Hump Day: Madly executing manly manoeuvres at the speed of Hyundai

Hump DayHump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Moncton Times & Transcript
Editorial section

“Can this thing go fast?” my godson asked of my vehicle as I gave him a drive to the golf course.

“Pffft… of course it can!” I bragged as I put the pedal to the metal and accelerated to the limit at the speed of light – or at least the speed of Hyundai.

Ah, a male-bonding moment between a wildly popular newspaper columnist with millions (thousands? dozens? OK… would you believe at least my mother?) of fans, the celebrity godfather to the world’s most handsome and intelligent godson. Oh, I’d show the brat (albeit a handsome one). I’d speed up to the limit so fast he’d be peeling the skin from his teenage face off the inside of the back windshield.

It was all I could do but growl like a bear and bark like a dog in this incredibly testosterone-filled moment. He would remember this forever. So would I. He would probably have a full beard by the end of it, I bet! Gee, maybe I’d even take him to his first bar after this and we’d share a beer. OK, well maybe not. He’s only 15.

The most masculine moment of my life soon turned into me acting like a little girl who just wet her pants, however, after I reached the speed limit and removed my foot from the pedal. “See, this thing can go fast! Bark! Bark! Growl!” I practically grew claws right then and there and bit a hole in the vehicle’s roof.

Unfortunately, when I took my foot off the pedal, the pedal stayed glued to the floor and I went from being a manly trucker who eats scrap metal for breakfast to my best imitation of a dolly that cries for its mama and wets the bed. Well, wets the bed may be a bit of an understatement. It was more like a fire hose at full force at this point.

Now, this is one of those times when you kick yourself. Was this really necessary? Would the world have continued to turn on its axis if I hadn’t tried to show off ? Probably.

So, with visions of front-page headlines in the newspaper the next day that would most certainly read “Beloved columnist and stunningly handsome godson die as manly vehicle reaches speeds previously unknown to mankind,” I thought it might be best to figure something out before that happened.

Of course, all this took place within the space of two seconds. I wouldn’t want you to think that I took 10 minutes to make a decision on what to do. I applied the brakes and we slowed down considerably.

Of course, this is not great for the brakes, especially when the gas pedal is still floored, but at this point it was either going to be a funeral for my brakes or a funeral for us. I bid my brakes a fond adieu.

We slowed down gradually and safely as I pulled over to the highway’s shoulder, but the vehicle wouldn’t come to a full stop even with the brakes fully applied. I told my godson to get his hand down on the pedal to pull it back up, which he did immediately.

“The pedal was stuck under the floor mat,” he said. He easily released it without much effort.

Unfortunately, when you’re driving, there’s no way of knowing what is fully going on while you’re trying to maintain control of the vehicle – and your bowels.

We then continued along our merry way, my attempt at a show of complete and utter godfatherly masculinity and manliness preempted by a stuck gas pedal, a puddle in my pants and mascara-stained tears rolling down my cheeks.

Needless to say, I yanked the floor mat back with my feet once I knew that was the problem. I spoke to someone else later who told me the same thing had happened to them once. A subsequent online search showed that the problem is not uncommon – either due to design flaws in certain vehicles (not in my particular case) or a loose floor mat that inadvertently slipped under the pedal.

Since we were just leaving family graduation celebrations for my godson’s older brother, we started joking around morbidly after the pedal incident that the newspaper would be filled (filled, I tells ya!) with happy photos showing friends and family honouring the graduate alongside headlines that screamed “tragedy,” “disaster,” and the like – and peppered liberally with “beloved columnist” and “stunningly handsome godson,” of course.

We were even pretty sure the pope would fly in from The Vatican to do the joint funeral. We couldn’t believe for a minute that he’d pass up the opportunity for a worldwide television audience, not to mention seeing our diamond-encrusted caskets.

The moral of the story, of course, is to check your stupid floor mat to make sure your stupid gas pedal can’t get stuck under it. (Eloquently put, no?) Oh – and don’t try to show off to your godson (even if he’s stunningly handsome) to prove you’re the manliest godfather ever to walk on God’s green earth.

Luckily, the only funeral we’ll be having is for my brakes at my next regular maintenance. They still work fine, but I can’t imagine that making them fight against a gas pedal stuck to the floor did them any wonders. I’m no psychic, but I see an expensive brake job in my future.

Oh well, better than trying to explain it all to St. Peter at the Pearly Gates after he would have asked, “So, what brings you both here today… a bit earlier than expected!”

2 Responses to Hump Day: Madly executing manly manoeuvres at the speed of Hyundai

  1. Brian, that was a great story! This never happened to me though because I always check the floor mat. Part of my check list before I floor the pedal to the metal… :)