Bunker Mentality: Wally’s World: Lessons learned, maybe

Life offers many valuable lessons. You would think as we grow older that past behavior would offer a hint of future conduct and even form it.

You know valuable lessons like putting your hand on a hot stove, sticking your finger in a light socket, putting your tongue on dry ice or walking on thin ice only to find yourself in frigid water.
In my case that doesnâ??t appear to be an option.

The most recent situation concerned my garage door. But that is just the latest of a long string of happenings.

To say it wasnâ??t pretty is an understatement.

Let me get this out of the way. I am a complete klutz, sometimes.

Normally, I open the garage door with the handy switch in the garage by the exit door from the hall. By the time I get in the Escape, the door is open, allowing me to back out. Seems simple enough.
Not this time.

I was in a hurry and also needed to document my work mileage from a previous trip in the notebook I keep in the Escape. I jumped in the Escape and started it up. Being distracted about documenting mileage, I didnâ??t open the garage door the normal way. Instead, I reached for the remote on the visor and pushed the button. Almost simultaneously, I put the gear shift in reverse and started to back out.

I guess you see where this is heading?

I made it a few inches when I heard this terrible noise behind me. It was metal scraping on something metallic. It is a terrible, sickening sound.

I immediately slammed the gearshift in park. The noise stopped. My heart was racing, fearing that the garage door was a twisted mass of metal and my Escape was battered and bruised.

I noticed that the garage door was off its track, with the roller dangling precariously. Worse, the bottom frame was twisted and bent, with rivets popped out.

The Escape had a minor scrape at a rear window hinge and some paint was scratched. The Escape was in much better shape than the garage door.

Being painfully honest, this is the second time I have damaged the garage door on my side of the garage. The first time I attempted to raise the door, while forgetting that the rear hatch of the Escape was open. The white insulation sustained some damage that I fixed with white duct tape.

So I called the garage door repair company. I have their number on speed dial because I had problem with the sensors once and the roller needed replacing in another. The Yard Sale Queen and I wore out the roller going in and out.

â??Hi, I am idiot,â? I told the lady at the garage door company, as I began to explain what happened.

â??It happens more than you know,â? she said, trying to reassure me.

I felt much better.

Promptly the next day, the nice young man came to repair my door.

I was hopeful that he could bend the twisted metal back in place or at a minimum replace the bottom panel.

â??They donâ??t make this model door any longer,â? he said.

Of course, they donâ??t. That would have been too easy.

He volunteered to try to fix it or as a last resort sell me a new door for $1,000.

After he picked me up off the floor and wiped that glassy look from my eyes, I opted for repair and not replacement. He did a really fantastic job. It almost looks like new. Almost.

When I called the Yard Sale Queen to tell her that he fixed it and for less than $100, she said, â??Did you tell him that her side of the garage and the garage door havenâ??t been damaged.â?

â??No,â? I said. â??I didnâ??t even mention the time you ran into a light pole at a grocery store, either.â?


And then there is the story about the $1,000 grill. I figured I better come clean or the Yard Sale Queen will be writing letters to the editor about it.

She and I went to buy a grill several years ago. We put it on the back of the truck and tied it down with bungee cords so it wouldnâ??t roll around.

Well, I made a slow 90-degree turn and then there was this loud slamming noise followed by scraping.

The grill had shifted and was dangling precariously on the side of my truck. The top had dragged on the ground and grill body parts were strewn all over the intersection. A nice man came to our aid and helped hoist it back into the truck and collect the parts.

The Yard Sale Queen was surprised that I didnâ??t cuss or blame her or anybody else. It was my fault.

The grill cost about $250. Body work and paint cost $750. Now you know the gory details of the $1000 grill.

Better to hear it from me than from the Yard Sale Queen.

Well, it would better not to hear about it all, actually because it just proves I am a klutz.

Wally Bunker is a freelance contributor with the Culpeper Times. You may reach him at wallybunker@outlook.com