MacGyver Approves This Story

Let me tell you a story. It’s called “I Never Asked to Be MacGyver!”

Yesterday, among other things, my father and I went to pick up materials for hooking up my travel trailer for moving to the new place. Also, we hauled up a dump trailer full of fruit trees. Long story short, though, at one point, the plug for the dump trailer was taken off the truck. We didn’t know that it never got put back. It got to drag for the rest of the day.

Fast-forward to sundown. We’ve finished all our other work and the only thing left to do in the dying light is unload the trees before heading back south.

Did you know that the worst possible thing you can hear is your travel companion saying, “Oh, damn,” followed by a frantic kind of silence?

The plug is destroyed, chewed up by the road, all mauled metal and detached wires. Without the plug, we have no running lights, brake lights, trailer brakes, or turn signals on the trailer. And it is going to be full dark soon and we are two hundred miles from where we need to be.

Cue my best (worst) MacGyverism experience ever. We’ve got the adapter for the travel trailer, which my father made himself. If we dismantle it, we can use it to replace the destroyed dump trailer plug, provided we can get the wires connected up. We have as our resources, beyond the soon-to-be-cannibalized adapter, a small pocket knife with scissors and a nail file, an iPad for a flashlight, and whatever random junk we can scrounge up from what the previous tenants left scattered outside the house.

At one point, as we tried to figure out how to keep the spliced-together wires in place in the absence of, oh, say, tape of any variety, I actually said to my father the following words:

“I don’t have tape, but I have a maxi pad. We could wrap it, adhesive side in, around the wires to hold them together.”

As it turns out, I only had to break off sections of scrap wire embedded in the garden, barehanded, to tie it up. Still, those words happened, and I think you need to recognize how completely, appallingly awesome my life is sometimes.

Oh, we also blew a fuse in the truck while making the repairs. So we had to fix that by iPad light as well. It didn’t help that I had forgotten to take off my sunglasses as it got darker. I wore sunglasses at night while MacGyvering a vehicle.

Yes, we are that badass.

It is now after seven, full dark, and my father and I have once again earned our reputations for resourcefulness in the face of Greek tragedy levels of bad luck. We unload the fruit trees, grab fuel for both the truck and ourselves, and hit the road.

Only to get pulled over by a cop. At this point, I’ve had just about enough. I no longer feel like a badass. I feel tired and sore and I am vibrating from the stress. I am telling myself, do not have a panic attack in front of this cop, you will get shot in the face, breathe like a normal human for the next three minutes. We’re thinking, naturally, that the whole mess of wire has fallen apart and we no longer have any lights.

As it turns out? One of the tail lights has a broken cover and the red nail polish we used to tint the bulb has since burned off. That is why we have been pulled over. A friendly warning, sans citation, to get it fixed. I cannot tell if this is monstrous bad luck or embarrassingly good.

Since we made it home alive, in more or less the same number of pieces as when we left, didn’t get ticketed, and came away with this story to share, I’m going to call it good.

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