Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Another Tale of the "Hole In The Head Gang"... Sort of.

This tale is only "sort of" a tale of the Hole in the Head Gang in that it just involves yours truly...

Allow me to set the scene for you...

I'm driving along in my mucus green 1973 Ford Galaxy two-door... well it was mostly mucus green, the nose was white since it had been replaced after my aunt killed a VW Rabbit a couple years before I inherited the vehicle in question...

As I was saying, I was tooling along the highway at a nice sedate 65-70mph, minding my own business, while avoiding any law enforcement types.

This particular stretch of highway was undergoing some construction of the type where they were cutting ditches across the road and working during the night, then filling them in and patchcoating them so the highway could be used during the day, leaving what can only be described as inverted speedbumps across the roadbed as they tended to settle over the course of the day.

Now, as previously stated I was rolling along, minding my own business, with my recently installed stereo blasting in the background, windows down, and not a care in the world.

Now, bear in mind that I'd been driving this car, in my usual manner, for quite a few months by now... meaning that I routinely beat the ever-loving crap out of it... without so much as a hiccup as far as it's operations were concerned, which makes what happened all the more surprising.

As I fly past the intersection that would have taken me home I'm thinking about the bits and pieces I need to get at the junkyard for my father while a few more miles fly past and I hit... The Bump.

I hit this particular rut across the highway at about 65mph and the first thing I notice is the sound of metal making an odd scraping/tearing sound and the radio cutting out as the back end of the car dropped a foot or so.

At this point my first thought is that the spring shackles I needed to replace finally let go and I dropped the rear axle... a pain in the ass to fix but not catastrophic...

I was wrong...

I was noticing several things at once at this point, the radio cutting out, the engine dying, a whole lot of metal scraping noises, I was sitting at an odd angle, and I was feeling more of a draft than I should.

Looking in the rear view mirror to see where my axle was headed instead gave me a view of my back seat rapidly getting smaller and smaller as I moved away from it... this was not right.

As it turns out, the frame was just a bit rusted and I had managed to tear my Ford completely in half behind the front seats... so, I begin wrestling the now powerless power steering to aim my now bifurcated Ford to the side of the road and... wait.

I turned on my emergency flashers, but this was more out of habit than anything else since the ones on my half of the car were facing the wrong way and the ones on the back half were useless since that half was no longer connected to... well, anything.

Now, also bear in mind that this was before cell phones were anywhere near as ubiquitous as they are today... So after about 15-20 minutes a police car finally deigns to arrive.

After parking his cruiser behind the back half of the Galaxy with his flashers going so some random idiot wont plow into it, he walks the quarter mile distance to where I was seated still in the driver's seat like nothing untoward has happened.

He eventually makes it to my location and knocks on the window, and with all the aplomb I can muster I roll down the window and ask, in all innocence, "Is there a problem, officer?"

With an equal amount of aplomb he looks from me, to my half of the car, and then to the other section of auto back up the road.

After exactly 7¾ seconds he returns his gaze to the section of car I'm in, and then back to me... After yet another pause he tells me, with a perfectly straight face, "I don't know whether to cite you for littering... or leaving the scene of an accident."

So, after a bit of back and forth involving paperwork, reports, the signing of names, and making sure both I and my car were who we claimed to be, he eventually calls a flatbed to drag my debris home.

Now, while this is going on, my father is outside working on the jeep I was supposed to be getting parts for on this little foray and he sees the flatbed coming.

The first thing he notes is me in the cab not looking very pleased and then, as it makes the turn in the road, he sees the remains of the Ford scattered about the bed of the truck, this elicits nothing more than a shake of his head and a return to his wrenching.

As I'm getting out of the truck to direct the deposition of my car's mortal remains all I hear from his quarter is "I don't want to hear about it" and the sound of a ratchet spinning... but the grin on his face tells me I'm never going to live this one down... ever.

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