For as long as he could remember, 81-year-old Harold Parsons had always dreamed of rolling around in the drum of a cement truck just to see what was going on in there. Without any means of making it happen, he was resigned to the fact that it would likely remain a dream and nothing more. But earlier this month, Parsons got the surprise of a lifetime: His adult son, Kevin, had reached a deal with a local construction company to let him roll around in the drum of a cement truck for 10 blissful, uninterrupted minutes.
“Every time I used to see a cement truck, I would think, ‘That is a chamber of delights and wonder, and I would very much so like to be alone inside of it,’” said Parsons. “So, when my son told me I was going to be able to roll around in one, I just cried.”
When the big day arrived, Parsons was beaming like a child on Christmas morning, shivering uncontrollably in anticipation. The construction company prepared the cement truck exactly how he had fantasized it, accommodating his wish that there be enough wet cement inside to make it warm and soft but not so much that he could drown. As he climbed up into the drum, dressed impeccably in his finest suit, his friends and family cheered and applauded in celebration of the special moment.
Once Parsons was inside, the operator began slowly driving the truck around the empty parking lot that had been rented out for the occasion, and after several minutes, he started gently rotating its massive drum. From the outside, spectators could hear the muffled sound of Parsons singing “Happy Birthday” to himself, followed by occasional moans of ecstasy. After the 10 minutes were up, Parsons climbed out of the drum into the arms of his son, whom he then profusely thanked over and over until everyone else had dispersed.
“I had never felt greater peace and majesty in my life than when my body was tumbling around in that huge drum,” said Parsons of the experience. “How I long to return to that beautiful, soundless womb.”
“Bring me back,” he continued. “Bring me back.”