Doomed voyage, part two

2010 February 25
by Hedon

So we walked up to the truck prepared to be wowed. It sat there glistening in the sun. First thing we noticed that was a slight bit different was the passenger side windshield was busted. I don’t mean it had a crack in it I mean it was a stunning likeness of a black widow’s web. Then there was the fact that two of the four mirrors were broken. And one of those chicken lights on that big fancy chrome bumper was busted. “Small details,” we murmured to each other and walked up to get a closer look.

A quick walk around inspection turned up a few more interesting details:

Brakes were wafer-thin.

Eight of the ten tires were virtually bald while the two right rear drives were brand new. What’s up with that?

One of the air bags didn’t inflate properly once we started the truck.

Massive air leak under the right rear of the sleeper.

When we shut the truck off it dumped all the air in less than three minutes.

Stacks appeared ready to fall off the truck when you closed the door.

Passenger seat had no air controls at all.

Cabinets weren’t actually bolted to the walls so they just sort of flopped around.

One brake light didn’t work at all and the turn signals at the rear of the truck were reversed so that when you signaled left the right light came on.

Sigh. Wasn’t exactly the truck of our dreams needless to say. Still… all the problems we had found were things that could be fixed if you had enough money to throw at the thing. So since our motel was less than a mile away, we decided to drive it over there and think about the situation over dinner.

I started the beast up and waited for it to build air pressure. After what seemed like an hour, I was finally ready to roll. I eased it into gear and headed out into the unknown. Pulling out of the parking spot it was in I had to turn right and was surprised when I headed straight toward these old four-wheelers parked all the way across the lot. Good lord! I could have burned donuts in a Columbia in the amount of space that truck took to start inching right. I actually had to reverse and cut it tighter to get moving toward the street. Ugh! I told myself that it wasn’t a big deal, however, and reminded myself that everyone told me that the Classic has a huge turning radius — no big deal we could get used to that… eventually.

Well I finally made it to the street, turned left onto Reno and headed toward the motel. The shifting went better than I expected considering it had been almost three years since I’d had to shift. I wasn’t great or anything but it was passable. Got to the first stoplight on our route and prepared to make a right turn. It was one of those intersections where there were four lanes and a raised median in the center. When the light turned green I turned the hell out of that steering wheel and started rolling slowly forward. Straight into the median. Everyone at the intersection stared and pointed. Small children fell to the ground holding their sides with uncontrollable laughter. A sightseeing group of nuns fell to their knees and began praying over the deplorable state of affairs in the trucking industry. Fred the hubcap-selling wino got so worked up over the stupidity of it all that he accidentally rolled his cart into the street and spilled hubcaps all over the road. Sigh.

There I was nosed into the median in the middle of a very busy intersection. I mean that truck had barely turned at all. It didn’t even come close to making 45 degrees. I had to back up in the middle of the intersection and cut it tighter to get into a travel lane. Good thing Stace was behind me in the rental car to fend off traffic and give me room to move. As I backed up, I made sure to run over some of the rolling hubcaps laying around on the street.

I was finally moving forward and had the shifting going well enough to realize that I had no speedometer or odometer. Nada. Stopped at ten miles per hour.And you know what that means… that truck could have three million miles on it. With no odometer there was simply no way of knowing how many miles they had put on it since the engine rebuild. Not that I had time to worry about that at the moment since I was just trying to keep it moving smoothly down the road.

Finally, there was only one more right turn on our route. Which was luckily one of those giant forgiving intersections that you could probably have moved a small building onto that side street if you were careful. No problem… I made the turn ok and headed to the motel. Made it into the motel without incident. Whew!

Managed to get it parked and shut down safely and started to get out to meet with Stace who was getting out of the rental car. Couldn’t get the damned door open. Stace had to open the door to let me out of the truck. I got out and we tried to lock the door. Neither door locked. Seriously. And the repeated slamming of the door trying to get it closed tight enough to lock was obviously on the verge of causing the stack to fall off the truck. In the end, I just blocked the truck in with the rental car and left good enough alone.

I turned to Stace. She turned to me. We looked at the truck. As one we burst out with, “Oh my god, I hate it. You hate it, too? Thank god cause I really really hate it.”

Get thee behind me, Devil Truck

Get thee behind me, Devil Truck

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