Bump: (n) a light blow or a jolting collision.


It’s when the urge arrives long before the instinct. Bluntly, the passion to do something far outweighs the availableknowledge on what might happen.

When I was in high school, we had a musical group which had two goals:

  1. To sing and impress people.
  2. To get girls because we were singing and impressing people.

So one night after we had done some sort of gig, we were driving in the van that one of our members had purchased–a big, black number that looked really sinister and cool. Each one of us had a girl with him.

Let’s put together the ingredients again:

  • Teenage boys.
  • New van.
  • Just got done singing.
  • Girls in the vehicle.

Of course we had to try something crazy.

So we attempted to find out how fast the van would go. In the process of doing that, we came to a crest in the road, not realizing there was a huge drop-off at the top. There had once been a sign warning of a “bump,” but it had been knocked down many years ago and lay in the ditch, rusting. So as we climbed the hill and got to the top, the road disappeared underneath the tires and we found ourselves airborne.

I’m sure it was not a long jump, but for a short time, our van did its best impression of Air Force One.

We landed with a huge thud, throwing everybody in the air bouncing heads on the ceiling, as the van tilted form side to side, threatening to tip over.

The driver intelligently pulled to the side of the road to make sure that nobody had been killed. Confident that our bumps were well on their way to becoming bruises, we proceeded down the road giggling a little less, partying sparingly.

So the lesson of this story is simple: beware of vans who meet bumps in the night.

Join us daily for a personal essay on the words from the dictionary begininning with Aardvark

Published by Jonathan Cring