So one day, an order came in from an airplane hangar about 15 miles away on the outskirts of the urban sprawl, along one of those wooden-billboard-and-abandoned-farmhouse-bordered stretches of highway that can only be described as "werewolf country." As I roared dangerously onto the interstate, clinging desperately to all six months of my driving experience and a sandwich bag so sopped with diarrhea-inducing grease that it was now completely transparent, two things happened. One, the sky split in half with a biblical rainstorm, as if God had drunkenly crashed a riding lawnmower through the side of his above-ground swimming pool. Two, the windshield wipers in my parents' GMC Suburban decided to stop working.
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It was like driving the Flintstones' family sedan through a typhoon. I had to stick my head out of the window like Ace Ventura and aim a 6,000-pound bullet down the interstate as best I could. It was the closest I have ever come to drowning without actually being submerged in liquid. It was like being waterboarded by a sorcerer.
Meanwhile, unbeknownst to me, a second delivery order had come in while I was ferociously battling the elements with my face. Cell phones existed at this point in American history, but I didn't own one. As far as I knew, they were still restricted to Michael J. Fox in "climbing up the corporate ladder" comedies. So there was no way for me to know that this order existed until I had fought my way back to Mr. M's with my head poking out of the driver's side window, screaming at the rain like George Clooney in The Perfect Storm. When I got back to the restaurant, my manager handed me the second order and told me it was already 40 minutes late and needed to be delivered immediately. To the bookstore across the street.
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It was literally directly across the street -- you could see it through Mr. M's rust-stained front window. Any one of my co-workers could've jogged the goddamned thing over there at any time, or simply lobbed it across traffic like a football, but they all waited for me to get back and do it because I was the delivery driver. So I got back in my wiperless death chariot and drove the shit out of that motherfucking delivery. When I finally arrived at the bookstore, I had been hanging halfway out of my car in a monsoon for almost an hour, so I looked like Christian Slater at the end of Hard Rain. I was shedding buckets of water all over the Dean Koontzes and the Louis L'Amours. The bookstore clerk took one look at me, made an elaborate show of tipping me exactly one penny, and said, "Here's for working so hard."
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"No, really! Pick any one you want. You've earned it!"
That guy is probably dead now. So, I guess I win.
Tom is a senior editor at Cracked, a job that only rarely requires him to drive anywhere with his head sticking out of the window. Read his novel Stitches and follow him on Twitter and Tumblr.