Ok, now, I want to warn you guys, some of this may be painful to hear, and I'm going to have to tell a little story or two on Larry. . .no way to get around it I guess, so any of you guys who had visualized him as the ultimate "man's man", Mr. Safety, mechanic, weldor, painter, "can fix anything". . type of guy. . .I have his permission to burst your bubble. . .read on at your own peril.
Larry has a shop, and it has a slot for TempBus. When backing through the door, there is a whole 2-3" on either side of the mirrors, and your approach requires you to swing in at an angle and straighten up JUST at the right time, and then nudge your backend over towards the north wall to clear the front end of BigBus, all while observing nothing but a black hole in the wall as it appears in your mirrors. Needless to say, backing into the garage can be a challenge, even with me helping watch and guide.
I can be a hard person to reach during business hours. The nature of our business and my position requires that I spend pretty much 90% of my day on the phone. Every time Larry walks in the door and peers through my window at me, you can bet I'm starting, in the middle of, or trying to finish up a phone call!
I see him look at me, and I try to get off the phone as quickly as possible if it looks like he needs a hand with something, but the truth is, often, it's a juggling match for me to decide if his needs are more pressing than whoever is on hold for me, especially if it's one of our guys, on a jobsite, on the clock, needing an answer from me
. Because of this, tired of waiting for me, Larry discovered the other day, that he actually could and did back the bus into the garage, ALL BY HIMSELF! He did a good job at it too. Just enough room to squeeze in on the north side to plug it in and on the south side between the two buses, just in case you need to get to the breaker box or something.
So, yesterday, he pulls TempBus out and fills it with water, goes through all the fluid checks, fills the batteries. . basically gives her a good once over before we leave the next day on our trip. In he comes to signal me that he needs a hand backing her back in. Yep, I'm on the phone. Next time I see him come in and look in my window, he's shaking his head and scowling. . . this does NOT look good. I follow him out to look at the damage. Hmmm, garage door looks fine. Owww. Oh well, so now we've got a little scratch on our new paintjob, where he got just a Leeeetle too close to the north garage wall. . .the good thing is if he was going to err in one direction, at least he erred AWAY from BigBus!
The good, GOOD news is that it's just a small surface scratch. . .no dings or dents. . .no harm, no fowl.
It gets better.
So, we're running down the highway, I'm chatting with my mom on the cell, when all of a sudden I hear a beeping sound. I say, "What's that beeping?" and suddenly realize it's the Pressure Pro. . so I yell, "Pull over, we blew a tire" and tell my mom I'll call her back. Larry pulls over, and I unbuckle and climb out, pulling out my Nextel to beep him back and tell him it's just a false alarm when, WHAT IN THE HECK. . . our front tire on the Jeep is SHREADED!
How crazy is that! Those tires had less than 200 miles on the set, and we knew the pressures were good because we had checked them the day before and then again that morning. Thank GOODNESS we had the tire monitor, as even though it tore the fender rain shield, cut the bumper cover a little, and pretty much ruined the rim, everything else was fine. I'm thinking that the next time I hear loud beeping, I need to IMMEDIATELY tell him to pull over,
, not sit there and go, "Now, WHAT is that beeping?
So, I grab the orange triangles and head out. . . set one out, set the 2nd. . .stop, look, take it back farther, walk some more, set the third. . turn around look, decide the first one was WAY too close to the bus. . go get it, hike on over past the last one and set that one every FARTHER down the road. . .then hike on over to help Larry change the tire. He looks in the back and I'll be darned if there isn't a full sized spare with a brand new tire on it, ON A MAG WHEEL EVEN, and there's the jack, and then I remembered seeing the handles under the rear seat, so we find those. . . I pull out the book and together we figure out where to set the jack for "proper lift point". Did I tell you we haven't had this car long?
He starts removing the damaged tire while I pull out the air compressor and air the tire up to proper pressure. On goes the new tire, "Mr. Shreddy" goes in the bay, and I start the hike back to pick up the triangles. Now, I've spent the last 1 1/2 yrs exercising to lose 20 lbs, and before we left, I whined a little about whether I'd get any exercise on this trip and whether I'd put some of that weight back on. Well, I gotta tell you folks, hiking all the way back to pick up those stupid triangles gave me me day's quota FOR SURE.
Anyway, back on the road again
. We're making pretty good time, even with not leaving until 10 and then having to change a tire, and we hope to make it through Kansas City yet tonight if Larry feels up to it.
Oh, and BTW, we, ahem
, figured out what blew the tire, ahem
. . .seems that no matter how many times Larry tested out the steering wheel lock that didn't seem to lock the wheels. . . (even when it was up on the lift he turned that steering back and forth). . .well, I guess the thing does eventually lock. . . in between "me watching him pull out and visually okaying everything" and "blow a tire" stage.
What's really bad is I started to question him on the key position when we left and he assured me the steering wheel lock didn't work, and of course, him being a "man's man", "Mr. Safety". . yada yada, well, I'd believe him over a book any day!
, as Margie said, "That will be SEARED into our memories forever!"