We spent summers with my dad when I was in high school. It was a half work half play arrangement. My dad owned apartment buildings in West Lafayette, Indiana, and my brothers and I would drive around mowing yards, moving furniture and painting apartments as our summer job.
He also hired a few college kids to help out, and one of them was Bruce Donoho, famous for once being a contestant on the Price is Right. I know… some brush with greatness, huh? He had a decent sense of humor and we joked around pretty much all day while we worked.
One day we were driving across town to a work site in his black ’76 Trans Am, doing about 55 on Sagamore Parkway. I don’t know what possessed me to do this, but I reached up to grab the release handle on the passenger side T-Top. (For you youngsters, a T-Top is like a removable sun roof – a big heavy piece of glass and metal that you can manually take off and put in your trunk.)
I said, “Hey Bruce what does this thing do?” and I started to pull down slightly on the metal handle. Just as he yelled out “Noooooooo…” the T-Top popped up about 3 inches and the wind caught underneath it. It flew straight up, slamming my hand against the metal frame in the process. I managed to catch a glimpse of it in the side rear-view mirror as it sailed through the air like Captain America’s shield and tumbled into the gravel shoulder next to the road.
Needless to say, Bruce did not laugh at my hilarious joke. And since I thought I broke my hand, I wasn’t laughing either. For 5 solid minutes he yelled out profanity like a jilted husband on the Jerry Springer show (without the bleeps.) We drove back to recover the T-Top, which was miraculously only scratched a little when it hit the soft gravel. It was a very quiet ride the rest of the way.
It was the worst joke ever and I felt like an idiot. I think the lesson here is obvious. You should always think twice before you to try to pull something.