In the immortal words of the dwarf...
I am NOT Happy.
I finally finished my CAP survey at 11:00 last night with several hours to spare before it's due today. Thank freakin' God. If I never see another DVD of swimming sperm it'll be too soon. The only thing lacking from this one was a soundtrack. It was disappointingly silent. Lori suggested "Flight of the Bumblebees" as an option and then I couldn't get it out of my head as I watched.
So I headed home at 11:00 singing, oddly, The Who's "Pinball Wizard" on the drive home, and I was trying to puzzle out some of the lyrics. Remember the bridge?
"I thought I was_____, but I just handed my pinball crown to him." What??
What did Roger Daltrey think he was?
Anyway, I was driving south, concentrating on Pinball Wizard, when a deer appeared in front of my truck. I never saw it run out there. It just...was. So I stood on the brake and whipped the wheel to the left. Cleverly, the deer ran to my left also. I hit it broadside at about 45 miles per hour and it exploded in front of my eyes.
You know how time slows down in a crisis? I was standing on the brake, fishtailing towards a ditch, watching the deer's head and neck fly over the roof of my truck while the front half and the back half of the torso broke apart at the ribs, and I was thinking, "Huh! I never would have expected it to do that!"
The truck continued to spin after the impact and eventually it landed in a shallow ditch on the northbound side of the road. It was smoking like mad but still running somehow, so I turned it around and ran it back up the hill and onto the road.
It was making a godawful racket; the valved were clattering, something was dragging underneath, the radiator was steaming and hissing, there was a grinding, scraping sound coming from the engine, but hey...it was still moving. My left headlight was pointed at the treetops on the right side of the road and my right headlight was gone completely. The frame was bent, so I was pointed in a vaguely southeasterly direction while the wheels were aimed due south. But it was still moving. Yay!
I was about 15 miles from home on a dark road without too much traffic, and it would have been a long, cold walk home if it had died completely, so I slowly crept towards home. It was tricky, since neither of my headlights were actually pointed at the road, but I figured what the hell. What was I going to do, hit another deer? At that speed, it would have laughed and walked away.
After about 5 miles the heat stopped working and I noticed that the temperature gauge was pegged at the top, and the oil pressure gauge was pegged at the bottom. But it was still moving. I made it to my mom's house and thought that if I get desperate, I can wake her up. But my mom isn't good in a crisis, so I was hoping not to have to go that route. A couple more miles and I was in Cobden, which was dark, cold and empty. Even the cop who stakes out the place near the park where the Mexicans hang out and play basketball...even he was gone. The OneStop was closed, the taco stand was shuttered...Fuzzy's Bar may have been open, but since the truck was still moving, I kept going. At that point I was thinking that if I had to walk now, it would only be 7 miles home.
But the truck kept going...loudly and smokily, but still moving. Just as I pulled into my driveway, whatever had been dragging fell off and I ran it over. I'm still hoping it was a truck part and not a deer part. I parked the truck and shut it off and one last cloud of smoke belched forth. Now it's as dead as the deer, and probably just as unsightly.
So...my list of things to do today is to get the other truck going again, and put the valiant little Ranger out by the road with a "Free" sign on it's windshield. Someone will take it for parts, I'm sure.
This is precisely why I buy $400 trucks on eBay. Although this was scary and inconvenient, it was a fairly inexpensive disaster. Besides oil changes and new wiper blades, I hadn't invested a dime in that truck in the 6 months I owned it, which means that the price was roughly $75 a month, plus the cost of gas. Luckily the other truck, the one I paid $300 for, is my favorite. I'll get that one back up and running and after Christmas I'll start shopping for another crappy eBay backup truck again.
This morning my right leg hurts from ankle to hip from braking so hard, but otherwise I'm pretty okay.
But I am NOT Happy.