Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Mudding Incident

AP US History. I remember it like it was a 10 years ago. Not my favorite subject, but I took it in eleventh grade because that's what Knapps do. They take advanced placement classes. (My maiden name is Knapp, for all those confused readers.) Side note: our AP teacher assigned more reading and writing homework than any college class I ever took. That's not an exaggeration.

Near the end of the year, probably April-ish, we had the opportunity to take a practice exam. However, being the super-involved-in-extra-curricular-activity-students that we were, Sunday afternoon was the only time we could all gather together for the test.

Keep that information in mind.

My dear friend, Michelle, used to drive a beat-up old GMC Jimmy. I thought it was awesome, because she had her own car. It wasn't awesome that the spedometor was broken and the seat didn't adjust. Whenever I drove it, my tippy toes barely touched the accelerator, and I had to gauge my speed by how fast other drivers were driving. Not that I drove it that often. Just sometimes. Thanks, Michelle, for letting me feel a little of what it was like to have your own car in eleventh grade.

Enter "mudding."

The Friday before said practice-test Sunday, our other friends (I'll call them B&B in case they desire anonymity) took Michelle's Jimmy down a dirt road near our school. The dirt road led to a small creek, where they enjoyed mudding through the river at ill-advised speeds, not that they would know how fast they were going anyways.

Practice-exam Sunday after we finished our test, B convinced us that it would be AWESOME to go mudding again. Michelle didn't want anything to do with it, but she let B take the rest of us naive AP History students down the dirt road.

We trust B. He is smart. Genius-status smart. I'd still trust him today.

We bumped along the dirt road with high school glee that we might be breaking the law driving on a [possibly, but probably not] private road. No seat belts necessary when you're going mudding. We soon found the creek. B plowed straight in and told us that they drove down the river on Friday. We told him, "Go for it!" We were so adventurous, we AP History students, takin' risks and takin' names.

Then the Jimmy sunk. It wouldn't go forward. I wouldn't back out.

Water started seeping through the doors, filling up Michelle's rather messy Jimmy floor. I frantically picked up her papers, cd player and other miscellaneous possessions that were about to be drowned in icky river water. "What are a bunch of AP students doing in a river on a Sunday afternoon anyways?" I was wondering at the moment.

We climbed out the windows and waded to the edge.

In typical Florida fashion, it had monsooned over the weekend. The creek that was fun to drive in on Friday, had become a trap of doom on Sunday. The Jimmy had sunk into a rotting bed of leaves and was not capable of emerging on its own, even with 4WD. Sad day.

The following ensued:
  • I left the scene, not interested in getting in trouble (I now see a pattern in my evasive behavior).
  • Friendly Jeep drivers came across B and Jimmy and offer to pull him out.
  • Jeep got stuck.
  • Friendly four-wheeler drivers pulled Jeep out.
  • Michelle called her dad.
  • Michelle's dad and uncle came with a freakin' big ranching truck and pulled the Jimmy out by forcefully tugging on it a number of times.
  • B detailed the flooded Jimmy and left it looking like a new car, except for the whole spedometer and seat adjustment stuff. I remember it smelling of coconut. So pleasant.

The next week at school we shared the story of our AP adventure in the Jimmy, including diagrams drawn by B to show exactly how the Jimmy fell into a bed of leaves. Life is full of adventures, great and small, even for AP students.
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