Darkside of the Sun: A moving experience

Mike Corrigan

Mike Corrigan

By Mike Corrigan
BN Columnist
When you move house you find out who your real friends are — or if you have any.
When they hear you are changing addresses, people develop exotic ailments: typhoid, hoof and mouth disease, a sudden onset of contagious mange. Really, they would love to help, but they are old now and well, you know how it is. Yes, you do know. During my recent move to Westbrook, my best friend faked blindness. Blindness!
So, that’s how I ended up trapped in the garage. Don’t laugh, you couldn’t have done it.
I’d already made four trips back and forth in my own small car, then a fifth in my niece Kristen’s van. A couple of days later, I rented a U-Haul, not one of those big rigs with which I surely would have knocked out a bridge abutment en route, or taken out a turnpike toll booth, but a panel truck. My friend Don had pledged to help during my final move, but had inconveniently, for me, “hurt his back” shoveling snow the day before. I noted that he could still lift a Coors.
Dog tired, I pulled into my new temporary home in Westbrook about 10 p.m. last Friday. I decided I’d unload the thing in the garage, where I would be storing most of my stuff any way. Half-hour later, I threw a tarp over the whole mound. It looked like a sports car under there. I have a lot of books
Next morning, I backed out of the garage and — bang! Why was the van hanging up on the wall? I realigned my angle of attack, backed up, and — bang, again. One more try convinced me I wasn’t correctly appraising the situation. That’s when I realized that the top of the vehicle was striking the bottom of the garage door opening.
Instead of continuing to ram the garage with the van, I decided after some thought that my van had to be lowered somehow. Now, I could reload it, of course, but that seemed like an awful lot of work, because I’d have to unload it again once I reached the driveway, which suddenly seemed a long way off.
So, I let some air out of my back tires. Reversed engines. Bang. So I let some more air out of the back and some out of the front, and placed five heavy boxes over the rear wheels. Bang, again. So I let a lot of air out of the back tires.
Concurrently with my move, I had been reading about the wagon trains headed west in the 1840s on the Oregon Trail. Those emigrants gave up farms and shops in Maine and Ohio and Kentucky, forded streams on handmade rafts, winched their wagons up vertical cliffs, fought off Indians and rattlesnakes, suffered through real bouts of hoof and mouth and sudden onset mange, struggled through 80-mile stretches of desert, kept everything together with baling wire, and generally engineered their way across a couple thousand miles of rugged, roadless country. Me? I can’t even back 15 feet out of my garage without having to put in a call to AAA.
Mike Corrigan’s cat was once stuck in a garage for SIX DAYS!

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