By Baxter Black: PNT columnist
If ever there was a suspicious story, thought the insurance adjuster…
Walter (an alias) loved his new truck. It was a bright red, half-ton rig. When he drove it down to the Sikeston rodeo grounds, he made a point to park it at the far end of the arena away from the general parking area. Might not even get dusty, he thought.
All during the rodeo he snuck glances at his shiny new truck just visible outside the edge of the arena. When the bull riding began he was daydreaming of the “new-car-smell” and faux leather seats.
The roar of the crowd drew his attention back to the present.
A big rangy Brahma bull with massive horns, a firm hump and bad attitude threw his rider off like he was skipping rocks and thundered around the arena.
The pickup man brought him halfway back, but the bull circled again and eyed the back fence. He ran to it like an Olympic high jumper. Over he went, taking out 2X10 boards, a cable, three colored pennants and landed smash-down on the cab of Walter’s new red truck.
You could hear the air bags pop as the windows blew out, the horn honked and the blinker lights came on as the roof caved in.
The insurance adjuster listened skeptically. He interviewed several eyewitnesses and discreetly asked if there was a history of bootlegging white lightning in Walter’s family. But eventually he approved the repair.
Back at the fairgrounds three months later for the horse show, Walter was more careful where he parked his newly rebuilt red pickup. This time he parked it a car’s width away from the arena fence on the gate-end side.
The featured spectacular item of the show was a beautiful handcrafted stagecoach with a four-horse hitch. No one really remembers what spooked the horses and caused the driver to leap for safety, but they all agreed when the horses thundered through the gate and bore hard to the right, it was as if they were attracted to the color RED!
The horses shot between the fence and Walter’s shiny new pickup. Unfortunately they hit it at an angle, so the horses got through but the stagecoach peeled off the left side of the pickup, shredding fiberglas, chrome, steel and glass in its wake. It looked like somebody had cut an alligator skull lengthwise with a circular saw.
Walter stared into the doorless cab thinking how hard it had been to convince the insurance adjuster that a bull had smashed his new vehicle the first time, and now … well, this new twist might catapult himself into the Insurance Adjuster Whopper’s Hall of Fame.