Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Adventures of Bad Luck Chuck and his Two Sidekicks

Hello! I am Bad Luck Chuck and I am the newest resident of Roe Circle. This weekend, I accompanied two baboons on a trip to IKEA, the most wonderful place on earth. Here is our journey. If you don't think this first picture is funny by the end of our trip, then you have no sense of irony.

The plan was to leave Friday after the baboons came home and drive to Davenport and spend the night. Then we were going to be at IKEA first thing in the morning, shop, and hit the road to make it back to the tree house before 8pm.
Hey, it was a long trip and I had to take a leak.

We made it to Davenport and stayed at the Comfort Inn. I slept in the king size bed and let the other two fend for themselves.

After a quick shower and some coffee, we were back on the road!

We finally made it to IKEA!!

Here I am with the big guy, checking out chairs. I was thinking more of a hammock style, but I guess this one was OK too.

We managed to get in and find everything in less than 2 hours! (Almost) Everything they wanted was in stock and we were herded into the check out area.

We loaded up the truck and got everything wrapped up. It was sprinkling on and off, but they said as long as we were moving, everything would be fine.
We got on the road and outside of Chicago stopped for food. I had a banana split. We noticed the GPS was taking us south and we figured we were going through St. Louis. We were making good time when we realized we were kind of out in the middle of nowhere. But the GPS knows best, right?
We were about 40 miles from the MO border when...

all of the in-dash warning lights flashed and the battery light stayed on. I heard something about an alternator. But we were in the middle of nowhere and kept driving. Not long after we crossed into MO, the wipers died, the clock and lights went out, and all of the gauges fell to 0. We coasted into a town called Monroe City and landed in a Hardee's parking lot. It was a little before 6, but this place was a geographical oddity. Everything but the farm supply store was closed and there were no mechanics in town until Monday at 7.

We were forced to stay at the "nicest hotel in Monroe City" over night. The big one bought a battery charger and the little one pouted in front of the TV and drank beer.
Now I don't stay in hotels that often, but this one was bad. The key was an actual key, it smelled like smoke, there was no paper, phonebook, bible, alarm clock, or blow dryer. The clerk was sympathetic and offered to pick us up food though.
In the middle of the night it rained and shorted out the charger. But the extension cord worked well.

We decided to limp out of town by whatever means necessary, which meant we drove about 30 miles, found a gas station and recharged the battery.
The second time, we only made it 20 miles and coasted into a Walgreens parking lot with no lights, blinkers, or anything. We took the GPS off the charger so we weren't drawing any more from the battery than we had too. But it was dark with the rain and the headlights kept coming on. The big guy wasn't sure which fuse it was on, so the lights sucked what little juice the battery had.

At the Walgreens in Moberly, a nice lady named Holli let us plug into the inside outlet and told us if you put in the E-brake one click, the lights will go off. That should help. We figured out there was an O'Reilly's open so we went there to see if they could help.
Before we left, the little one bought some stuff. Something about forgetting a toothbrush and wanting clean underwear. I prefer just to go without.

At the O'Reilly's they ran some test and it was the alternator. Big surprise. I was looking for banana-scented air freshener, but I was disappointed. No mechanics on duty in this town either. But apparently, there was some guy named Homer in Columbia that could help. That was only another 30 miles away. We charged again and hoped for the best.

Before we made it to Homer, the GPS died. Now all we had were phones. We didn't make it to Homer's just yet. We had to coast into another gas station for one last charge, less than 5 miles from Homer's place. At this point, we had been travelling for over 6 hours and made it about 90 miles.

We finally made it! And Homer had located a rebuilt alternator. He could get us fixed up in a matter of hours.

Homer was my kind of monkey.

It took a little bit, but we eventually got back on the road.

As we got on I-70 and back into civilization, the clouds seemed to part. I have never been so happy to be on I-70 and see the signed for the adult superstores.

Once we were back, everything was unloaded and unpacked. Since we spent the night and most of Sunday in the rain, the boxes were all soaked. Luckily, nothing was damaged or broken.

We learned several valuable lessons this weekend.
  1. Never drive through rural Missoura. Stick to the interstates, even if the GPS says it's faster the other way.
  2. Never buy a GM.
  3. Never buy an electric car that you have to charge.
  4. If you meet a guy named Homer in Columbia, MO, you should shake his hand and buy him a beer.

The End.

1 comment:

troy. said...

Wow...great story...well, not great in the sense of what happended, but great in the way you told it!