Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Monday, May 01, 2006

Cadillac Flambé

Not Quite The BBQ I Was Hoping For...

OK, by now the word has spread that I had a bit of difficulty making it out to the Salt Lick Friday night. If you ask Eric, Livey, or Tara they'll probably say I got lost, due to their extended tour of Austin streets with me in search of flying bats. This was not the case!

It all started with an odd aroma... driving out from Houston Friday afternoon, I kept getting a whiff of something burning. Of course, when you drive the back roads like I usually do, you follow a lot of diesel-burning pickups and larger trucks, so I chalked it up to some nasty reformulation of the local diesel fuel.

I got to Austin, drove into the hotel parking lot, and immediately caught sight of a whole mess o' bloggers hanging out in front. Naturally, I completely forgot I was driving, and proceeded to bounce over curbs, and get myself completely discombobulated, and tried getting into the parking garage without the pass card. So, I backed down the ramp, much to the amusement of the assembled Blown-Eyed Blodgers. My driving would continue to be a source of gleeful derision as the weekend passed...

After checking in and hanging out in the hotel bar for a while, I went out towards the Lick to set up Base Camp. Along the way, I was gonna stop to fill the gas tank, buy some ice and the final fixin's for my Key Lime Pie shooters. (The shooter fixin's never did get purchased, so I've still got LOTS of liquor...)

So, here's El Capitan, heading for the Salt Lick. Notice how smug & self satisfied he is! Everyone's going to the restaurant he picked out! He's feeling just too damn groovy!

I stopped, filled the tank with 16 gallons of wonderfully flammable gasoline, got some ice & bottled water, refilled my travel mug and headed out again. I'd noticed that odd burning smell again while gassing up, but a check under the hood didn't reveal anything out of the ordinary. Besides! It was gonna be a perfect weekend! Nothing's stopping me now!

Well, the Fates, or the Gods, or just the Flying Spaghetti Monster having a bad pasta day noticed this solid wavefront of pride and hubris emanating from El Capitan, and were sorely offended. This would never do! And so, Flying Spaghetti Monster reached out with His Noodly Appendage and smote El Capitan's Cadillac.

Not 50 yards past the turnoff to the Lick, the Cad commenced to shakin' and smokin', and making sounds like two armored penguins doing the nasty inside a galvanized rubbish bin. By the time I got the Cad off the road and up into the parking lot of the hospital there at 290 & FM 1826, the smoke was pretty thick, and the engine was starting to hitch a bit.

I leaped out (which for me is an amazing feat) popped the hood, and ZOWIE! There's flames under there! Holy Shit!!! I ran to get the water I'd just bought, but completely forgot that I'd poured it into the travel mug. So, I'm cursing and freaking out...

Remember those 16 gallons of freshly-pumped gas? I sure as hell did! Keep in mind I've got $1500 worth of guns, about 2000 rounds of ammo, and 2 gallons of liquor in the car. At this point El Capitan's having some severe sphincter issues...

I run back up front, and try to beat out the flames with the towel I keep for when I check the oil. No luck there.

Finally, I remembered the travel mug, tore off the lid, and doused the flames, remembering at the last minute that pouring water on an engine fire is NOT recommended. Oh, well. Go with what you've got!

With the fire out, I'm thinking my whole weekend is shot, plus I'm gonna be out another wad o' cash to get the Cad running again. Fortunately, my parents were visiting my sister & BIL right down the road, so the cavalry was there PDQ.

Turns out the plastic clutch plate guard-thingie on the A/C compressor got jammed against the unibelt pulley, heated up due to friction, and caught on fire, along with all the rubber & oil sludge coating the immediate area. That threw the pulley out of whack, creating all the Sound and Fury.

My BIL was able to chisel out the burned mess, get the pulley centered, and I was back on the road about the time the Blodgers were getting their 2nd plate of BBQ.

After we got the Cad back to the hotel, I treated my rescue party to dinner at Serrano's, and since BIL was driving, I got REALLY hammered on tequila. The adrenalin rush didn't really wear off until sometime Saturday morning!

So, there's the story. Yes, the Cad did burn, but only for long enough to make El Capitan run around & shriek like an idiot.

More Blogfest Tales a bit later...