TITLE: Always Ask Before Ya Go Lookin' At Somebody's Vehicles

Author: Jethro

Date Submitted: October 24, 2000

Well my Pappy always said that thar was two ways to learn; the hard way and
the easy way. Well you can guess which way I learn. Rather than getting'
swimming lessons in a heated pool, I got the "thrown off the end of the dock
in late October method", which worked pretty good fer me, when the alternative
is goin' down to visit ole Davy Jones's Locker at the bottom. Well I been
learnin' the hard way ever since. Like the time I learned the radiator fan on
my D200 could be installed backwards. Now after overheating that 383 so much
the engine paint burned off, and having ta write the check to the machinists
to mill the heads.
I learned that I need to mark the front of the fan before I remove it. Well
any ways, back ta my story. I was out in a rural area driving along, when I
said ta myself, boy this 383 is sure noisy. I looked on tha dash an I'd been
driving in 2nd gear for the last hour! So's I put her back into drive and
everything seems fine with the truck. I was coming up to a patch of willows
and cottonwoods on a creek bank between two fields, when I spot a whole mess
of Dodge trucks sittin' in the trees. Now I
didn't see a house near by, but I didn't think it would hurt just ta look. Now
mind ya, I didn't have any intention of stealin' anything, I just like ta look
at these old trucks and see what options they have on them, etc. Well, I'm
like a kid in a candy store lookin' at them Dodges, seeing them Custom Sport
Specials and Adventurers, could of spent the whole day, but didn't want to
worry Ma.
Well when I get back ta my "Ole Betsey" D200, I notice that the right front
tire is totally flat. I hear a voice, and look up the bank on the road and see
a man with a rifle. He says, " I had ya in the cross hairs a couple of times,
you better get outta here before I change my mind 'bout using this here
rifle". Well I figure, now's as good as time as any ta try out that K-Mart
bottle jack I threw under the seat four years ago. So I had the spare out and
proceeded to pump that jack handle, quicker than a buck deer in rut chasing a
doe. When the jack hit the end of its
travel, I pulled off the flat. Damn, it wasn't high enough ta put the spare
on! Well, about this time I hear the bolt being worked on that Mauser '98. So,
without thinkin', I put the flat back on with about six of the eight lug nuts,
leave the jack on the ground, and fire that 383 in the Sweptline up ta life.
The drive on the gravel road was a blur, when I hit asphalt the noise that
wheel made could be heard for ten country miles! Well, needless ta say, the
wheel and tire were a total waste. The wheel bearing went out two days later,
and the tire wears funny on that side to this day. Ma still can't believe I
would be dumb enough not to have a jack in the truck. And I got plenty of
advice on how to change a tire when the jack doesn't have enough travel. But,
little did they know, that it was my aversion ta 8mm lead in my viscera, that
caused that wheel
and tire to be ruined. :-)