The Cheetah

My friend Emily and I spent a lot of time at one another’s houses growing up. Emily and I loved picking on my dad – he was always cutting up with us.

He used to drive a lot of old cars – particularly ’78 Corollas. They were great on gas and made great work cars, but embarrassed me to death at the time. One of them even had a hole near the gearshift and you could see straight down to the road when he drove.

One he owned was yellow. Mustard yellow. It even said “Cheetah” on the side. I remember the night he brought it home. “Oh, well, I thought you’d like that with that Cheetah,” he told me.

It had a black hood, since a week after he got it he’d unavoidably hit a deer on a backcountry road.

One night, Emily and I decided to really get him good.

We stayed up way too late, and rolled his car. Toilet paper and bright pink streamer covered it all over. I dare say it was the best “rolling” job I’ve ever done. We even made a video of it. We knew when he got up for work at 4:30 in the morning, he’d see it and wig out.

Unfortunately for us, two 11-year olds who stay up past midnight aren’t going to wake up at 4:30 am, not for anything.

We were sound asleep in our beds upstairs when something cranked up in the basement. Something extremely loud, and someone yelling “woooooooo. Wooooooo!”

It was my dad, who got us back by cranking up a riding lawn mower in a basement at 4:30 in the morning and doing his finest Ric Flair impersonation.


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