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My neighbor who loudly and frequently builds stuff, has wheeled a kayak holder to the back of his pickup. I’m fairly certain he built the holder himself. A familiar rattling and squealing noise was my first clue that the kayaks were coming out.

Of course, I decided to look out the window to see what was happening.

Neighbor puts his two kayaks into the back of his red pickup truck. One falls out, squeaking its way to the ground. Neighbor stands and stares at it, momentarily dumbfounded.

He picks up the escaping yellow kayak and places inside the back of his red pickup, next to the blue kayak that was already in there. They are side by side now, and filling up the entire back of the truck.

Neighbor attempts to shut the tail gate on the back of the pickup. The blue kayak is too long for the truck, and it is sticking out past the end of it.

Neighbor cannot close the the tail gate.

He fiddles with the kayaks for a while, and eventually realizes there is no possible way to make the blue kayak fit inside the bed of the pickup truck. He leaves the tail gate open, and begins an attempt to find some way to secure the kayaks.

I predict that both kayaks will fly out of the pickup bed when the truck reached speed.


Neighbor walks away for a moment. When he returns, he stacks the yellow kayak on top of the blue one. A small, square, red flag-like piece of fabric has been attacked to the end of the blue kayak.

Next, he begins filling up the rest of the truck bed with all manner of things. Some folding chairs go in, along with a small cooler, possibly some fishing gear, and what might be a small grill.

This pickup truck, unlike some others, lacks the part that looks something like a net. It is the part that stretches across the end of the truck bed, just before the spot where the tail gate is supposed to close.

All of the things he put into the truck bed are going to fall right out the back – which he cannot close due to the length of the blue kayak.


A fishing pole is now leaning against the back of the pickup truck. It is tall. No idea how he’s gonna fit that in the truck bed.

It looks like he is planning on spending Memorial Day at one of the nearby bodies of water. In the past, what he is currently attempting would be a perfectly normal thing to do on a three day weekend.

But, this is 2020, and COVID-19 is still out there. There is no vaccine, and the virus doesn’t take vacations.

My neighbor is outside a lot, but never wears a mask of any kind. I figure he’s not gonna social distance at whatever body of water he is about to drive to.

And he just coughed a very dry cough.


Parks in my county are open with restrictions. Social distancing is required. No group gatherings are allowed. It is ok to have a picnic or BBQ with household members, only. I think masks are strongly suggested, but no one seems to be enforcing that.

I figure I’m gonna see this neighbor on one of those videos where a bunch of idiots get in the water in big groups, without masks or social distancing, sometime later tonight.


Neighbor has decided to bend the tall fishing pole into the opening of the blue kayak (the one that has a red flag hanging from it). That cannot possibly be good for the fishing pole. Neighbor has curved the pole into the shape of a letter U.

The kayaks are still not secured. Neither is anything else that he has placed into the truck bed.

Neighbor takes a moment to get a cloth and wipe off the condensation that has collected on the side mirrors of his red pickup truck.

When finished, he stows the cloth inside the truck somewhere. Then, he stands next to the pickup bed, intently staring at it, trying to solve the puzzle of his own making.

Suddenly, he pounces! Neighbor is now making a half-assed attempt to secure all the non-kayak objects that are in the back of the pickup. He seems to have realized that there is a good chance that some of this stuff will fall out after he starts driving to his destination.

Neighbor places some of the stuff into the back of the truck, behind the driver’s seat. The cooler gets securely stowed.

Next, he unbends the U shaped fishing pole as he slides it out of the kayak. Neighbor tries to find a way to get the fishing pole into the back seat of the truck. He turns it this way… he turns it that way. He even tries bending it into a somewhat larger U shape.

The fishing pole ends up right back inside the blue kayak.

He takes another moment to stare at the back of the truck again, pondering his options.

It ain’t gonna work!


Two white plastic bags, of the kind you get from a grocery store, have been added to the truck bed. The bags have taken on that round shape that indicates they have been filled with something.

Neighbor takes a minute to try and determine whether the bags should have their handles propped up, or if it is better to shove the handles inside the now rounded part of the bags.

I think the bags will be equally aerodynamic no matter what way the handles are placed. I expect the bags, and whatever they are holding, to be the first to fly out when he starts driving.


The neighbor now appears to be having some second thoughts. It is as though he has acknowledged to himself that being unable to close the tail gate could perhaps be a problem.

I imagine him picturing the contents of the truck bed slowly floating out and away as he drives, like white dandelion seeds catching the wind when the summer is over. Unlike the fluffy seeds, these objects are very likely to cause destruction.

Neighbor walks away once more, and returns with what looks like an elastic rope of some kind. Neighbor begins attaching it to end of the truck bed, where the tail gate hangs open.

The elastic rope stretches across the truck bed in a skinny, straight, line. It goes across the tip of end of the blue kayak, which is hanging several inches out of the truck bed. Neighbor fiddles with the red flag he attached to the blue kayak.

It ain’t gonna work.


The elastic string is not securing the yellow kayak that has been placed on top of the blue one. Not at all. The string won’t help if the blue kayak below the yellow one falls out of the back of the pickup.

Neighbor just pulled out a bright orange, thick, string. Or is it a cable? He stretches this across the open tail gate, and it reaches… right over the top of the blue kayak. He has now unsuccessfully secured both of his kayaks.

The woman who lives next door, and who I hardly ever see, walks out the door of the house and gets into passenger seat of the pick up. Her hair is wet, and she might be still in the process of waking up.


Neighbor woman gets out of the pick up. She returns with her adorable pug dog, whom I love. The dog makes the cutest “wuf wuf” sounds when it thinks that there might be a human on the other side of the tall fence his owner built and installed shortly after moving in.

The pug dog is on a leash that is connected to the halter that the dog is wearing. Neighbor woman picks up the pug, and it happily gets itself into the back seat of the pickup.

The pug dog is more secured than anything that is in the truck bed.


The neighbor gets into the pickup and slowly, very slowly, drives down the alleyway a little bit. He stops. He wipes the condensation of the side mirrors once again.

Neighbor climbs into the pick up bed and starts moving around some of the items. The two folding chairs that were in the truck bed are removed and placed into the back seat of the truck. The pug dog is likely back there somewhere, and I hope he has enough room to be comfy on this poorly planned road trip.


And.. they’re off!

I watch as the neighbor drives extremely slowly up the ramp that leads out of the mobile home park and onto the street. The incline is a feature, not a bug, and was put in place when a crew came to repair and replace the roads in the mobile home park a while back.

Neighbor is probably going to have to drive faster than that once he gets onto a highway. I can neither predict exactly what items he will lose on the way, nor how many he will return home with.

I watch as the neighbor’s truck turns onto the road, and drives away. They are on their way to gather with a bunch of other people who won’t wear masks, and who don’t practice social distancing. Whatever body of water they are heading for might become the next COVID-19 hotspot.

I remain inside my home, windows closed and air conditioning on, with every intention of staying put this entire three day weekend.

It Ain’t Gonna Work is a post written by Jen Thorpe on Book of Jen and is not allowed to be copied to other sites.

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