I've thought about my Uncle Kenny a lot this week, wishing peace for all my family at this sad time. This morning I remembered a story from when I was 16 or 17.
So, I got off to a rocky start with driving. I had one wreck in a winter storm and then another probably from being a dumbass, they were not major, but still. Needless to say, no one in my house was thrilled about that, and my use of the car was very restricted for a while. I came home from school one day and Kenny had been in the Chicago area on business or something and had stopped by. So he was in the kitchen having coffee with my mom and possibly commiserating over having a teenage driver.
I probably asked why he was there or something, but he said he was there to measure the car. Who knew more about cars and customizing? No one. So I asked why he was measuring it.
He said that he was going to be putting some safety equipment on the car, because the insurance company was going to require it. This is where I started to worry. My mom wasn't saying anything at all. So he explained what he was going to do. To keep their policy, the insurance was going to require that the Pontiac be fitted with....cow catchers. Like the front of a train. To keep me from cracking up any more of the car.
Both of them kept a perfectly straight face. I remember just feeling sick to my stomach and asking what, exactly, cow catchers were. So he explained how they got the cows off the tracks. And because they had to be custom made for the car, he had to make the trip in person. Both of them STILL had perfectly straight faces. At first I knew it had to be a joke. But they didn't crack and had all kinds of reasons for it that sounded legit. I was mortified. He went into detail about how they would look, telling me my mom had already picked the color to go with the silver paint on the car, they said she picked bright orange. There was more but I was freaking out.
I told my mom to just take away my license. That I would just give it up until I was 18. Take me off the insurance. Do whatever we had to do to not put cow catchers on the front of the car. I was begging them for any other possible way to appease the insurance while not ruining my life.
Which is when he cracked and I looked at my mom and knew they were totally kidding. I'd like to say then we all had a god laugh, but I was a teenager and super embarrassed, so I probably rolled my eyes and sulked while they had a good laugh