“I was just in there for three minutes” He pled, hands open at his sides “I can’t have this happen today” chin pressing forward, tilting, the last stop before begging “PLEASE?! Come on! Three minutes. You’re gonna do this to me over three minutes?” The attendant sat in the car, unmoved. “I was just in there to deal with something else that cost me six hundred BUCKS.” He started pacing. “Not today. Not fucking today.” He squatted at the Pathfinder’s bumper and grabbed the boot with both hands. We watched as he pulled and tore and yanked at the boot.
There’s this video somewhere on the internet, I never can find it but I watched it back when a few times. An animal researcher, male, six foot, 180, steps onto a clearing overlooking a creek twenty yards or so from some chimpanzees. He takes a couple of steps towards the center of the meadow and a male chimp runs over, squats at the feet of the man, jumps up with his arms in the air, lands at the man’s feet with a hoot and lumbers back to the group. The researcher, startled, backs off toward the creek edge. Some minutes pass. He meanders. He ends up back at the spot on the clearing of the chimp’s display. The same individual hoots again, runs again, faces the man again, and as before leaps with his arms in the air only this time as he pulls down to a deep squat at the man’s feet, he has both of his hands wrapped around the researcher’s right pinky, ring, and middle fingers. He leaps again. Arms up. Jerking the man’s hand over his head then yanking it down to the base of another squat. Another leap. Another squat. The chimp ragdolls the researcher out of the clearing, to the creek edge and into the water. His fingers were fucked.
The boot, however, was just fine. “Shit how long before they get here? How long?” He changed strategy. He knelt down to the tire valve and started letting out the air, calling out over his shoulder “Oh you aren’t gonna talk now? At least tell me how long I have.” It was natural to root for the guy. The dispassionate state. The fucking greed. The race against time. Just the obstacle to overcome. You can job these things. Four Torx screws hold the lock. Might as well keep a few of those bits with a ratchet handy for skate stoppers anyway. Let the air out from the tire to clear the screws. That part he had right. Then you just bang out the lock. There are plenty of video tutorials and they’re easier to find than some specific chimpanzee mauling.
The tow truck came. His mom showed. He resigned the quest. In between, during, and after it all some people landed some tricks. Pop shove. Kickflip. Back 180. Nose bonk. Halfcab flip. Nollie lazer. The usual. I snapped a couple of photos. I would have done a few things differently having the experience. You learn by failure. Don’t park in the red zone. Don’t fuck with chimpanzees. Find the right lens.