Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Black Truck: A Love Story

Since the unfortunate demise of the blue truck last Thursday, I've been scrambling around trying to get my automotive legs back under me. About 6 months ago I was coming home from work at 3am after a 13 hour shift, and I didn't notice that someone had knocked the rip-rap that was holding the hillside in place into the road.

Rip-rap, for you non-Midwesterners, are (is?) large rocks that varies between fist size and bowling ball size that's used to slow down erosion on muddy hillsides. Normally it's not a traffic issue, but someone had missed the curve on that particular road on that particular day and had run up into the rip-rap and knocked it loose and into the road. So when I got to that curve in the road I ran over all the rock and it beat the crap out of the underside of my little black Ford Ranger.

A couple of days later my truck died on my way home from work at 11 o'clock at night. I couldn't restart it, and about 4 quarts of oil poured out of the engine and I thought I'd blown the head gasket or something equally horrendous. And IS there a funnier phrase in the automotive lexicon that "blown a head gasket"? maybe "blown a seal", but that's it.

Anyway, the black truck was toast. So Carrie towed it home with her little truck and there it sat for the next six months, like FDR at Warm Springs, sipping scotch under a shade tree with a blanket over it's withered hood, obsessing about it's own petty woe and not even thinking about my needs. Selfish bastard.

When I wrecked the blue truck by banging a deer carcass against it, suddenly it became time to revisit the black truck and it's woes. I hadn't even looked at it since we'd unhooked the tow chain and left it under it's tree. In fact, it had been sitting there for so long that we had a steady stream of men coming to the door asking to buy it, even though it wasn't in the internationally recognized "selling position"...facing the road at the end of the driveway with a chunk of cardboard taped to the windshield. It had it's back towards the road, clearly in the "fixing position", with weeds growing up around it and cats sleeping on it's hood. Sheesh. How clueless can guys be sometimes?

Friday morning it was finally time to deal with the black truck or start schmoozing the Moped Guy for rides into town. Maybe I could offer to blow his head gasket for a lift.

The Moped Guy, by the way, is my alarm clock. When I hear Moped Guy screaming down the highway at 30 miles per hour with his throttle wide open and a half-mile long parade of cars behind him, I know I'd better be out of the shower and ready to go to work. 15 minutes later I catch Moped Guy 5 miles up the road, valiantly pretending to be oblivious to all the drivers flipping him off as the pass him. I personally like Moped Guy. I like to think he's making a statement about protecting the environment and conserving gas. Lori thinks he lost his license for a DUI and the moped is his only way to get to work now. Lori's probably right, but a girl can dream.

So...the black truck. I called Larry the mechanic. Larry should have a sign in front of his shop that says "Saving Evie's Ass For Over 20 Years." I told Larry my tale of automotive woe and he came out and towed the black truck into his shop, fixed it in a day, and charged me $85.

I love that man. If he ever needs his head gasket blown, I'll totally do it.

So now the black truck is restored to it's former (dubious) glory, I'm back on the road, and life appears to be good again. Last night we celebrated the resurrection of the beloved black truck by taking Lori's lucky $100 Christmas bonus down to the casino. It worked; we won $260 on a couple of penny slot jackpots that we'll be gloating over for years.

So thanks, Internet pals, for all the cards and flowers during our recent bereavement over the blue truck, but would it have been too much trouble to bring a casserole too?


marl said...

i'd have sent a casserole, but it wouldn't keep well travelling from NH to IL.

the thought was there...

Suzanne said...

Fantastic in every way.

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