The funniest PCS story I've ever heard didn't come from a military family, it came from a Department of the Army civilian contractor who my husband once worked with. My husband and I recall the story from time to time and still get a good laugh out of it. I think you will too, although it's much funnier to hear the stars of the story tell it. We'll call them Steve and Suzie in an effort to protect the innocent guilty.
Steve and Suzie's disastrous move came many years ago when they were a young, recently married couple. This was before everyone, even eight year-olds, had cell phones. When Steve and Suzie got to the U-Haul office (using that in the generic sense because I am not sure if it was a Ryder or a U-Haul) to pick up a truck for their DITY move, all they had were manual transmission trucks. Steve didn't know how to drive a stick shift -- something which earned him an inordinate amount of grief from Mr. Andi -- but Suzie did, so it fell to Suzie to drive the moving truck to their destination.
Once the house was packed up and it was time to roll, Steve and Suzie got on the highway. Steve and the dog were in his truck and Suzie was following in the big beast. They approached a fork in the highway where they had to go East or West. At the last minute Steve jerked left. Suzie knew she couldn't just jerk the beast over without taking out several cars, so she was forced to keep to the right. They waved at each other as they split.
No cell phones. No walkie talkies. No way to communicate. So, Suzie did what all good women would do - she figured out how to get to where she was going on her own. Several hours later, Suzie pulled into her new neighborhood. Somehow, she managed to beat Steve to the house. Suzie left the truck running and parked on the street, then she went into the house. While she was in the house, Steve arrived and noticed that the truck was still running, so he reached inside to shut it off and managed to jerk it out of gear.
Steve and Suzie had chosen a nice little place in a nice little neighborhood. Unfortunately, their nice little place sat at the top of a nice big hill.
The U-Haul began a long and painful descent down the hill, taking out mailboxes, cars, landscaping and trees. Steve and the dog watched in horror as the U-Haul danced across lawn after lawn, driveway after driveway, before finally smashing into the final car and rolling to a stop at the bottom of the hill.
Somehow, Suzie didn't hear any of the goings on outside. She was inside checking out her new pad. Steve walked in the door and Suzie knew instantly that something was wrong. Steve was as pale as Casper.
Honey, what's wrong?
You won't believe it.
Suzie was very worried.
Whatever it is, it'll be okay.
No. No, you don't understand. It'll never be okay. Never. Never. Never.
Suzie was summoned outside and I think a part of her had to agree with Steve, who was in meltdown-mode. It probably wouldn't be okay. Ever.
The police were called, and were a bit stunned at the amount of damage they found when they arrived on the scene. Steve and Suzie had to go meet their new neighbors and explain what had happened.
Oh, hi, we're new to the neighborhood. By the way, my rogue U-Haul just destroyed your tree, car, lawn and mailbox. Could I have the name of your insurance company?
Now that's what I call making an entrance.....
Steve imagined the lawsuits and financial toll this would take on them. He was young and just beginning his career. Surely he was ruined. And of course, the thought of living in a neighborhood which you tore apart on day one was a bit unsettling. The good news came when Steve called the U-Haul company and found out that amid all the chaos, he had done something right. He had opted to take their insurance coverage, which ended up covering the damages. Best money he ever spent.
After I heard this story, I vowed never to introduce the Steve and Suzie family to airforcefamily. Can you imagine the possibilities?