“ …The power of drugs and/or alcohol to improve one’s feelings of fun and excitement is often greatly exaggerated…There are many events in life where stark sobriety is extremely agreeable, even an asset…. Things such as the birth of one’s child, getting married, conducting a roadside sobriety test, attending alcoholics anonymous…..the addition of drugs and/or alcohol to any one of these situations can often detract from the overall positivism and agreeableness….Often, the use of such substances leads to an overall negative evaluation for all parties involved…”

-Dr. G. G. Stockton, PhD  

There we were, five wobbly, red-eyed mud monkeys. One quad: operational. One red GMC pickup: operational. One Honda Civic: buried in the mud with no hope of moving any time soon. One white 3/4 ton pickup: scarred and mounted on the carcass of a tree. A true ‘Rockwell’ scene if I’ve ever witnessed one.

Things were not so glum though. We knew that with all of this man power, horsepower, and alcohol fuelled brain power nothing could break our spirits. And spirits were high. Cooter’s truck was just a little challenge in finesse and brute force. A curious cocktail indeed. Anything remotely associated with the realm of finesse and booze is, generally speaking, left along the roadside, like the many mickie’s of whiskey throughout the decades….one of those things that just becomes a liability. But in cases such as this, where the acceptable amount of collateral damage had already been accounted for; finesse was just what was needed. So we set about formulating a plan. A hypothesis for a targeted outcome.
Cigarettes were smoked. Whiskey was inhaled. Many unrelated distractions whistled from all around. Luckily for us, the plan of attack was straight forward: Hook the front of the white truck up to the back of the red truck via the tow rope. Start both vehicles. One person operating each vehicle. The rest of us would push on the back of the white truck. It wasn’t going to be easy, but with a little resolve and patience at least it wasn’t going to be too hard.

With Biff in the red truck and Cooter in the white, we were all set to get this sideshow on the road. Weiser, Twitchy, and myself positioned ourselves behind Cooter’s truck.
Biff crept forward until the slack in the rope was taken up, then he gunned the bitch… Cooter, ready and waiting to pounce on the gas pedal like a predatory cat on prey, drove the accelerator through the floor as soon as the rope was taut. The three of us in the rear heaved and hoed the instant we felt Cooter’s truck attempt to lurch forward. For a bunch of drunk rube’s we sure could coordinate, synchronize and implement with military precision. But of coarse, the fuckin’ thing didn’t cut loose right away. So we ran around to the front of the great white beast and heaved on the front while Cooter slammed it in reverse; the thought being that if we could rock the truck back a little, when Biff began to pull from the front we would have a little more forward momentum, and hopefully, get loose from that damn dead tree. We worked this plan of attack for a while, maybe ten or fifteen minutes; but the thing just wouldn’t cut free. The drivers were getting frustrated, and us pushers were sweating buckets, panting like dogs, and thirstier than a sponge. We needed a break. This approach just wasn’t working. A new angle was needed. So we all filled our bottles, shared a joint, and laughed. This was certainly a great way to spend an afternoon.
Better than watching T.V., eating Cheetos and masturbating…..
We were getting fresh air, sunshine, and exercising our minds as well as our muscles. It’s just too bad we couldn’t do all that while racing around the woods at ludicrous speeds instead of standing around playing in the mud.
We knew what had to be done. Unfortunately. If the truck wouldn’t move; that tree trunk would have to. This grim realization precipitated another joint. And another drink. And another cigarette. And some obscene language which I won’t go into the explicit description of.

…It had something to do with a deceased goat and an act of fornication….

After that we set about the task of extracting the tree trunk from the chassis of Cooter’s truck. A slow methodical process. It was a heavy fucker. We all found it quite astounding that Cooter had driven up on it without doing any serious damage, i.e. : ripping the entire undercarriage off.

Once we got that piece of wood out of the way, we had a plausible chance of getting the truck free.
Biff jumped in the red GMC, Twitchy jumped into Cooter’s truck (Cooter had momentarily excused himself to water his horse), and Weiser and I took our positions at the rear of Cooter’s truck.
The forest erupted with the growl of combustion engines and the screaming of drunken fools. In a haze of exhaust fumes and flying dirt; expletives and caveman grunts, we found success!
Cooter’s truck was free!
Once the white beast was back on the path Biff and Twitchy brought the mechanical steeds to a halt and came to join Weiser and myself for a celebratory drink.
Our day was back on track.
The four of us stood around the mud covered trucks, laughing and gulping down our drinks.
It wasn’t until we were finished smoking a joint(or two?) that we realized how long Cooter had been gone.
The human bladder wasn’t that big.
After a few more minutes of waiting, with no sign of Cooter, we all began to feel a little uneasy.
“I wonder where the fuck he is?”
“Maybe he went for a drunken walk to check out the Civic or something.“
“As drunk as he is? He’d get himself lost for sure…”

So with the truck free, and our day ready to get back on track we had hit another snag. Cooter was drunk and missing. Possibly roaming aimlessly around the woods, possibly floating down the river like a piece of driftwood. It was up to us four to figure out which. Drunk and stoned as we were, we had to find Cooter.
Before the cougars and turkey vultures did.


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