Meet Robert Lee Tobeck:
His resume is very impressive. Academic All American lineman at Washington State University, Pro Bowl center of the Seattle Seahawks during the highpoint of the franchise history: the 2006 Superbowl and former host of The Outdoor Line Radio Show.
Unfortunately, none of this tremendous life experience has prepared him for what has now become the greatest challenge of his life: Boattrailerautism.
Boattrailerautism or “BTA” is a fisherman’s developmental disorder that appears in the first 3 years of boat ownership and affects the brain’s normal development of mechanical, spacial and navigational skills. Most fishing buddies of the boattrailerautistic suspect that something is amiss when angry motorists pull up alongside, gesturing and yelling. In extreme cases of BTA, one may even observe the occurance of the dreaded “missing fender” syndrome.
Quite unfortunately, I was to bear witness to Tobeck’s latest BTA flare-up on what was to be merely a simple transducer installation. We met at his marina and due to high winds, Robbie was unable to get the boat on the trailer by himself so he requested my assistance and I was only too happy to help my friend out.
Tobeck’s trailer for his 30-foot Seaswirl Striper “Salmon Hawk” is a monster 5th wheel style extra heavy duty model with a “goose neck” design which requires the hitch to be placed directly above the rear axle to reduce tongue weight and increase trailer maneuverability.
While I remained ground level to crank the trailer up to above the ball height, Tobeck backed the truck up and then jumped in to hook up the lights, safety chains and secure the hitch…or so I thought…
We towed the empty trailer about 100 yards to the ramp and I jumped in Robbie’s boat to drive it on the trailer. Once the boat was secured to the trailer winch and cranked up tight, Tobeck returned to the truck. Little did we know that the unfortunate malady BTA was about to rear it’s ugly and mortifyingly embarrassing head.
I remained aboard as Robbie pulled the boat and trailer up the ramp. As the trailer started bearing the weight of the boat, I happened to be looking forward and BOOM!!! Simultaneously the trailer hitch jumped off the ball, landing in the bed of his truck as a geyser of Starbucks coffee hit the inside of Tobecks windshield.
Someone other than my friend Tobeck then emerged from the truck, hurling a blue streak of epithets and dripping with the remains of his mocha.
“Thank goodness for safety chains” was all I could utter as the bed of Tobeck’s new truck now appeared to be,…well… used.
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