Horses sweat, she says. Men perspire. Ladies glow.
Went down to Dad's and picked up his big Chevy 4x4 truck with the brand new truck cap (Free! the sign was still on the front of it, a sort of cosmic truck-ma getting passed along) and Q and I got a quick refresher on a few quirks it had. Dad hot-wired a button in when the starter switch went out, don't drive too fast, if it gets really hot hauling and locks up spray some starter fluid here while someone else tries to start it. He missed one, but I'll get to that.
We got in and took off for Ann Arbor. It's loud in the truck, and the radio hasn't worked since he hotwired the starter button, but I have stories upon stories to tell for long car rides and Q is a marvellous audience for them.
Straight up I-69 to I-94, and twenty miles down I-94 I noticed that the gas tank was on 1/8 and figured even with switching over to the other tank I'd need to fill up eventually. So I pulled over to a gas station, managed to manoeuvre the truck up next to the pump - or at least close enough for the hose to reach - and double checked. Tank switch was on left, fill the left tank. 0.75 gallons later, Q says "Uhm, Nykki?"
There's gas oozing from beneath the truck. I call my dad. He says "Oh, yeah, the filler hose leaks. Don't fill it so full." I explain that I had put 0.75 gallons in and he says "Oh. Well, just use the right tank, then."
Flip the switch to the right tank and drive off, leaving a tiny puddle of dribbled gas. I'm still afraid that the station blew up after I left. A quarter-mile later, we notice that the gas gauge is still on 1/8 tank. We pull off the next exit into the large parking lot of a tiny truck plaza, well away from the gas tanks. The left tank is now drooling gas at a pretty steady rate and try as I might, I cannot get the truck to switch to the right one. I call my father. "I'm on my way," he says. What else could he say?
It's around 12:30 or so, now, and we're both hungry, so we look around. There's an expansive parking lot with a tiny little greasy-spoon diner and a service station advertising "Bud's CB Shop". Across the two-lane road on a hill is the "Velvet Touch Adult Bookstore".
We tried the greasy spoon first. We walked in and saw nobody, about eight small Formica tables with cheap plastic tablecloths and uncomfortable-looking chairs, a seven-foot white Formica bar, and a whiteboard proclaiming the day's specials: Steak and eggs, bacon and eggs, and ham sandwiches. We passed, and went to the service station.
Bud's CB shop was in one corner. The rest contained snacky foods and a cooler with sandwiches. Q got egg salad, I got something referred to as a Po'Boy which turned out to be ham, bologna, cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion on a sub bun, and we bought a couple giant bottles of water and a bag of white cheddar popcorn. It was a picnic, on the grassy area surrounding the service station, behind the giant 4x4 pickup that was now only occasionally dripping gas into a small and spreading damp area beneath it.
Having nothing better to do, we decided to go to the Adult Bookstore. We walked across the road and up the hill and stopped when we saw the giant sign: "Admission $1. Cheerfully refunded with purchase."
So much for going to the Adult Bookstore. So we turned to leave.
As we were leaving, we found an envelope in the parking lot. It looked like a bill, it was unopened, and addressed to someone in Des Moines, IA. It should get to Des Moines, we agreed, so we went back to the Adult Bookstore.
The proprieter was a slim and grizzled man with silver hair and a lovely beard. He had a baritone voice of the kind that makes my will to resist go melting all over everywhere. He was also amusing in an old-man sort of way, and assured us he would put the envelope in the mail.
Inside the Adult Bookstore, it was dark and filled with Adult Toys. And in the corner, on a little platform with mirrors on two sides, there was a Live Girl in a hot pink dress with slits on her hips, adjusting her nylons. I thought about squigglz, and wondered how amazingly boring it would be to be the Live Girl for an adult bookstore in Parma, MI, where there's a little unused exit.
We napped on the grass beside the truck stop until it started to sprinkle, and then we hid in the truck until my father showed up with his van. "You guys take the van," he says, "and I'll work on the truck." The switch, apparently, wasn't working.
We were all the way to Ann Arbor when I got a call from my dad. "I've got a funny story," he says. This, O Best Beloved, is analogous to my own "You've got to hear this": it means "We just did a bunch of work for no reason." Turns out that the switch was broken and that the left tank was full of gas (hence leaking) while the right tank was empty.
Loading the van was largely uneventful, except for dropping M's papier-mache tiger footstool out of the back while trying to get the table in, and breaking it. :( However, we got another phone call from my father.
"I've blown a head gasket," he says. "Can you pick me up on your way back?"
The truck was in Coldwater, MI, at a friendly Citgo. Apparently, towing using a tow rope is hard on 4-wheel drive vehicles, but the U-Haul place, which had trailers that could be used to dolly the truck along, was long since closed. So we left it there overnight, wedged my father into the space between the two front seats of the van, and arrived home twelve and a half hours after we'd left.
Dad took ecchikun to Coldwater yesterday to get the truck - the U-Haul place said that it was too heavy to haul on a dolly - but that's his story to tell. Angel, as my reward, took me out to Junk Food Alley for the night.
But Q and M are moving in to their new apartment, and that is a Good Thing.