Don't drive your pick-up onto the roof of a house, especially if, well, read on

Raymond Chen

Back in 2000, a crazy stunt made the front page of the local newspaper, and it still holds a special place in my heart years later. We begin with Man drives pickup onto friend’s roof as a stunt. The story opens with the picture of said pick-up on the roof of a house with its proud owner. That picture already tells a story. The run-down house, the pick-up on the roof, the can of beer, the frat-boy self-satifaction… And the article hasn’t even begun yet.

As Dave Anthony’s pickup truck sank slowly through the roof of a one-story house yesterday morning, he popped a Spin Doctors CD into a player and reached for a can of Budweiser.

“It wouldn’t be a good life without a challenge,” he said. “If you don’t break something, you aren’t trying very hard.”

You don’t have to wait long before you find a sentence that begins

It began with a few beers…

When a sentence begins that way, the odds are slim that the second half of the sentence is going to be “… and ended without incident.” The article is basically every single joke about Kent rolled into 700 words. Kent is a suburb of Seattle which Seattle-ites look down upon, and the story does nothing to dispel the stereotype. You could take the article and just run it straight on Almost Live! (Here’s a typical parody.)

But the story doesn’t end with that article. Less than a week later, the hero of the story found himself in even more hot water. I’ll let the follow-up article’s opening sentence explain:

Driving your pickup truck onto the roof of a house and getting your picture in the newspaper doesn’t make a whole lot of sense when police want to talk to you about a $2,800 set of tires purchased with a stolen credit card.


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