The Bungee Web of Doom

A tell-all truck tale

Wifey and I don’t own a truck — even though we are full-fledged lesbians.

Last weekend I’d been on a backyard clean-up spree and needed to haul away my pruned branches, vines and rose canes. Luckily, like most other truckless gay people, we live within borrowing distance. It’s very handy. Wifey and I are friends with a lovely truck-owning dyke couple just around the corner.

Wifey was enjoying a relaxing weekend at home and had no interest in the hauling project. It was up to me alone to get the stuff to the recycling yard. Our vacationing friends had left me the key to their Toyota (the pre-recall kind) but wouldn’t be around to offer any help. Or first aid.

I’m a big, strong, capable woman of power. I can tackle tough tasks. I wrestled the brambly pile into the truck, opened the cab and looked behind the driver’s seat for the load-securing tarp my friends used to keep there. It was gone. In its place lay something else entirely. A contraption so demonic I barely survived to tell the tale.

On the floor lurked a quaking mass of bungee cords and plastic hooks wadded into a tangled glob the size of Karl Rove’s head. At one time, I guessed, there had been a package with an illustration showing an orderly cargo net stretched neatly over the bed of a truck driven by a happy hauler. That was not me.

I leaned against the pickup bed, rotating the bungee glob so I could wrest the hooks from the mass. Surely I could pull one hook at a time out of the clump until it would spread out flat. Ha.

The more I handled the bungee wad, the more it doubled up on itself. I tried setting it atop the debris pile to splay it open as I untangled, but each freed hook grabbed back onto the bungee netting or onto one of the brambles underneath. Finally, with my now-bleeding fingers, I managed to anchor one hook onto the truck bed, stretch the web across the load and hook it to other side. I really should have had a helper, but my don’t-call-me-a-wimp determination drove me. That’s when the first anchor hook snapped loose, shot across the bed of thorns, and smacked me in the chest. Hard.

If this bungee thing isn’t part of the military’s enhanced interrogation program, it should be. After a couple more thwacks by bungee-propelled plastic hook pain bombs, I was willing to confess to anything. Far from Gitmo, in my own peaceful neighborhood, I stood there — tears of pain and frustration mixing with the rain that had now begun to pour down — ready to TELL ALL.

I managed to finish the hauling job, but the bungee web of doom had bludgeoned the truth out of me. Sometimes I don’t want to be a big tough competent woman of power. Sometimes I just want to curl up with Wifey and let someone else take away the yard trash.

Award-winning writer Sally Sheklow meets life’s challenges in Eugene, Oregon.


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