259: Man Overboard

Apparently, there are lots of folks who think that where I live is way out in the country . . . it really isn’t. I’m 17 minutes from a mall, and equally close to a Wal-Mart . . . in my mind, that doesn’t really qualify. In a little less than a week, though, city folks, of the sort who think this is way out in the country dumped two vehicles. The first was a small trailer, that ended up in the middle of the road. I think the dumpee meant for it to roll down the very steep hill and off the edge, but the trailer got caught up on its stabilizing wheel, and stopped in the middle of the road, which is what my mother said about it when she told me, “There’s a trailer in the middle of the road.”

Since it was a little trailer, I pulled it off the side of the road into the very shallow ditch, and called the county. The cops showed up the next night, and called it in to be towed, as it turned out to be stolen. I suspect it was either a landscaping trailer or a 4wheeler trailer, and what was really being stolen was the equipment that was on it.

Not a week later, a car ended up off the same hill.


What city folk don’t understand about living way out in the country is that disturbances in the landscape are our landmarks. This is why your country friends give weird directions that never include street names, but often include fields of cows. We notice when cars go off the edges of cliffs. We notice when trees fall. We notice disturbances in the side of the road that signal that a car went off. We don’t have gas stations and billboards and Wal-Marts all screaming for our attention on our little windy back roads, so change is what we see.

We also don’t just ignore cars off the sides of the cliff. We crawl down the damn cliff and make sure the city folk aren’t still in the car, slowly bleeding to death. Because, some day, the car off the side is going to be us.

And that’s exactly what we did in this case: sent Farmergirl scrambling down the precipitous hillside to make sure the car was empty.

It was. But there were also some strange things about the case:

1) There were no other footprints in the soft dirt of the hillside except Farmergirl’s.
2) There was a large rock in the driver’s wheel well.
3) The window was down (and it had rained, and rain was in the forecast).


We took pictures of the car, and the registration, and the VIN, and called the insurance company. They asked if they could give the owner our info . . . we declined.

We suspect that it was the owner who fell behind on the payments, and sent the car over the edge.

But listen up, city folks: we live out here, and we pay a LOT more attention to change . . . and we’re neighborly, so we’re not going to just leave your stupid car down the hill, alone, with you potentially in it. We’re going to climb down, we’re going to check it out, and we’re going to call your stupid insurance company, the county, and the cops.

If you want to lose your car, park it on a suburban street, or in longterm parking at the airport, or in the mall parking lot– or Wal-Mart’s parking lot–these are places where cars aren’t out of place.

Don’t dump it in the forest.

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3 Responses to 259: Man Overboard

  1. Jen says:

    I don’t know what people are thinking ditching pets in the country . . . but I have a theory. Recently, a friend of mine, laid up in a wheel chair and no longer able to care for the stupid cat that (even before she was laid up) peed all over the house, decided to get rid of said cat. The animal shelter wanted a kill fee of $35 (in case the cat wasn’t placed and they euthanized), and the conversation on the phone (I did the calling) went like this:
    Me: I have this friend who can no longer care for her cat, which pees all over her house.
    Sanctimonious Shelter Lady: It sounds like the cat has a urinary tract infection.
    Me: That may be.
    Sanctimonious Shelter Lady: So why doesn’t she take it to the vet?
    Me: The cat has always done this, and she’s laid up in a wheel chair. She can hardly take care of herself.
    Sanctimonious Shelter Lady: It’ll be $35 for the kill fee.
    Me: That’s fine.
    Sanctimonious Shelter Lady: We’ll probably have to destroy the cat.
    Me: That’s fine.
    Sanctimonious Shelter Lady: [sort of huffily answers the rest of my questions w/r/t times].

    So the person who’s trying to responsibly get rid of a pet has to deal with sanctimonious twerps like that . . . it’s just kind of wrong. You can’t really rehome a cat that pees all over your house to a friend of yours, and this cat was too fat and happy to transition to being a barn cat. (I agree with you Tammy: barncats need to be born and raised in barns . . . there’s no transition for an older cat . . . it just means death by coyotes and or starvation . . . though we feed ours once a day to keep them happy enough to keep hunting here).

  2. Tammy Moore says:

    We moved to the country just over ten years ago from the city. It was pretty tough at first to find things because everyone gave directions such as go down to the old Smith home place and turn left. Keep going until just after Reyford’s curve. etc. Those were the hardest directions because most of the time the old Smith home places had collapsed 10 years ago and was nothing more than a woody spot in the road. lol. We expected signs for special curves if that was how it was described.

    We never had much of a problem with cars, but oh boy did we get lots of city folks unwanted pets. The first summer there we must have averaged a new drop off every week. I went form being a softy for these poor abandoned creatures to understanding why the farmer up the road shot them on site. You just cannot take them all in. I guess city-folk assumed that out in the country if no one took them in at least they could hunt and feed themselves on the wild life. That rarely works out for dogs and cats that we not raised up with feral mothers that could teach them how to do it.

  3. pat says:

    Know what you mean about living in the country. We live off the Bottoms, a couple miles off the winding road, sorta near the river, over a few hills and if you see a yellow barn, you’ve gone too far. Look for a wooden fence with a couple of bluebird houses, some honeysuckle that has covered some old trees and looks like a woman holding a baby. Turn left and go a little bit. The second hill, that’s right, the second one. First one is not really a hill but city folks think it is, so take the second one. You’ll see a dirt road and it wanders up to our place, kinda off the main road.

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