Rattle the shifter around, check all the fuses, pop the hood and check the battery cables. Grab a hold of one of the auxiliary system cables and give it a tug – there’s a quick shock and I realize that one is loose, then suddenly all the lights and sirens come on. Well, that explains why the strobes and stuff wouldn’t work. Better get to work on the isolator and RV battery setup. Jump back in the drivers seat aaaannnnndd… nothing. Doesn’t turn over at all, no click. Just…dead. The battery gauge shows plenty of juice, but I try getting someone to jump start it anyway. No dice.
Call a tow truck. As soon as I relate the height of the van, they politely decline. Can’t get it on a flatbet. Call for an RV tow truck (a “wheel lift”) and go slump down in the driver’s seat. OA is cranky. The GF suggests that she knows the problem: The starter has gone bad. The fact is, she does not know what part of the stuff under the hood is the freaking BATTERY, so understandably, I’m less than impressed with her diagnostic skills. I politely respond that it isn’t the problem. There may have been a hint of sarcasm in my tone, however.
I am then informed that I am free to make the trip to Corvallis without her and she then invites me to do something that for mere mortals would be anatomically impossible, I’m pretty sure.
Looks like the Beavermobile will not be making the trip. While I’m waiting for the tow truck to arrive, I check the fusible link and call co-pilot to tell him that we are going to be loading up in the Durango instead.
Rich calls. I had considered calling him and asking if there were any idiosyncrasies I should know about, but decided that 8:30 a.m. was too early to bother the man, the legend. He tells me about a flaky neutral safety switch and I give the shifter another quick rattle around and the van roars to life. HALLELUJAH!! I think she just wanted to hear Rich’s voice.
Call the tow truck driver back and hit the road, after a one hour delay, in a significantly better mood. Quick stop at Fred Meyer’s for necessary supplies, and we’re on our way to get co-pilot, who has gone back to bed to get some more sleep. He’s going to need some hair of the dog that bit him to get up to speed for the day. Co-pilot brings Little Daddy today instead of his gf. Little Daddy immediately begins talking trash about Fight Night 2004 in the X-Box.
The trip to Corvallis is a relatively easy one, with not a lot of traffic. Customary shouting over the PA ensues, but blasting of the air horn is decidedly subdued. The original plan was to hit the Headline for pizza and a beer or two before the game, but due to new time constraints, we barbequed a little, parked the van and headed in to the game. I had to promise Co-pilot that we would stop at the Headline on the way out of town.
Post game we drove through Corvallis to the Headline, announcing the score of the Oklahoma – Oregon game over the PA. We spotted an Oregon flag on an SUV at Safeway in Corvallis and graciously updated them on the final score as well. We’re all about public service. We watched the better part of the UW-UCLA game, and then headed for home, warm and happy, with a Beaver win under our collective belt.
Quick stats, insignifica, and raw data…
Miles traveled: 209 miles
Gallons of fuel consumed: 35
Dollars spent on fuel: 70
Chances that we’ll drive the van 1300 miles round trip to the Stanford game: still 0
Number of times OA was shocked by loose positive battery cable: 1
Number of times that OA’s GF called OA a name not printable on a family website: 1
Number of times OA probably deserved it: 1
Number of times OA apologized: 17
Number of State Highway Patrol to pull over the Beavermobile: 0
Number of OHP’s to stare at the Beavermobile as if it’s a UFO: 3
Number of hot coeds to smile and honk at the van: 4
Number of coeds to flash OA and co-pilot: still 0
Percentage of optimism that coeds will eventually flash OA and Copilot: 80
Number of cars to block traffic in the fast lane while taking pictures: 3
Asses hanging out of the window during said pictures: still 0. They caught us by surprise, ok Rich??
Number of times OA said to the GF, “Hey mama got some fries with that shake?” over PA at gas station: 1
Scale of 1-10, how red her face got: 12
Number of rounds fought on X-Box’s Fight Night 2004 during halftime: 3
Number of times OA, using Mickey Ward, knocked down Muhammed Ali, played by Little Daddy: 3
Number of times Little Daddy knocked down OA: 0
Still the undisputed champion of the world, the winner by knockout: OA
Amount of minutes OA and Co-pilot left the game early to get out of the weather: 0
Number of Duck fans to give the bird to the Beavermobile on the way back: 2
Number of same Duck fans to be stuck next to the Beavermobile in gridlock outside Salem: 1
Amount of solid minutes that said Duck fan received brutal heckling over the PA: 6
Number of times Duck fan gave the finger to the Beavermobile following heckling: 0