July 30th, 2001


Appendix -- Personal Essay -- Baby Blue Ram

Baby Blue Ram has an unusual personality for a pick-up truck. For one thing, he has an overdeveloped sense of adventure.

For instance, when he was only six months old, he went horse herding with two calico cats, four Irish setter dogs, and Despina.

When the wind blew the gate shut, Despina parked Baby Blue in reverse on top of the steep grade and ran down the hill. The horses flowed down the hill in a fiery stream. The calicos scampered down the hill. The Irishmen romped down the hill.

After 15 minutes, Baby Blue got lonely, so he popped out of gear and rumbled down the hill to join the gang. Being only six months old, he understandably hadn't learned to steer yet, so he hit a deep rain gully and made a 90 degree turn. Since he couldn't reach the brakes, either, he hit the 6' high native oak lumber stud pen fence, knocked all seven boards off on his way through the center of an 8' wide span between posts, scraped down the side of the barn for 30', and stopped 10' short of the back of the garage.

Out through the hole and into the broodmare band went the delighted stallion, writing yet another chapter in the Pandemonium story.

Once Baby Blue had gotten new glass in his vision ports, had his eyeballs relighted, and had every panel repainted to cover the skinned places, the metal doctor pronounced him cured.

But, no. He was still adventuresome. He was still romantic. He was still open to trying new things. He wanted to try some recreation.

The very first opportunity he had, he decided to try ice skating. Of course, he didn't tell Despina. He knew she wouldn't approve. When she wasn't looking, he rubbed off all the tread on both rear tires so they'd be slick like ice skates.

One frosty winter day, Baby Blue decided to try out his new skates. He'd seen some figure skaters on TV and really admired the dance maneuvers they used. Up the hill, touch of gas, and Baby Blue sashayed to the left, then the right, and was just about ready to try an allemande left when Despina hit the brakes.

"Blue, you old knot-head! What are you doing? Can't you see the road? Now settle down, or I'll leave you at the garage to have your wheels realigned. You know how you hated it the last trip."

Blue settled, secretly thinking how much fun spinning had been.

Coming home late that night, a lovely lemon Impala drew alongside. Blue couldn't restrain himself. With snow gently falling, packing nicely under wheel, and gay strains of the "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" wafting from the radio, Blue just couldn't help asking the Lemon Imp to dance.

Up the hill they went side by side, swinging first to the right, then to the left in perfect rhythm. But Blue grew over bold and reached over to give her a light bumper kiss.

Despina again jerked him back to reality, "Blue, keep your mind on the road. We're in the fast lane. Guess we get those bald tires replaced tomorrow."

Chagrined, Blue moped all the way home.
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