Well...one time my cat died on the way to the vet on the side of the road. That was an actually sad story...but let me tell you about one that was actually entertaining, rather than heartbreaking.

When I was 18 I had an ‘86 Mustang LX. I loved it so much, despite the fact that it had a 3.6 V6, (I wanted the 5.0...the fact that I didn’t get one is probably the reason I am still alive today) was an automatic, and accumulated so many Ford issues that I pretty much got scared it was going to break down every time I got into it (including, but not limited to, the loss of the reverse gear (it is possible that I contributed to this by shifting it into reverse by accident after coasting down a hill. I was really really high.)).

Anyways, one of the major issues with this car was its propensity to vapor lock/overheat (I never really figured out what was happening). Because of this, it was always a gamble taking the car anywhere when the temperature was over 60 degrees. Being the young, headstrong and generally stoned youth that I was in those days, that never prevented me from attempting drives that were pretty much doomed to end up on the side of the road for hours...which there were many instances of. I should say that this all took place in Colorado in and around the Boulder area where I grew up. If I were to try to map out all the places in my home turf, I’m sure Google maps would be overwhelmed and catastrophically fail. Each one of these vapor lock instances was its own story (like the time a lady pulled up next to me in her car and asked me, as I sat on the side of the road with my hood up near an intersection, whether I was going to turn right). But I have one specific tale that sticks in my memory.

My best friend and I hung out frequently down in the Littleton area, where he had lived for a few years when his family moved down south (Funplex was where all the mischief seemed to start). His mom and my dad started dating and we all lived together right outside of Boulder. We decided, one sunny, warm, clear day (duh, seriously guys...how did we not know), to take my Mustang down south. Our route was to be hwy 93, which is famous for passing by the defunct Rocky Flats Nuclear trigger factory...and has a whole lot of nothing else along the way. Our hopeful journey lasted for about 20 miles when, lo and behold, the familiar bucking and stalling that foretold the overheating began. We ended up on the side of the road just past the intersection of Nothing and Nowhere with not much to do. So, we took off the T-tops, played Tic Tac Toe on an old pizza box (not sure why that was in the car) and complained (this was long before the days of cell phones...and I don’t think our pagers got reception out where we were...not that it mattered).

Anyways, after an hour or six of sitting on the side of the road, we decided we’d had enough. The intersection of Nothing and Nowhere happens to be where 72 crosses 93, so we decided we were going to push the car onto that road (I have no idea why this was our decision). We pushed it across 93 (I have no idea why I’m not dead right now...I once saw a bumper sticker that said, ‘Pray for me I drive 93.’ It was a highway that people took at speed and had no shortage of semis) and onto 72...and found that it kept rolling. We jumped into the powerless car and found that it just kept going. We were moving again, albeit without combustion. We rolled this way for another 20 minutes or so, riding 72 down into a suburban neighborhood and came to rest outside of a fire station. As we sat there, the exhilaration of speed fading from our little jaunt and the realization that we’d done little more than trade scenery I decided I’d try to start the car. What do you know...it fired right up. So we went home.

Not an overly sad story...unless you consider that we could have saved ourselves some time with a little critical thinking. But we had an adventure that day, a simple adventure involving a car, in a time before everything was connected...and so perhaps that’s a little sad. That sort of man (idiot teenager) vs nature self has gone by the wayside somewhat. Or maybe not.

TL:DR - Boys are stupid when young.