The Saga of John
or "He did all this for a Dart?"

As reported by Soze Lakinger

Report 0
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Note that this report was not originally made public, but was sent later to fill in facts, hence the strange number.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.
  1. mcneil arrived at liz's place.
  2. mcneil arrived at liz's place in the middle of a gangfight.
  3. mcneil arrived at liz's place in the middle of a gangfight and ran one of the punks down with his truck.
  4. liz's dad had to go to the hospital (i think that's what i heard).
  5. mcneil is not stopping in long island on the way home since his truck's a little recognizable.
  6. we told him so.
well, there's his excitement...
Report 1
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 progress report:
  1. he's finally off of long island.
  2. he got pulled over by (i'm not sure if they were troopers or NYPD, that got garbled in transmission) and let go.
  3. he dumped about five quarts of oil into the long island water supply.
  4. he'll probably be in by about 4pm-ish (we hope).
  5. his free car has cost him ~$500 in travel expenses so far, not to mention hassle and effort.
  6. we all told him so.

more reports will be issued as new information comes in.

Report 2
Wednesday, June 6, 2001: 8:34am

the next call has rolled in.
  1. mcneil is now 115mi down route 100.
  2. left front brake is completely ineffective.
  3. the brakes failed.
  4. the brakes failed to keep the scout from getting into an accident.
  5. the brakes failed to keep the scout from rear-ending a vehicle.
  6. the brakes failed to keep the scout from rear-ending a school bus.
  7. the scout is now Hurting(tm), yet functional.
  8. the dart is no longer considered deadweight; it is now considered a lifeboat should more bad shite befall brother mcneil.
  9. current plan is to do 20mph all the way up route 100.
  10. if we don't hear from him by 4pm, he's dead.
  11. we told him so.
and yeah, i laughed at him. a lot. seems to be shaping up like a regular old Oklahoma road trip...

Report 3
Wednesday, June 6, 2001: 10:38am

yup, you guessed it, another call.
  1. mcneil's on foot.
  2. to the autoparts store.
  3. to buy a new brake line.
  4. the battery on his cell phone's almost dead.
  5. at least he has another one of those.
  6. "i'm having the time of my life here... this is fucking hilarious"
  7. ETA@Troy: bob knows when.
  8. we told him so.
*sigh* we're gonna be able to write a fucking novel about this...

Report 4
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.
  1. mcneil made it to a cash station so he could buy a brake line.
  2. he noticed a u-haul lot.
  3. mcneil realized he could just leave the truck for now and tow the dart back behind a u-haul truck.
  4. mcneil goaded the u-haul guy into renting him the biggest fucking truck on the lot.
  5. mcneil took all his shit out of the truck and left it with a note reading "no brakes - don't steal... PLEASE"
  6. mcneil makes it 20mi up route 100.
  7. a tire on the dolly bursts.
  8. 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.
  9. ETA@Troy: dark.
  10. we told him so.
you know, it just keeps getting worse...

Report 5
Wednesday, June 6, 2001: 3:52pm

and this time mcneil called in to report...
  1. absolutely nothing.
  2. he's about 0.5hrs out from Psi U right now.
  3. he's fucking hungry.
  4. a cheese pizza from papa john's will be ordered in ~13min.
  5. we told him so.
*shakes head*
*sighs again*

Report 6
Wednesday, June 6, 2001: 4:12pm

the pizza has been ordered. ETA(pizza)@Psi U: 4:42pm.

Report 7
Wednesday, June 6, 2001: 4:32pm

the mcneij has arrived, dart in tow.

Debriefing #1, by John McNeil
Wednesday, June 6, 2001: 6:14pm

full story.

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.

The story:
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 scout.

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:

but I had fun.
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Lifted from a site by Soze Lakinger, 6/6/01