The International Writers Magazine: Lifestyle
Another new experience I had the other day was riding in the back of an open 4xPickup. Now I know that word doesn’t literally exist but I am known to fabricate new words so there.
This was a 4x4 (though come to think of it, perhaps it didn’t even have 4WD, so we could just change my name to Pickup Stickup right now) whose ‘back seat’ trick was that there was no back seat. Many jeeps have half a cab and the other half is just a bare car cab with a makeshift bench of sorts, as well as monkey bars and that zippy flap thing. You get the picture. Well this jeep in question (the one with the magically disappearing back seat?) had a tiny pick-up truck instead. Could barely stretch out in that. Wait scratch that. You probably wouldn’t have room to kneel down in there in the first place.
So la-di-da, my friends and I were lucky enough to ride in this machine. In Athens. Now this is a freaking quadruple whammy. Here we go:
(one) Athenians know surprisingly little about people sitting in the back of a pick-up truck/ute/open jeep; I mean I can see why, what with a recent shortage in grassy fields in the city-centre.
(two) Athenians are notoriously notorious for their Awful driving. Yah, that’s how bad their driving is!
(three) Athens pollution have now made additions to the patrolling police force: behold! Team Zeus! (Even if lightning only does strike once I’d still love the irony of Zeus [existing and] actually striking down a Smurf, as cops are so lovingly and diminutively called in Greece – but that’s beside the point). Funny story (clearly sticking to the side of the point), for a short time I called the boys in blue Team Violence; seeing as I had the fortune of mishearing their name*… Note how I did not say misfortune of hearing, by the way, though it’s not all that funny.
(four) I was seated in the pick-up side of the car.
To compound that, we were taking this nice little volta in the rain. Not least of all there was a man (debatable, clearly) comfortable and dry in the front seat. I presume this man, apart from having no courtesy had also lost his balls somewhere along the way.
The pick-up truck was, one might say, not exactly adequately equipped with helmets and/or (though mostly and) seatbelts; but oh wait there couldn’t have been any seatbelts, there were no seats! Though by this point I would have made done with a damn handle to hold on for dear life from, let alone a crash helmet.
I would like to take a moment here to point out that I am a gutsy sort of person - one might think twice about calling me meek. I don’t tend to shy away from situations similar to the one I’ve just had the wonderful pleasure of storytelling to you about; but I fail to I hold in high esteem the actual specific experience itself.
It may also be crucial to take a minute and point out that the driver was inebriated (to the point where I’m thinking ‘there’s no way we ain’t gonna hit it’). He also thought little less to nothing of bellowing outside the window towards us in the back (the one saving grace: I was not alone in the back). I guess I shouldn’t blame him too much - that’s exactly how I would shout, when I’m drunk, to the two gals sitting in the back, of my open truck, on a rainy night, surrounded by cops and city street death traps. I couldn’t really hear what the hell he was on about anyway but it sounded an awful lot like ‘that hole did not look so deep from over here I swear ha ha ha’. I’ll try and be nice for a brief moment and say that perhaps I only saw the ditch, from my privileged, panoramic view in the back and all.
To top it all off, there wasn’t a single main street we didn’t drive on.
We weren’t exactly incon-fucking-spicuous now were we?
I can just see the comic depiction of it now.
Two beautiful girls clawing the edge of a speeding white car, in the rain, white teeth clenched, speeding along on one of the most dangerous roads on one of the most dangerous nights of the week (which is Saturdays, Fridays, Wednesdays and Anygivendays), hair all messed from being exposed to the elements (or should I say, surrounded by the lack thereof: anyone for car walls? Anyone?)
And all this just to save myself a few bucks. I am a cheap, stupid bastard. Let’s just say that I won’t be taking anymore rides in the back of pick-ups for a while; unless I am surrounded by a few miles radius of a whole lot of nothing (like a puffy pillow of ostrich feathers or a field of fleece blankets, say).
Oh and you wanna know the best part? My fellow outside passenger said to me “being the oldest and wisest here, I recommend, nay, demand, that we take no cars tonight and go home by cab so that we can drink as much as we want. It’s the responsible thing to do”.
* Ομαδα Δ/Βιας
© Danae Phelps October 2012
diydanae2 (at) gmail.com
Dream #1: Caught between a nightmare and a dream
I opened my eyes and blinked in the thick, heavy mist of the room. I couldn’t tell if it was day or night