In my very early childhood, I learned to crawl and walk,
To use the potty on command, to gurgle, goo, and talk,
And in good time, I went to school, and learned to read and write.
To co exist in playgrounds. To run and jump, and fight.
When I grew up, I got a job. A wife, and family too.
In short, I did the kind of things that most men get to do.
And whilst my life may not have gained the ultimate success,
I can say, with modesty, it’s not a total mess.
That’s why I find it difficult to contemplate my failure
Despite my years of trying to, I still can’t back a trailer.
All my friends who have one, seem to do it well,
So why do my attempts end up a journey into hell?
When I bought my trailer, six by four and painted green,
I thought it was the nicest trailer I had ever seen.
I hooked it on, and drove it home, determined to arrive
In a blaze of glory, by backing up the drive.
I knew the theory, left hand down, to back it to the right,
Right hand down to guide it left. As I said, I’m bright.
But theory into practise, though it may sound commonsense,
For me, seems quite impossible, and so, I hit the fence.
Quite a crowd soon gathered round. Advice was far from lacking,
With every new arrival asking: “Having trouble backing?”
I finally unhooked it, and wheeled it through the gate,
Up the drive, and round the back, so I could concentrate
On learning how to back it, this trailer so perverse
Instead of getting better, I kept on getting worse.
You can see where I’ve been learning, my area of practise,
The woodpile fence is broken, and all the shrubs are cactus.
The corner of the garage is gone, no trees are left alive,
And I’ve completely flattened both the down pipes in the drive.
The clothes hoist has a nasty bend. The sprinklers are no more,
And the imprint of the number plate is on the toilet door.
My backing reputation now, is legend in this town.
I’m down the street. Some smartarse says: “Hey Blue it’s lefthand down.”
But since I’ve bought my trailer, I have to persevere.
Accidents don’t worry me. It’s ridicule I fear.
So, when I take it to the dump, I hope no one’s around,
But folk just seem to know I’m there. Spectators abound.
They hope I’m going to duplicate that trailer backing sin,
And go too near the edge again, and drop the damn thing in.
But finally, I’ve solved it. The problem’s not so hard.
I only drive it forward now, when I’m not in the yard.
In the matter of reversing, there’s really nothing to it.
When I need to back it, I just get the wife to do it.
BLUE – the shearer (© Col Wilson)