Yesterday evening I went to take some hay down to my burros and we have a routine where I open the gate and they stand behind it. I've always known it was risky but we were getting along fine.
But last night, for whatever reason, those ornery asses decided to try and make a break for it, which inspired me to slam on the breaks, jam my pickup in park, jump out of the truck, cut off the burros, and close the gate. That all worked good when I had to do it before but this time I turned around to see my truck rolling away. Either one of those burros purposely shifted it into neutral or never really made into park. I'm inclined to want to believe the former because I think it should've went into reverse even if I didn't get it all the way into park, and you can't always trust burros. They didn't get the reputations of being asses for nothing and they I don't think they ever did really like that truck.
Either way, the truck started rolling down the hill, which starts pretty gradual, but gets pretty steep pretty fast. Buy the time I started chasing it was already going to fast to do anything but watch. So that's what we did (me and the burros), and they seemed to be grinning at each other too.
The way we saw it, the truck had two options. It could've run into a thick mess of young cedar trees which might have slowed it enough to almost stop it before it hit a big oak tree, or it could take a left and try to serve around a few trees and then race downhill to drown itself in our pond.
It took the left (what truck wouldn't?), but it miscalculated its path, saw its mistake, and decided to head on into a big huge oak above the pond instead, where there were no cedars to slow it down.
It sped up as much as it could and then smashed itself dead center on the bumper into that tree and bent up the hood pretty good doing it too. Probably got the radiator and a/c condenser cause it blew up the airbag and the horn got stuck on honking after that. When I got down to it I thought something was burning because there was smoke inside the cab. Now that would've really sucked, but luckily it was just airbag smoke. Those things sure stink.
The truck was still running though, so after I aired it out I got it backed off the tree and turned around. It wouldn't make it back up the hill though, but that's because it's got no traction and never did.
My wife and neighbor both said "It's a good thing no one got hurt", and that's true, but there never really was any chance of that. It was just a matter of which tree the truck would end up getting stopped by. There was no one there but me and the burros, and we sure weren't going to get in between an old beat up truck and whatever it decided to commit Harakiri on.
That all sucks, but it's not all that awful because I only paid $1200 for that truck, and I drove it for a few years, and it didn't go in the pond so I'll still get some money back out of it because the bed, doors, fenders, and engine/trans are worth about $1200 if I part it out a piece at a time. It can sit right there where it's at if I do that. After that I'll call a junkyard and they'll come and get the rest of it and might even pay me a few bucks for it, or at least take it away for free.
I'll probably just sell it for about $600 instead and figure I got even by paying $300 a year to drive it. I can convince myself of that pretty easy and not have to be reminded of my stupidity, I mean the burros sinister plan, by looking at it for the next few months while it gets scavenged away.
In fact it might turn out pretty good because I spent a few hours scanning Craigslist for cars under $3000 and found a little Geo Tracker that's in pretty sweet shape. It's only got 140k miles on it and I can snag it for $800 tomorrow. If I really want to rebuild it to like new I'll still have less than $3000 in it and those are the best little backpacking cars ever made as far as I'm concerned. If my burros don't try to drive it I could get ten good years or more out of that car.
You always gotta look on the bright side when crap happens (and always blame your burros if you can when the wife asks how it happens