The Car/Cabinet Puzzle

An Anecdotal Account of a Self-inflicted Psychological Experiment

In late February, I drove over one thousand miles on my lonesome with a stand-up oak stereo cabinet in my 2001 Ford Escort (a four door sedan, not the station wagon). The cabinet was slightly taller than the width of my backseat. This being the case, the only way to fit it inside the vehicle was to have the front passenger seat laid all the way down, with the cabinet sitting on top of it. This made it so I couldn’t really see out of the bottom half of the passenger window, and was constantly aware that the wooden structure was about a foot away from me. It dominated my peripheral vision to the right.

To add even more fun to the equation, the only way to change gears (for those of you not familiar with the Escort’s layout, the gear shifter in the automatic is in roughly the same place as a stick shift in a manual) was to prop up the cabinet even higher, with a chunk of firewood. Good thing I was headed out of the UP rather than into it. Damn Emerald Ash Borer.

After hitting 75 south of the bridge, I was tempted to stop for some world-famous Skyline Chili, but couldn’t really justify stopping, plus I had already stopped earlier at Subway. Fuck you Jared, and your five dollar footlong. So I carried on, wondering if I had ventured over the line into madness.

Luckily, I had the old stomping grounds of GR, along with the BfD Reunion Conference and TeeCoZee’s pleasant company, to help me decompress for a couple of days in the middle of running this gauntlet. I’m not sure I would have made it one piece (mentally) had I not had the break.

Now I get to do basically the same thing, but this time I’m not driving. I’ll be sitting in the back seat behind the driver in a 2002 Toyota Highlander, and the vehicle is packed to the absolute brink. The scene from Monty Python’s Meaning of Life with the guy eating himself (to death) and the dinner mint comes to mind. The mileage is slightly less, about 940 miles as opposed to 1040, but this time there will not be a couple day resting period in the middle of the gauntlet. Nope, this one will be a marathon affair.

Only time will tell if not occupying myself with driving yet still being packed in tight not really able to move, with my parents to keep me company is any better for my sanity than having to focus on driving while still being packed in tight and not really able to move, with only myself for company. But now I need to attempt to get some sleep to prepare for putting myself in about the space of a mobile coffin. At least in a coffin you can stretch your legs and lay down. Right now BfD is taking all bets on the state I arrive to Brooklyn in.

– Roscoe