While living with the Wickman’s on the farm in Iowa County I began to explore entirely new avenues of poor judgement and creative misadventure. I already had a good education in excessive urban antics and now it was time see how well I could adapt to some down home country debauchery and debacles. And when I managed to lose a Volkswagen Rabbit deep in the hunting grounds of the Amana Colonies I proved I had the juice to exercise poor decision making and create senseless disorder in a diverse range of habitats.
On the night of the following events Jason and I had the farm all to ourselves, as Wendy had taken Jasper to stay at her mother’s for the night. We recorded some The Shitty Wizards song(s?) and drank steadily all day, being sure to smoke plenty of weed to keep our spirits from drowning in our spirits. At some point we wrapped up recording and decided that it was probably a very good time for us to split an eighth of mushrooms, and once those kicked in the other substances faded into the background, and we felt refreshed and ten feet tall. As such it seemed reasonable that we should throw a twelve pack in the car and go out and explore some gravel roads.
Within an hour we found ourselves on a hunting trail deep in the woods and stuck in the mud without a prayer for getting the car out ourselves. By this time we were about ten miles from home, and after an hour of trying to free the Rabbit, we began to hike back to the main road, and from there to the highway. When we got to the highway we lost our nerve to walk the entire way back, and we knew that we were likely to be spotted by law enforcement that regularly patrolled the area, and decided we might as well get ahead of it and call them for a ride home.
When the deputy finally arrived we had managed to get our heads together and appear relatively sober, but we still smelled of alcohol. I told him that we had stopped and grabbed a six pack after work and decided to go scout some hunting spots for the weekend when our car had gotten stuck, and that we had drank the six pack while trying to free it and then hiking out of the woods. He accepted that explanation and then asked me to direct him to the hunting path we had gotten stuck on. After I showed him where the path diverged from the gravel, he drove us back to the farm and told us he might have more questions later.
The next morning Jason woke me up to tell me that there was a deputy outside wanting to speak with me, and so I pretended to be a functioning person and went out to take my licks. The deputy informed me that he had driven as far as he could in his cruiser down the path we had reportedly gotten stuck on, and was not able to find any trace of the car. And he assured me there was no way we could have gotten my little rabbit further than he had gone. At this point the car was reported as stolen.
Later that day I contacted the boyfriend of Wendy’s sister, who had a giant four wheel drive truck with a winch and all the redneck goodies, and together we drove out there to look for the car. We made it a very long way down that road, when we decided there is no way my car could have made it even this far, and even his truck probably could go no further without excess risk, and turned back. I was willing to part with the car, at that point, as sort of a karma payment against the bad decisions I had made to lose it in the first place. Then about two days later the sheriff’s office called and told me the car had been found on the path I had claimed to have lost it on, but nobody could understand how I could possibly have driven it there. I was told I had 24 hours to have the car removed from the property.
I met the tow truck driver at the front of the hunting path and rode with him into the woods. At the point where we had decided it was not possible to go further when I searched a few days earlier, the tow truck got stuck and had to connect a winch to a tree to pull itself over the obstacle. A few hundred yards further we found the Rabbit sitting just like I had left it. We somehow got it back to the farm and I never drove it again. I sold it as-is to some guy who came and picked it up in exchange for fifty bucks – the value listed for scrap purposes.
In hindsight it is a pretty funny story, but at the time I was pretty mortified at what I had done. When I told my adopted sister Paula the story she about fell out of her chair laughing, and repeated the saga to her coworkers for their amusement. I later found out that one of them henceforth referred to me in conversation as The Guy Who Lost His Car. My legacy is a fixer-upper.