Living in New Jersey, I’ve grown accustomed to bad attitudes. That’s why it always surprises me when someone helps you out. Last weekend I was out with a few buddies ripping through the woods on our quads and I cruised into marsh. Eventually, a guy and his son stopped to help me. His big utility ATV had a winch on it, which pulled me right out. I guess Jersey might home a few decent people.
I have lived in the wonderful state of New Jersey for twenty two glorious years. This meant spending summers at the shore, drinking cawfee, and considering Italian food its own food group. This armpit of a state is the home of bad hair cuts and even worse accents. I can usually stomach the stereotypical flaws of the state, but I can’t stand the attitude. It’s like every kid growing up here had a poster of Tony Soprano on his wall instead of Superman or Batman. While I was busy jumping from trees with a cape around my neck, they were greasing down their scalps with enough hair gel to make John Travolta jealous.
Certain parts of Jersey don’t seem like reality. My high school parking lot looked more like a BMW dealership than a public school. You would think it was standard issue for the DMV to hand out sets of keys after passing a driver’s test. I guess our state needed something to replace iroqs. It probably doesn’t help the state’s general attitude if everyone is driving around in a BMW with a gold chair hanging from their neck and a ring hugging their pinky. Anyway, after years of hearing such comments from wise guys like “What are you looking at?” I started to think that the state was doomed. Maybe our country would be better if it cut off that little state and sent it floating off across the Atlantic for Europe to deal with.
I used to think that way until this past weekend. I was out with a few friends tearing through the woods on our quads, having a blast. It had rained the day before, which made the ground perfect for doing doughnuts and drifting turns. I started to cruise to a new part of the woods, but it was actually a marsh. Unfortunately, I was going pretty fast so my speed carried me halfway across the bog. I tried revving my engine, spinning my wheels, but not moving an inch. My quad is meant for racing, not mud so it only has two-wheel drive. My friends were all over in another part of the woods, leaving me stranded, covered in mud and frustrated.
Just when I was about to give up and trudge back through the woods to find my friends an older man on a big utility ATV passed by. “Oh great, now I have to deal with this guy giving me a hard time,” I thought. But he pulled up, took off his helmet and asked if I needed a hand. Did my ears deceive me? A Jersian asking to help? Well of course I did. He had a winch system hooked up to the front of his bike. This guy and his son tossed me the cable, which I hooked to my frame, and he pulled me right out. When I finally made it back to my friends, they didn’t even know I was gone.
We may not be the best, biggest, or cleanest state, but you can get one amazing slice of pizza. And if you look hard enough, in the deepest woods apparently, you may find some decent people. I was so thankful that the guy came along and that he had a winch. I think he said it was called a Warn winch or a Ramsey winch.