The Saga of John
or "He did all this for a Dart?"
As reported by Soze Lakinger
Wednesday, June 6 2001: 1:00am
Note that this report was not originally made public, but was sent
later to fill in facts, hence the strange number.
there's more. call it 'report 0', if you'd like. it's the story of the
first phone call, the one at 1am or so.
well, there's his excitement...
- mcneil arrived at liz's place.
- mcneil arrived at liz's place in the middle of a gangfight.
- mcneil arrived at liz's place in the middle of a gangfight and ran
one of the punks down with his truck.
- liz's dad had to go to the hospital (i think that's what i heard).
- mcneil is not stopping in long island on the way home since his
truck's a little recognizable.
- we told him so.
Wednesday, June 6 2001: 7:00 am
as some of you know, mcneil went down to long island to pledgie liz's
place to pick up a free dart swinger that her parents were giving away.
he's doing it in the international scout. yes, the truck whose frame is
currently being held together by the bench seat.
anyway, i just fielded call #2 from mcneil on this trip, and here's the
- he's finally off of long island.
- he got pulled over by (i'm not sure if they were troopers or NYPD,
that got garbled in transmission) and let go.
- he dumped about five quarts of oil into the long island water supply.
- he'll probably be in by about 4pm-ish (we hope).
- his free car has cost him ~$500 in travel expenses so far, not to
mention hassle and effort.
- we all told him so.
more reports will be issued as new information comes in.
Wednesday, June 6, 2001: 8:34am
the next call has rolled in.
and yeah, i laughed at him. a lot. seems to be shaping up like a
regular old Oklahoma road trip...
- mcneil is now 115mi down route 100.
- left front brake is completely ineffective.
- the brakes failed.
- the brakes failed to keep the scout from getting into an accident.
- the brakes failed to keep the scout from rear-ending a vehicle.
- the brakes failed to keep the scout from rear-ending a school bus.
- the scout is now Hurting(tm), yet functional.
- the dart is no longer considered deadweight; it is now considered a
lifeboat should more bad shite befall brother mcneil.
- current plan is to do 20mph all the way up route 100.
- if we don't hear from him by 4pm, he's dead.
- we told him so.
Wednesday, June 6, 2001: 10:38am
yup, you guessed it, another call.
*sigh* we're gonna be able to write a fucking novel about this...
- mcneil's on foot.
- to the autoparts store.
- to buy a new brake line.
- the battery on his cell phone's almost dead.
- at least he has another one of those.
- "i'm having the time of my life here... this is fucking hilarious"
- ETA@Troy: bob knows when.
- we told him so.
Wednesday, June 6, 2001: 1:14pm
so every time i've answered the phone in the past 24hrs, i've started by
saying "Psi U, don't you dare be John". and of course, it's john. i
picked up the phone again this afternoon, and yep, it was john.
you know, it just keeps getting worse...
- mcneil made it to a cash station so he could buy a brake line.
- he noticed a u-haul lot.
- mcneil realized he could just leave the truck for now and tow the
dart back behind a u-haul truck.
- mcneil goaded the u-haul guy into renting him the biggest fucking
truck on the lot.
- mcneil took all his shit out of the truck and left it with a note
reading "no brakes - don't steal... PLEASE"
- mcneil makes it 20mi up route 100.
- a tire on the dolly bursts.
- mcneil is now on foot again, rolling the tire along on a handcart
from the u-haul truck to a mechanic shop he saw a mile back.
- ETA@Troy: dark.
- we told him so.
Wednesday, June 6, 2001: 3:52pm
and this time mcneil called in to report...
- absolutely nothing.
- he's about 0.5hrs out from Psi U right now.
- he's fucking hungry.
- a cheese pizza from papa john's will be ordered in ~13min.
- we told him so.
Wednesday, June 6, 2001: 4:12pm
the pizza has been ordered. ETA(pizza)@Psi U: 4:42pm.
Wednesday, June 6, 2001: 4:32pm
the mcneij has arrived, dart in tow.
Debriefing #1, by John McNeil
Wednesday, June 6, 2001: 6:14pm
first off, all vehicles are maintaining structural intergity, with only
minor bumps & bruises. I'm in the same category, too.
John is in troy. Dart is in troy. Scout in in the forest at the bottom of
a hill in some nowhere town called "palmer", 110 miles from here.
So.. the title of this past two days should be "Against all better
judgement". I didn't think my truck could do the trip, but I figured I'd
try anyway. It gave me warning signs that it was not happy, but I didn't
listen. I knew the tire on the tow dolly was going, but I thought I could
make it last. Running over my own foot was just old fashioned stupidity,
but we'll ignore that.
Got my inspection sticker tueday around 4pm. left for LI immediately
after. Truck started experiencing vapor lock due to overheating about 30
minutes later. Kept going. Consumed fuel at about 8-9mpg. Ow.
Got to Liz's. We were in the street loading the dart onto my tow dolly
when some punks in a white nissan began harassing us. Liz's dad, who I
will forever revere as one tough & crazy bugger, yells at them.. beer
bottles are thrown at him, and next thing I know some of the neighboors are
coming out and a mass fight is starting. When I see Liz's neighbor go down
and one punk kick him in the head, I cut loose the dart from the trailer
and make like I'm going to run down the punks with the truck. Liz's dad
knocks a few of them around, and between that and the truck bearing down on
them, they take off.
Blah. So now there's a nissan full of punks running around long island..
punks who could probably recognize one of the only International Scout II's
in the area pulling one of the only Dodge Darts in the area. I decide to
pack up and leave long island. Didn't want to take the time to drop the
driveshaft, so I just put the back wheels of the dart on the tow dolly.
But the dart's steering lock is sloppy, so the front wheels keep turning
back and forth if I go faster than 30. I creep off LI at 20.. telling
myself I'll stop and fix things after I leave the island. And I get pulled
over midway across the Throgs Neck bridge. But they hear my story and
point me to a place where I can unload and reload the car.
Having the rear wheels on the ground means you have to disconnect the drive
shaft to avoid transmission damage. In the process, I forget that the
drive shaft seals the tranny, and about 5 quarts of transmission fluid piss
out and run into the sound. This I feel really bad about, but anyway.
That and I get the lights working, right at dawn.
The truck stalls on hills (vapor lock again) and has to sit for 30 minutes
each time to cool off. So I snag about 1/2 a dozen catnaps. Manage to
bounce the car off a couple more curbs due to potholes.
head up 87, then I get the nifty idea of taking back roads instead, since
the truck doesn't seem to like main roads. Stupid fucking idea. an hour
later I nose over the top of some outrageously steep hill in heavy traffic
on a narrow road. The truck just can't stop the combined mass of dart +
scout + parts + tools.. probably around 5-6 tons. I plow in to the back of
a small school bus. Slow collision, minor damage to the back door of the
bus, bent my bumper, smashed some of my lights. Thank god there were no
kids in there.
After the cop takes the info for the report, I head out again, on a nice,
wide, level road with not much traffic. Pause to tear off the bent bumper
which was rubbing tire. Make some more minor repairs to the accident
damage. Head for taconic parkway to avoid mountain roads. Get on taconic,
promply recieve attention from state troopers, and I remember why you never
see any trailers on the taconic.. not allowed. Oops. Escape into forest
road, evade trooper. Head down hill on forest road. Brakes fail. Park
truck under some trees, head out on foot to find some brake fluid. Come
across elderly couple with a stalled ford taurus. Think to self "Ahah. A
ride". Fix taurus, couple repays by giving me a ride into town (they were
going that way anyway). Went looking for brake fluid.. found Uhauls. Or
pledge hauls, as the slang goes. Got a good deal on the biggest damn truck
they had (a diesel, none the less). Picked up the dart & tow dolly, leave
20 miles later tow dolly tire fails through explosive decompression. End
up with uhaul on ditch, but fortunately not stuck. Thank god it wasn't the
scout, because the trailer would have thrown the scout around if a tire
blew. Walk back to a tire store I saw a mile back, get a spare. Continued
rest of the trip nonstop except once to help a guy with an old buick.
All your dumbass points are belong to us.
going to go get parts, then get my damn truck back.
Debriefing #2 (with casualty list), by John McNeil
Wednesday, June 6, 2001: 6:14pm
I did it.. got my truck to troy. Drove the last bit on only the emergency
brake.. guess that's why they call it the emergency brake. None the less,
it failed completely in the driveway of psi-u, so now there are no brakes
whatsoever on the truck. Don't move the cinder block behind the wheel.
I left Long Island and swore that I would get that entire damn rig to troy
if it was the last thing I did. And it was the last thing, pretty much,
since now my week is shot. But damn, what a story. :)
Casualties over the last 48 hours:
- International Scout: trashed right fender, bent hood, bumper, broken
lights. Lost reverse gear completely. Overheated rings, baked spark
plugs. Blown front brakes, broken e-brake.
- Dodge Dart: lost all transmission fluid, minor dents.
- Mini School Bus: Dented rear door
- Tow dolly: Blown left tire
- Liz's neighbor: kicked in the head by punks, went to hospital to have head
- Punk: punched pretty good.. don't remember by who
- John's Foot: run over with tow dolly
- 40 gallons of gas: burned in sacrifice to the god of hydrocarbons on the
- 20 gallons of diesel: offered as rescue payment to the wonderful U-haul truck
- 3 quarts of brake fluid: used to fuel the revolutionary braking system on
the scout, which uses high pressure jets of brake fluid as retro thrusters.
but I had fun.
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Lifted from a site by Soze Lakinger, 6/6/01