Lost and Found

I have lots of data.

I was fumbling my way through the archives, looking for an old VST plugin, when I happened across a file named “Fort Wayne Chronicles.TXT”

I had nearly forgotten this tale until I read this. I shouldn’t have forgotten it. I should remember it every time I use my giant Craftsman floor jack or jack stands. I don’t remember how long ago this was. Best guess, it was somewhere around 2000 – 2002, since I was driving the ’86 Suburban. In fact, this was likely the event that caused the eventual failure of my wheel bearing, thus ending the reign of the Urban Assault Vehicle. It was the tale of a time that I drove out to Fort Wayne to visit Phil and go see Sunny Taylor play a show at Mad Anthony’s, and instead ended up spending the weekend changing a tire.

My weekend was NUTS! I went out to Ft. Wayne to see a band that I’ve been wanting to see for months now. They were playing Saturday night at a place not more than 6 or 7 blocks from my friend Phil’s apartment. I picked him up a little late, but we were only going to miss a few minutes of the act. We pulled into the parking lot, and I heard a lout banging noise. I didn’t think much of it, as I always hear loud banging noises in the truck. We pulled into a parking space, and when Phil opened his door, I heard a hissing noise. Bad… Very bad… My right rear tire had blown. I said fuck it, we’ll fix it after the band plays. We walk into the bar, and it’s quiet. There’s no band! They cancelled at the last minute. Fuck it, lets get a drink. I had a few beers, and then decided I’d better fix the flat before drinking any more. We went outside, only to discover that I didn’t have a lug-nut wrench. We found a dude in the bar that had one, so he let us borrow it. Then we couldn’t get the lug nuts loose. I was standing on the wrench – no, I was jumping on the wrench. Still, they wouldn’t budge. We finally got one loose, and proceeded to do the same thing on the other 4. It took us about an hour to get the lug nuts off. In the mean time, the guy that owned the wrench told us to keep it, and he left! Its a good thing, too, because by the time we were done jumping on it, it had become so twisted and bent out of shape, that it looked like a damned pretzel! After all the lug nuts were removed, we then tried to remove the tire from the axle. It didn’t work. It was seized up so tight, that no matter how hard we kicked at it, it wouldn’t budge. Not even a little! We walked back to his apartment, and got his car, drove to Meijer and bought a huge pry-bar and a new lug-nut wrench), and headed back out. Even with the prybar, we couldn’t get the tire off! I was bending the shit out of the axle, and the damned rim just wouldn’t pop off. We worked at it until about 1:30am, and finally decided to call it quits for the night. We went back out there Sunday morning, and unfortunately, it hadn’t spontaneously fallen off during the night. We then went to Sears, and bought a few items, including another prybar, 2 cans of WD-40 and a 3 ½ ton hydraulic floor jack. (By this time, I was disgusted with the factory screw jack.) I drenched that thing in oil, and pried until my arms hurt, and we still couldn’t get the damned wheel off! Finally, I got a brainstorm. I borrowed the scissor jack from Phil’s car, and wedged it in between the frame and the wheel rim. I had to crank that thing so hard that it bent the shit out of my rim. Finally, in one huge explosion, the rim went flying one direction, the jack flew another direction, and luckily, none of my fingers went flying anywhere! (The first thing I did was count them all!) Then we put on the spare, and drove away. But that is the first time in history, that it has taken me 19 hours and almost $200 to change a flat tire!