Saturday, September 4, 2010
The Car Dun Blowed Up
No, you aren't getting into heaven. There's a stop sign in your way.
Dutiful daughter and I are driving our 2001 Chrysler Sebring back from Beaverton this morning and something goes wrong. We are almost to our exit, but we are still on the freeway and she's putting on the brakes. No, she's not, she tells me. Stepping on the gas has no effect. We coast to a stop half way up the exit ramp. The engine has died, and it won't restart. It cranks, but she no catchee. Fine, get out, open the hood. Uh oh. We've got brown oil sprayed over half the engine. Looks like it got blown out the filler cap. I don't think we're going to fix this with jumper cables.
Should we call a tow truck, or should we get my truck and try towing it with a rope? Well, is there any place to even tie a rope onto the car? Um, no, there isn't, not unless you want to hook onto the front suspension, and even then you are going to impacting the lower body work. So no.
Call home, wake someone up, they give us a number for a Hillsboro tow truck company. I call them and get put on hold for ten minutes only to be told that Hillsboro is not in their service area.
A Mexican dude pulls up on a fancy sport bike. He's wearing these cool motorcycle boots with what look like toe protectors. Says he's a mechanic so I show him the mess. He gives us the number of a friend of his with a tow truck. We call the friend. Two people answer, they are both yelling unintelligibly, then the phone disconnects. We try again similar result. Third time I think I am able to communicate. Guy tells me it will be 20 minutes. I spend the time arguing with my daughter and looking for treasure.
Half an hour later still no tow truck. Call him back, more garbled communication, something about a 460. I don't think he's coming.
'Bout this time my wife shows up. We finally get the correct phone number for Hillsboro Towing. Clear, prompt, businesslike communications. The truck will be here in half an hour. The girls take off and I wait for the truck. (I spend the time reading the Omnivore's Dilemma. Very interesting. Probably have to write something about it, if I ever finish it.) The tow company sends a flat bed for which they charge $55 for loading and $5 a mile for carrying. Much better than the $90 the first outfit wanted. And he even gave me a ride home.
Racial profiling: Three vehicles stopped to inquire about our status. Two were Mexicans and one was a white guy. A white guy on a bicycle came by and inquired, but he didn't stop. He didn't have a chain anyway. A cop stopped someone on the freeway right by the exit, but he didn't stop by. None of the new Beemers that came by stopped. Can't say as I am surprised, I generally don't stop either.
Update February 2017 replaced missing pictures.