The hovercraft – “She said” version.
A hovercraft sounds like the coolest thing ever, but it’s all a lie.
I’m here to tell the truth about the hovercraft.
First of all, the hovercraft did not have “controls”, it had “suggestions”. Controls mean that if you steer in a certain direction, the vehicle moves in that direction. With controls, the driver/operator is in control of the vehicle. That was not the case with the hovercraft. Everyone was basically a passenger, including the driver/operator. You can steer all you want and the hovercraft may or may not move in the direction you intended. And brakes? Yeah right.
Second, the hovercraft was noisy. Really noisy. It was like holding up two leaf blowers to your ears. Not a fun relaxing experience.
Third, the hovercraft blew stuff everywhere. Lewis drove the hovercraft around in a nearby alfalfa field and it made my son’s allergies go crazy. Little Sam would come back from a ride with red swollen eyes and a blotchy face and snot everywhere. Not a pleasant thing to deal with. In the winter the hovercraft blew snow everywhere and froze everybody.
Fourth, and most importantly, the hovercraft got us in trouble everywhere we went. Lewis wanted to test it out in the yard and the nearby fields. He thought it was convenient and awesome. The neighbors did not think it was awesome and I ended up being the one who received the complaints. They couldn’t tell Lewis because he was out whooping and hollering and making noise and he wouldn’t be able to hear anything anyway, but they could find me and then I had to tell Lewis and he didn’t believe me. He just thought I was making stuff up because I didn’t like the hovercraft. So he did it again, and I got the heat again. It was so unfair.
Getting in trouble…
Lewis realized I wasn’t making it up when someone called the cops on him. Lewis had taken the hovercraft over to a nearby grassy park to test it out and someone called to complain that a guy was vandalizing the park. I guess they thought it was a recreational vehicle of some kind and was tearing up the grass. The policeman came and talked to him and explained the nature of the complaint, but when he looked at the grass there wasn’t a blade of grass that had been damaged so he just recommended that he not use it there again and sent him on his way. We’re law abiding citizens and it was so embarrassing to have someone call the cops on us.
We took the hovercraft to Pineview reservoir and the ranger got after us because the hovercraft didn’t have a registration sticker. Lewis asked what category it should be registered under, but the ranger didn’t know. It’s not a boat, or a four wheeler, or a jet ski, or anything that you can go to the DMV and register. To my knowledge, there isn’t a hovercraft category for registration, but you get in trouble if it isn’t registered and taxed. I’m not sure how to win on that one.
I rejoiced when Lewis finally sold the hovercraft. It went to Canada and I said good riddance. He tells people (other men) about the hovercraft experience and they think it’s the coolest thing in the world. Who wouldn’t want one? Me. I don’t want one.
A while ago, he started talking about building another one. This one will be bigger than the last one and he wants to modify it with a tent top so we can camp in it. Oh boy.
A co-worker had hovercraft plans and materials for sale and Lewis was so excited. They animatedly discussed the project and Lewis explained that the only obstacle to his buying it was that his wife (me) didn’t like the last hovercraft and it might be difficult to get this one past me. His co-worker presented what Lewis knew would be a foolproof plan. Raspberries. The co-worker had a raspberry patch and offered to let us pick raspberries to take home along with the hovercraft plans and materials.
Lewis’ eyes shone with excitement as he shared the raspberry/hovercraft deal. I sighed and face palmed. I know that it doesn’t matter if I like it or not, if he wants to build another hovercraft, he’s going to build another hovercraft.
“This time will you register it and only ride it in places that don’t get us in trouble?” I begged.
“Of course,” he said, as if that were obvious.
“Well at least I’ll get some raspberries out of the deal,” I sighed.
He gleefully tells everyone that I gave in because of the raspberries. Whatever. As if my opinion mattered, the raspberries had nothing to do with it. He doesn’t need my permission, but he’s not getting my blessing. I still don’t want a hovercraft, but he does, so he can have a hovercraft, but please follow the rules and don’t get us in trouble over it.
So let’s talk about the raspberries.
Hovercraft II – the Return…
The fateful day soon came when we were going to make the hour drive to pick up the hovercraft plans and materials. We drove two vehicles. He drove the truck to carry the hovercraft parts and I drove the car to bring the kids and some baskets for berry picking. The car was slightly ahead of the truck, and when I glanced in my rear view mirror I noticed a police car with flashing lights behind Lewis. I reflexively looked down at my speedometer, I wasn’t speeding and neither was Lewis. Why did the police pull him over?
I hesitated not knowing if I should stop and wait for him or keep going. After a few seconds pause I pulled over but I had traveled far enough that I was on the other side of a hill from Lewis and couldn’t see him. I could only see flashing lights. Then I saw more and more flashing lights. What the?
I got more and more nervous the longer I waited. What was going on? Eventually a police car came over the hill. I was surprised when he turned on his flashing lights and stopped behind me. He asked why I had stopped and I explained that I was waiting for someone to catch up. I got in trouble for my chosen location for stopping and then he informed me that my car registration had expired the previous month. I hadn’t even noticed. He didn’t give me a ticket, but warned me to be careful and basically not get caught by anyone else. A few moments ago, I was a law abiding citizen, suddenly I’m a fugitive on the lam because now I know that I have expired plates. Oh dear. And where is Lewis?
Stolen vehicle? …
Eventually I got to hear the story. The policeman checked the truck’s license plates and vehicle came up on the police computer as a stolen vehicle. After pulling Lewis over, the policeman called for backup. After a few more police cars showed up they dared to face the criminal driver. Lewis was completely baffled by all the cop cars. They asked him to get out of his vehicle which he did, but they panicked when he put his hands in his pockets. “Keep your hands where we can see them,” they commanded, but Lewis calmed them by simply stating, “I’m not a threat to you. What’s going on?”
They explained about the stolen plates and Lewis was totally surprised. The police noticed that the description of the stolen vehicle didn’t match that of the truck and quickly surmised that whoever stole the vehicle also stole our license plate and made a switch. That way the stolen vehicle didn’t have plates that raised a red flag for the police. “Didn’t you notice that your plates were different?” He asked incredulously.
“I didn’t even notice,” he replied.
The police removed and confiscated the stolen license plates, but that meant that the truck now had no license plates and was not legal to drive. “Just be careful and don’t get caught,” the police advised as they drove away.
Just be careful and don’t get caught…
So we started the drive with two legal vehicles (we thought) and ended up with two illegal vehicles and the advice that we should be careful and not get caught.
As we continued our journey towards the hovercraft/raspberry deal we had to re-route because there was a small town parade and every cop in the world was part of the parade route. It was as if we were magnets drawing the eyes of all policemen everywhere. It was awful.
We got the hovercraft stuff and picked raspberries and carefully drove home hoping to be ignored by our flashing-light friends.
It was not the most auspicious beginning for “Hovercraft II – the Return.” If the hovercraft did that thorough of a job getting us in trouble when it was just a set of plans and random parts, what is going to happen when it is built?
I shudder at the thought.
To read Lewis’ version of the hovercraft story please click here.