Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Monday, October 24, 2005

Blow, Gabriel, Blow!

So Much For Never Quoting Show Tunes. I Guess Anything Goes!

The cooler weather this morning was a blessing, or so I thought.

I've been having intermittent troubles with the horn on the Caddy, where the slightest touch anywhere on the steering wheel sets off random honking. Normally, it's just an annoyance, but every so often the contact gets stuck and you get an extended blaring until you pound on the wheel long and hard enough so that it breaks the connection.

This morning, I ease into the driver's seat, and as soon as I reach around the wheel to insert the key, off goes the horn. I suppose the colder weather caused some odd piece of metal to contract, and now this thing ain't shutting off, though I'm beating the steering wheel like a rented mule.

Now, a Caddy's horn ain't exactly understated. In a marque long used by Men of Renown and Captains of Industry, the horn is meant to command instant attention from the plebians, lest they intrude into the path of their betters. Even today, when you're likely to find the Cad in the hands of even wage-slaves such as myself, the horn is still ruthlessly efficient. I've heard foghorns and steam whistles that were less effective at cranking out the decibels.

In no time at all, I'm surrounded by neighbors, mostly wearing bathrobes and looks of extreme disgust. The colder weather has not only set the horn to squalling, it's also dicked with the hood latch linkage. I can't get the damned thing open.

I employ a neighbor child to lift on the hood latch inside the car while I whale on the hood, and sho' nuff, it pops the catch loose and I raise the hood to start pulling wires to the horn. As I let go of the hood, it promptly conks me on the head on its way back down to the securely latched position.

I can't even curse properly, surrounded as I am by a growing crowd of women and children. Spit. Corruption. Dirty Drawers. OK, the hood support hydraulic thingies are getting hit with the cold weather too. They won't hold the weight of the hood.

So, we fiddle with the latch again, get the hood up, and one-handed I root around until I can get the wires pulled on the dual horns tucked in behind the battery. The sound of silence reigns once again. I slam the hood. The horns start up again. Motherf^#$^%#r!!!

Open the hood again. Guess what... There's TWO MORE horns on the opposite fender well, blaring in a slightly different key. Yank, yank. Dead silence once more. Well, there would be, if not for all the neighbor's grumbling. I decide that spraying them down with the garden hose will not help matters.

I'm at a bit of a loss as to why things on this Cad are quickly expiring. It was in perfect condition a year ago. It's not like I abuse it. Hell, I drive like an old woman most of the time. I change the oil every 3K miles, keep the fluid levels up, check the tire pressure, etc. OK, I got a little loaded and backed it into a fence and removed some fender trim, but that's purely cosmetic. I guess it just dislikes me.

I'm gonna buy me a tractor. That's all there is to it. One of those cast-iron Ford farm tractors that still use the basic Model-T engine and tranny, and will run on gas, diesel, kerosene or corn squeezin's. No horn on 'em either!