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Dear Owner of the F350 with the Flat Tires

by Trevor Shpeley

You don’t know me and I certainly had nothing to do with the demise of your expensive oversized rubber but I thought I would take a moment to offer my condolences and perhaps offer a tip or two to help prevent another astronomical off-road towing bill and forced donation to the Bridgestone dealer’s retirement fund.

First let me say that I in no-way condone any form of vigilante justice, especially that which leaves a person stranded in the middle of the forest but it’s not hard for me to understand how you may have landed in this particular pickle. Let’s start with your arrival at the sleeping campground at 5:45 this morning.

Now I like music as much as anybody. I’m not a big Country & Western fan but it takes all kinds of folks to keep this little world of ours turning so if men in sparkly suits singing songs about “cheatin and leavin” are your thing, then hey, more power to you but I think that maybe, just maybe, leaving your truck door open while “Okie from Muskogee” booms out from a subwoofer the size of a satellite dish is pleasing to you, it might not be the most neighborly policy you could adopt.

And while we are on the subject of noise, I’m aware that you spent $5000 removing the brand new factory exhaust and replaced it with 10 feet of stove pipe and a stainless steel trashcan and that you really love the new sound. On the same note, I’m sure having a truck motor that sounds like 20 pounds of old bolts being shaken inside a hollow steel drum while hostile natives bang on the outside of it with a branch is a fine thing to you and your buddies down at the Burger Bucket. However, to the families and fishermen sleeping in the campground near the boat ramp where your truck idles seemingly forever at 5:45AM, it is not a harmonious sound.

Perhaps you might also consider placing the cooler and other gear into the boat gently instead of just tossing it in from the box of your truck; and, while you are at it, maybe your friend with the gravely voice and the obvious bladder control issue could just get himself another beer on his own instead of bellowing over his shoulder for you to throw him one as he thoughtfully attempts to wash the other boats parked on the shore with a clearly inadequate hose.

I did notice that you thought to save our Mother Earth a little of the precious diesel fuel your land-behemoth runs on by not driving too far away from the boat ramp before parking but I believe it’s possible that not everybody would feel as positive as you do about your theory that parking on the side of the ramp and leaving a generous five-foot strip of road for everybody else to launch from was “plenty of space”.

Just so we are clear, once you got out on the water and managed to start the ancient two-stroke motor your Grampy left you it was pretty easy to track your progress around the lake. Even somebody who was fully deaf and therefore unable to appreciate the dulcimer tones of a 50-year old outboard with no muffler couldn’t help but notice the cheerful colours of the voluminous oil-slick peppered with sunflower-seed shells and cigarette butts that you left behind wherever you traveled, which incidentally was usually right beside the anchored fly-fishers. Perhaps you didn’t have to laugh quite so hard as you wove figure eights between the serious looking men with the long rods and the shoreline they were casting to.

I have to say I did like the way your portable stereo nicely almost covered up the sound of the aluminum lawn-chairs scraping along the bottom of your boat every time you reached for another beer but that did mean you were unable to talk in anything but a shout and lets be honest, the stories you were telling couldn’t possibly have been true. Even if they were, nobody really wants to hear “how hard you hit that dude” or any tale that starts with “she was probably 18” and ends with the word “bro” or any variation thereof.

It also might have been a good idea to put your beer cans in a bag for later disposal as opposed to throwing them as far out into the lake as you could and then standing on shore and trying to sink them with rocks. You might have actually hit one but most of them ended up as filler in the beaver lodge across the lake.

I’m glad you caught some fish though, I’m sure that was nice for you. In fact, you seemed to have caught roughly three times the legal limit. I’m betting those are going to be real tasty after being dragged around the lake by the gills in the hot sun all day and hey, if God had meant for a man to clean his own fish, he wouldn’t have invented wives right?

Anyway, I’m sorry once again that some hooligan vandalized your tires back at camp. That was completely uncalled for and I’m sure you believe it was clearly the act of a disgruntled hippy-environmentalist-crackpot-liberal who probably votes for those Green Party nutcases and separates his garbage like it was made of gold or something. You might want to consider my words in this hastily written letter that I have left on your windshield so you can perhaps avoid a future repeat of this situation or you can do what I consider to be more likely which is to go to a different lake next weekend and do it all again.

What do you think?

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