It seems time for another small war story. This one’s pretty minor. About ten years ago, I worked at Sunrise Computers with Joe Way. Sunrise had a small fleet of vehicles for store use. One of them was a big old red Ford van. I used to haul computers back and forth from Camp Hill to Chambersburg to set up training classes every month. It was a real pain. The van’s steering had a huge amount of play, so I was always oversteering to correct the side to side drifting.

It did have a pretty strong engine, though. One day I finished unloading the computers and felt pretty bored. I had to move the van from the front of the store to its parking place, a simple twenty foot maneuver in most cases. But not with me. With Joe in the van’s passenger seat and me behind the wheel, I had an incredibly stupid idea. “Hey, watch this,” I said. I revved the engine up to 5,000 rpm or so while keeping the van in park. Then I pulled the gearshift straight into Drive. The tires screeched and peeled out, and I shot forward–directly into the path of a car that was whipping around the side of the building.

I slammed on the brakes. He slammed on the brakes. Our vehicles screeched to a halt about 1.5 feet from each other. Joe’s face turned white. The guy stared at me for a few moments while the van rocked to a halt, and then slowly and carefully drove around us. I slowly pulled the van into its parking spot. Everyone came out of the store to see what had happened (to say it had been loud was kind of an understatement). Joe looked at me and said (I’m paraphrasing here) “Are you freaking nuts?!? Don’t EVER do that again!”

I don’t think he wet himself. But I can’t verify that. 😉