We All Have our Crosses to Bear

I can’t quite remember which year this occurred, but I am fairly certain it would have been 1993 or 1994. Matt was driving his father’s pickup truck and agreed to take a few of my family members up to the Brighton Field Days. Brighton Field Days was a local event in our neighborhood in which the volunteer fire company sold a lot of beer to drunks in a beer tent, for fundraising purposes. In any case, Matt was driving, I was in the middle of the seat, and my father was in the passenger seat (not exactly sober already). My sister and her friend were in the bed of the pickup truck.

It turns out that Matt was not very proficient at driving the truck, and made a lane switch to the right side without looking. Lower than the pickup truck, and cruising near the truck’s blind spot anyhow, was some kind of low-rider car. It had to slam on its brakes and go off the road, tires squealing and bumping as it jumped the curb in front of the Dairy Queen. Matt was planning to drop us off there anyhow, and I have no idea whether he pulled over because of the near catastrophe or just because he was in a fog (as usual), but we stopped and got out of the car. Naturally, the two guys in the car that we almost steamrolled got out too, and they were none too happy.

“HOW MANY FUCKING LANES DO YOU PEOPLE TAKE UP!?!?!” the guy shouted as he got out of the driver’s seat and moved forward. At this point, Matt cowered in the driver’s seat and my dad exited out of the right hand side. In his slow, semi-drunken way, my father responded:

“Apparently, a few more than you were willing to give.”

This was not the response that the hostile driver was expecting. He began to sputter as he blurted out:

“But you almost ran us off the god damn road!”

My dad shuffled forward a bit further and stated, nonchalantly: “We all have our crosses to bear, son.”

Now this guy, who had gotten out of the car full of anger and ready to kick Matt’s ass, was completely dumbfounded. I honestly think he had no clue what the hell to say to that. In any case, he was at the front of his car and his passenger was just giving us a completely blank look (in shock). The driver tried one more time, stuttering as he said:

“But.. but… I had to go up on the curb to get out of your way! You almost ran into my car!”

My dad responded by thrusting out his hand and grabbing the driver’s hand in a firm handshake. He loudly said, with no hesitation whatsoever:

“Great move! You just avoided an accident!”

With this congratulations, he literally put the guy back into his car by the shoulder (and, I should note, into the wrong side of the vehicle) – then walked away, as did the rest of us. Matt took off before anything else could occur and I looked back to see the driver shaking his head in disbelief as he returned to the driver’s side of the car. Since that day, I will always remember Matt’s obliviousness, which was only eclipsed by the driver’s blank look and inability to respond to my dad’s incongruous, almost shockingly calm, responses.

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5 Responses

  1. Another classic story, and another example of Matt passing through life in a deep, deep fog. Luckily my own fog is limited to Louis leading me around places I am familiar with and he is not, and to my reduced driving skill when certain people are in the car with me. BTW, Louis, this happened again recently.

  2. Shit! You guys don’t know the Google power you have! First, you show up under a search for “Mighty Taco…” Next, I was seriously, legititmately searching for information on Brighton Field Days and THIS BLOG shows up… Man.

  3. I can’t believe they came back after dying during the late 90s. Now it seems they are an annual event again. I will have to try to come home for them, maybe next year.

  4. I’m hoping it has turned into more of a “family friendly” event and not a root tootin’ beer tent blitz that you described it as being previously… I was gonna take the kids, I hear they sometimes have people dressed up as Elmo and such…

  5. The beer tent was always roped off from the main event, which had carnival rides and games (win a goldfish by throwing a ping pong ball into its little tank, etc), as well as cotton candy, corn chowder, and other summer festival food. Keep in mind that I attended for years while underage, it was just that the beer tent was the biggest draw for adults.

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