Thursday, June 04, 2009

Look! Down on the Ground! It's ... Stupor Man ...

So, my morning was little more interesting than I had intended.

I was to watch my grandson, and my wife had taken her car to work. Why this matters is, the concrete guys aren't done and our driveway is still a deep pit, through which I cannot get my little car, which has been parked in the garage. So my wife has been leaving her car home and taking the bus/train to work. Today, however, she had an appointment and needed her wheels. I was to take the bus downtown and fetch her car so that I could get to silat class, which is temporarily being held at Toby's.

I forgot this.

So, I puttered around, got dressed, and since my son and daughter-in-law live only a mile and a half or so away, allowed five minutes to drive there.

Walked outside. Oops. No car.

Okay, I'll take the bicycle, I can make it if I hurry.

No air in the tires.

Okay, there's only about a ten foot-gap across a little rise between my driveway and my neighbor's driveway. I'll just take the Mini over that and out to the street that way. One of the arbor vitae never took off and I'd cut it down, there was enough room between the pine tree and the other greenery, right? No problem.

You ever have a notion that, even as you do it, you know is a bad idea? Even a stupid idea?

The ground clearance on the Mini is about seven inches. The dirt over which I intended to drive was a) soft b) covered with twenty years' worth of bark dust and c) not flat.

Anybody want to guess what happened? You there, giggling like a demented hyena?

Yes. You are correct. I got stuck. The technical term is high-centered. As in, "I high-centered the fucking car!"

It wasn't going anywhere, Hercules couldn't have pushed it free, and certainly I couldn't. Aside from not having the strength, there's no place to get a grip on the sucker, half of it is plastic and you can't grab it put any pressure on it. I could have picked up my old VW beetle by the front bumper and moved it. Not the Mini.

I called my daughter-in-law and allowed as how I wasn't going to make it. Tried the jack first, no go. Got assorted tools -- a shovel, a hoe, then a pick-axe -- and began to dig it out. The pick-axe was the best tool.

Using a pick-axe, by the by, while kneeling in the dirt, trying to swing it horizontally underneath a car buried to the frame? Put that on my list of jobs-I-don't-want, too. I felt like an archeologist trying to unearth a big dinosaur fossil using a whisk broom ...

It started to rain. (Well, okay, it was only a drizzle, but that does make it more dramatic, so I'll leave it in.)

Skinned knees, a couple of blisters, and an hour and a half later, I managed to clear enough dirt from underneath the car -- done by feel, since I couldn't see what I was doing -- jack it up again, and roll it clear and back into the driveway. Then back into the garage.

No damage to the Mini, and no harm, no foul. Only to my self-image.

I don't know what I was thinking.

Stupid is as stupid does ...

11 comments:

steve-vh said...

Gee, every driver here learns that lesson after the first heavy snow. Say like, when they're 16? As Bobbe would say, slowing down Old Man?
Thanks though for making the rest of us feel a mite smarter if only briefly.

Steve Perry said...

Yeah, I don't take my car out in the snow -- I know that much.

Now I know not to take it off-road in the dirt ...

Worg said...

AAA for the win.

At $100 a year or whatever, it will almost certainly pay for itself.

Steve Perry said...

Oh, I got AAA. And if I had run out of gas or been broken down on the side of the road, I'd called 'em, but I knew what had to be done and I had the tools to do it. Frankenstein Concept: You create it, you take care of it ...

Worg said...

If I pay for someone else to take care of something, they're bloody well taking care of it.

I've had days like that though. One of them, coincidentally involving a "high center" on a curb and a consequently subtly damaged u-joint, ended with a severe breakdown and me walking through a mile of woodlot after dusk to a hospital with a badly broken nose.

When I got to the hospital, after they set my nose, they noticed the wood ticks.

Tiel Aisha Ansari said...

At least it wasn't mud. This time. And you didn't lose the bumper. This time...

Steve Perry said...

I'm not taking too much credit for those two. First, Guru's yard didn't' seem that muddy. Second, there was a ladder sticking out of that pile of junk and positioned so I couldn't see it. Freak accident ...

This one, all on me.

Edwin Voskamp said...

7 inches? Wow!

My three-quarter ton four-by-four Suburban was listed as having eight inches.

Steve Perry said...

I sit corrected on that -- five inch clearance, apparently.

Could have been ten though, and It wouldn't have mattered ...

Dojo Rat said...

Who the hell is the concrete contractor??
--Hasn't it been weeks since they busted it up??

Steve Perry said...

Contractor has a small crew, and a lot of work in the neighborhood. The Neighborhood Nazis, aka the Association, sent out letters to a couple dozen homeowners, telling them to get the walks fixed or else.

What happened is that we're getting a group rate, and several of use decided that if we had to get some of it fixed, we might as well get more of it done at the same time, for the same low rate. Guy fixed my walk, but I wanted to get the driveway apron done. He was willing, but he had already scheduled other stuff ahead of me.

I knew it was gonna take longer, but to save a thousand bucks, I figured it was worth the wait.

I've never had any contractor do anything for me that he ever did so when he said he was gonna -- and I don't know anybody who expects that ...