forget how many miles it was away,
but he definitely came a long way. He needed me to tow him out of a dire
situation. On the way to the place, he explained that he was out mudding and
got stuck. It wasn’t that it was stuck in the mud, but in a little bit of water
too. On the way, we picked up a tow rope to pull him out.

When I drove on site and saw what he had gotten himself into, I could not help
myself. I don’t remember if I tried to cover it up or if I openly busted out
into laughter. It was a complete disaster, much worse than the picture he painted.
It wasn’t just a little bit of water; it was more like a pond. I don’t know
what made him think it was a promising idea to try to drive through it, but I
suppose that made it part of the fun. He did manage to make it two-thirds of
the way through before his electrical system quit working. The water was deep
enough to cover the bottom edge of the body and frame. We did not have cell
phones back then, especially none with cameras, otherwise I would have loved to
had a picture of that scene. However, the image is etched in my mind and
brings a smile to my face whenever I think about it.

I backed my little truck to the edge of the water. He hooked one end on my
truck and trudged out into the water and hooked the other end to his truck
frame. I had a new clutch installed, which was a good thing
otherwise it may have never made it, due to the way it had been slipping
beforehand. I put it in four-wheel drive and slowly left off the clutch. The
tow rope tightened, and I immediately felt the resistance of the larger truck pulling behind me. Sure enough, my little truck had heart and pulled his out of the

Water came gushing out from all sides around the bottom of his truck. He
tried to start it up, but it would not do anything. It was obvious that he was
having electrical issues, so the truck hood was popped open. I sat there with
him for a couple hours, hoping that it would dry off enough so that he could
get it started. Eventually, it did, and I followed him home as his truck
sputtered all the way there. That was the last time I found him in a place like
that. Sadly, our days of mudding ended shortly thereafter. I will say, in the
time we had, it was an experience I will never forget!

My friend found himself in unfavorable circumstances. Had I been in the mess
with him, we would have both been in trouble. Fortunately for him, he reached
out to someone who was outside of that mess. That person was in a stable
position, standing firmly on solid ground. Inch by inch, my friend was pulled
out of a dire situation. He was dripping wet with evidence of the situation he
just got out of, but that didn’t matter. The important thing was that he was

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