Archive for Asshole!

New Years Resolution Addendum

Posted in Funny! with tags on January 8, 2010 by hotpoo

Dear Diary,

In lieu of recent unpleasantries, I have decided to add some additional items regarding flight travel to my list of New Years Resolutions:

  1. I will discontinue informing stewardesses that I have an “explosive device” in my underpants. Sadly, that was my last good line.
  2. I will cease grabbing my crotch at the security line, and stating loudly, “God, this shit is really uncomfortable!”
  3. I will no longer ask my seat-mates if I can borrow a lighter or some matches before I step into the plane lavatory.

Thank you. That is all.

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The Ill Fated Montana Trip, 2009 – Part I

Posted in Funny! with tags , on July 10, 2009 by hotpoo

Have I ever mentioned that I’m an asshole? Well, I am. Not the “road rage,” “parking handicap spaces,” “pissing on public toilet seats” kind of douchbaggery, but more of a general “not paying attention to what you are saying,” “inserting myself into random conversations,” “taking advantage of the stupid” kind of thing. It’s just who I am. I’m a reasonably calm person most of the time, and generally deal well with stress without snapping. I learned a long time ago to bend like a reed… my Kung-Fu is strong. This is my lame attempt at literary foreshadowing, for those of you that took the short bus to school today.

Earlier in the year, an old college friend of mine asked me to be the wors… er… best man in his wedding. I agreed, and began formulating a financial plan to make the trip to Montana. As I get to see my family very rarely (once ever 1 to 2 years), my sisters came up with a plan for holding a family reunion (I come from a very small family, so having 5 of us there is practically all of us) while I was in the area. I isolated a couple of days for travel, 3 days for the wedding, and 5 for the family. I worked out the travel plan / itinerary, and was able to sell my car right before the trip. Nice! Financial bases covered!

A week before we were set to take our trip, my wife decided to make a last minute request. She wanted to go camping with one of our mutual friends, which overlapped with the latter half of the family visit / return trip. I wasn’t happy about the idea of shortening time with my family, but she doesn’t get adult time very often (stay at home mom). So, grudingly acquiesced, and decided that I would just need to fill as much time as possible with the family.

We took off Wednesday morning, at about 10am. This was 3 hours later than I was hoping, but exactly the time I expected my wife would be ready. I’ve made this trip many times before, and I knew how long it would take to get to our destination (Missoula, Montana… about 550 miles away from Portland). I’m one of those types of people that likes to leave at the butt-crack of dawn for long road-trips, and will drive as long and as fast as is humanly possible to maximize “vacation” time. Or my perception of the amount of vacation time, as the case may be. You know, one of those starry-eyed dreamers; the insipid optimist. However, I’ve known my wife long enough to have learned how these things will actually work out. I wasn’t really sure what kind of time we were going to make leaving that late. To add some complexity estimation, we just finished potty training my 4 year old son. This would be his first really long trip in big boy pants. My hope was that we could make it to Missoula by late supper time (drive fast enough, and limited stops), but I figured that we could always stop in Spokane or mid-Idaho (like Kellog or something) if we were just moving too slowly. I wasn’t too worried about it… the wedding wasn’t until Saturday, and as long as we were there by Friday afternoon for the rehersal the brides head would not explode.

Before I push forward, let me delve briefly once again into the shadowy land of foreshadow… delve forth breifly… briefs for shadows… meh… stupid prose. A week previous to our departure, I took my wife’s truck to our normal mechanic. I wanted them to fix the AC (needed a recharge), fix the lighter socket (so we could plug my son into my favorite electronic baby sitter, the portable dvd player), fix a bit of chop in the engine, and to make sure the breaks were roadworthy for a 1,300 mile round trip. Dun dun dun. AC was recharged and didn’t seem to have a leak, lighter socket was a snap, choppy engine was caused by idiot mechanics not gapping the spark plugs when they installed the new engine for us last year (they fixed that for free and came clean with me), and confirmed that the front pads looked fine (about 65%) and the rear shoes were acceptable (40%). Dun dun dun! I checked the air pressure and inspected the tires the night before we left, and all seemed well. DUN DUN DUN!

Back to the present… er… past. Whatever. Once we actually hit the road, we made pretty good time. We were about 30 minutes west of Umatilla, Oregon when my wife felt an odd vibration in the truck. We pulled over, and took a look at the wheels. Nothing seemed out of place, so we pressed on. DUN DUN DUN!!! About an hour later, we were pulling into Kennewick, Washington. As we came down the hill to the first stop light, my wife hit the breaks, and the driver’s side front wheel goes sailing towards the intersection ahead. That’s right, the FUCKING. WHEEL. CAME. OFF. DUN DUN… oh enough of that. As we felt / heard the steerage assembly thumping into the asphalt, a dreamlike quality decended on the scene. I turned and yelled at my wife, “HEY HONEY! WE JUST LOST A TIRE!.” Thanks Captain Obvious! Without skipping a beat, my wife responded calmly with, “I know that, Bill.” The truck ground itself to a stop at the side of the road, and we watched as the wheel (apparently content to continue the journey without us) sail through the intersection at 45 mph. It barely missed two compact cars (I shudder to think what that would have done), and opted to end its brief solo journey by smashing into the front of a commercial class flatbed.

No one was hurt, with the exception of the flatbed’s shattered bumper. Insurance information was exchanged, and insurance companies were called. I jacked the truck back up from its precarious angle, and inspected the bolts for the lug nuts. Nothing seemed wrong with them. The bolts weren’t stripped, bent, or sheared. Weird. The lug nuts were no where to be found, but there was a tire shop nearby that had the correct size. The steerage assembly looked ok to me (it was actually damaged, but more of that later), so I re-mounted the wheel and tightened it back down. I inspected the other 3 wheels, and made sure that the bolts were tight. Satisfied and thankful that this didn’t happen when we were going 85 mph, we decided to keep going. As you might imagine, this was a bad plan. We decided to pull off at the last exit in Pasco (Kennewick, Richland, and Pasco are called the Tri-Cities locally, due to their extreme proximity to one another) and gas up. As we pull onto off ramp, IT FUCKING HAPPENS AGAIN!!! This time, our wheel decided it has had enough of this journey. In an explosion of lug nuts and silt, it bounces, skids, and hops over 4 lanes of highway into the sagebrush, never to be seen again. I spent about 40 minutes strolling through the prickle weeds and sagebrush (cheap foam bottom sandles and shorts were a bad plan for this trip, apparently),  but could not find it. Insurance was called again, and a tow truck driver was located. A nice police officer came by to slow traffic on the off-ramp (no one bothered to stop or slow… asses), probably because he was wondering what the bald, sunburned, dipshit was doing wandering across his highway. Eventually, we get towed to a mechanics shop.

*sigh* Ever the optimist, I’m still calculating this into our travel time. “It’s ok, self,” I tell myself. “We’re only 3 hours behind now. We’ll just spend the night in Idaho.” A the mechanics shop, we wait another hour for them to inspect and make their assessment. Fuck. Four hours behind now. Maybe we can make it to Spokane. Bolts are definitely shot now (threads are full of aluminum), and we are out wheel with custom rim. Turns out all bolts on both front wheels were broken free from their mounts… probably due to a goddamn phneumatic hammer being used to tighten the nuts by the last mechanics during the brake inspection. All 12 will need to be replaced.  *angry choking* In addition, the steerage assembly is shot, as the majority has either been ground down to a shiny nub or bent out of shape. *grinding of teeth*. ETA, tomorrow morning, at best. Shit…

So, after spending 2 hours at the mechanic’s shop, we get a cab ride to a local Super 8. It’s now 6ish, and the day is shot. We get a room, drop off our bags, and go next door to Applebees for some supper. Burgers and beer later, our outlook on things is better. I take my son for a swim in the pool, and we call it a night.

The next day, we wait. And wait. And wait. I made a trek up to a Value Village (kind of like a goodwill… cheap used crap kind of store) to replace my shredded and thorn filled sandles and get a coat for my son (we forgot to bring his in our haste to leave the house). Finally, we just check out of the hotel at 11, and go down to the shop. They still aren’t done. 2 hours later, they are. The manger takes the truck for a spin, and is gone for about 10 minutes. When he returns, he doesn’t look happy. Ashen is a good word. He tells me that he needs to show me something, and asks him to take a ride with him. About a block away, he says “Watch this,” and slams on the brakes. The truck lurches suddenly and violently to the right. *urge to kill, rising* The new wheel is the same size, but the rim is a little smaller than the other tires. However, he believes that this problem is being caused by damaged brakes. “How much, and how long?” I as, wearily. 2 hours or so, he says. Fine. Whatever. Just get me out of here. Today.

They drop us off at the local mall so we can eat, and keep the kid entertained. 3 hours later, they are finished (4:00… we can still make it, but it will be very late). Turns out the rear shoes were disintegrating. Looked kind of like marbled cheese. Stress fractures throughout both, and you could pick it apart with your finger. One more test drive to confirm the issue was resolved… much better now. $1700 later and 27 hours behind schedule, we finally get to continue on our trip.

Don’t get me wrong. Everyone there was great. The mechanics busted ass to get us out as fast as possible, and with a minimum of unlubricated shafting. The cop kept us safe. The tow truck driver was an interesting conversationalist. The waitress was sweet (Will kept calling her Gramma). The clerk at the Value Village with the cleft buttock gave me a 20% discount because I am so drop dead sexy to… uh… other guys, I guess. It’s the most time I’ve ever spend there, and I have to admit it was a pleasant experience… if I close my eyes really tight, and leave out the whole hemmoraging cash thing.

We make it to our destination 6 hours later. It could have been 4. My buddy mentioned that they were doing road construction between Missoula and Arlee (very near the place they rented for the wedding), and that the highway was a “little rough and torn up.” Ha ha. Just like I’m a little bit bald, the Hindenburg was a little bit burned, and George W Bush is a little bit of an idiot. Christ on a crutch, as my father liked to say. They mechanics did a good job. If the thrice-damned wheels were going to come off, that would have been the place. Wasn’t sure we were going to have any shocks or even an oil pan by the time we located the place. It was 11ish pm at that point, and I was just so damn happy that we made it with most of our vehichle still under us.

Greetings were made, beer was guzzled, and sleep was attained. Albiet, briefly. It would seem the blushing bride to be is also a practicing slave driver, and that this wedding would be perfect… no matter the pain!

To be continued…