A note from BIGFOOT: I turned 40 this year. And I went through something of a midlife crisis. This is the second part of my story. You can read the first part here.
I tried all those other jobs because I just knew there had to be more to life than crushing cars and total destruction, but no matter what job I took, I still ended up crushing cars and destroying things.
I was totally freaking out.
I’m a truck! I’m 40!
It was time to get centered.
To find myself.
I didn’t want a job. I wanted adventure.
After accidentally destroying a van being used by a team of meddling kid detectives solving supernatural mysteries, I volunteered to help them get around town. I found myself bonding with this lanky dude with unkempt hair and his dog. One afternoon, they convinced me to watch The Wizard of Oz with them while listening to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.
And that’s when I knew what my next move had to be.
I don’t remember much, but I know the music was amazing.
You could really feel it.
Sometimes I’d get a little too excited and rev my engine really loud, and then all the people with flowers in their hair or wearing “Peace, Love and Happiness” shirts would all give me really mean looks and tell me to “Shut the heck up!”
They’re lucky I didn’t run them over. Much.
Come to think of it, everyone else at the festival didn’t seem to like me being there very much. People were always screaming: “Hey BIGFOOT! Down in front!”
That gave me a pretty good idea…
I was running away from my past, so I figured joining a lowrider community was going to be one of the surest ways to leave my oversized past behind.
I got myself some 56-inch gold spoke wheels and a custom lowrider-style paint job to look the part. I even talked to my new friends about a sweet lowering kit so I could scrape some pavement with them.
They don’t really make those in your size, they said.
“I just want to be one of you guys,” I told them.
“Playing ‘Lowrider’ by War on repeat all day, every day DOES NOT make you a lowrider, man,” they said. “We don’t even like that song.”
It was like a sad-trombone festival.
Time to move on.
Pirate Joe always knew how to make me feel better.
He wasn’t really a pirate (he didn’t even have an eye patch); it was just his motorcycle club nickname. And it was more like a “gang,” but gang members get sensitive about “being labeled.” So we called it a club.
“You need to come with me and my motorcycle club to Sturgis,” Pirate Joe said, referring to the annual motorcycle rally in South Dakota.
He told me I’d see things that would make me forget all about my failed marriage and unfulfilled life. But when he put me on two wheels, I could never figure out how to keep my balance.
We tried to leave Hazelwood, but I just kept falling over on my right side.
I was depressed and everything, but I still had a little pride.
It was time for me to go somewhere I could blend in. A place where no one would find me.
My life was in shambles.
I needed pie.
I didn’t know where I was, but I was out of gas. And I don’t just mean that as a too-tired-to-go-on metaphor. I literally ran out of gas.
When I woke up the next morning, I found myself surrounded by a bunch of tough guys. You could tell they were tough on account of them all having really long beards.
Before I knew what was happening, I had gotten a new paint job, a new cab, and a one-horsepower aftermarket upgrade. But no gasoline.
Without the roar of my engine, I could really hear myself think. For the first time in 40 years, I got to experience peace and quiet. Just three weeks of barn-raisin’, butter-churnin’, pie-eating peace and quiet.
(You can’t even believe how great the pies were).
As healing and peaceful as the quiet farm life turned out to be, it was eventually time for me to move on and make a change that would really get my motor running (again).
Artwork by OnAllCylinders contributors Mike Bloomhuff and Deana Johnston.