Monday, February 5, 2018

Beyond furious

No, I'm not referring to who won the Super Bowl.

Or to the insane contradictory reactions prior to and post release of the FISA memo.

To what made me so angry I almost couldn't see straight was much, much closer to home.  Quite literally.
My 17 y/o stepson was was back for the weekend from the military boarding school where he is attending his senior year of high school.  Yes, there is a reason he is there.
The weather in my area yesterday consisted of snow with about 1-2" of accumulation then it turned to rain.
Some friends picked him up yesterday afternoon.  It was raining at this point.  I only saw the boy leave the house, didn't see that he was picked up.
To begin their afternoon of adventure, the numbskull that was driving (a car sans license tag) didn't have enough gas and they apparently ran out shortly after they left my house.  Stepson texted my wife about said situation and she wisely bowed out of the situation and let them come up with another solution.   According to a dear friend of mine who works for the state dept. of highways and was plowing, came across them in his travels and stopped to help them push the car of the road.  He told me he had to tell them to help push, because they were just standing there.

Fast forward a couple of hours.  I was starting to get ready to go to a gathering at a friend's house for the game when I heard some strange noises.  I looked out numerous windows but did not see anything.  My driveway is not visible from a window.  (one of the few things I don't like about my property.)
The dog had perked up and acted like she wanted to go out.  As I was letting her out, the boy was coming up on the patio.  I noticed he left the gate open and brought this to his attention.  That's when he chuckled and said his friend's car was stuck.

Cue an anger level I have not been to in quite some time as I rounded the corner and saw where they were stuck.  I somewhat regret that I did not get pictures.

Not only were they stuck in my yard and had created ruts from spinning the wheels, but the rear wheels were off the ground.  This due to the rear of the vehicle being perched atop the wellhead!  The wellhead  is at least 10' away from the driveway and I had placed a fence post next to it in the event we had a lot of snow I would know where it was.

 I'm guessing the dumbass driving didn't have the traction to make it up the slight grade of the slushy driveway and blindly backed up.  Apparently at a pretty good speed, too, because the rear axle hitting the pipe is what kept him from going over it farther.
Amidst my extremely colorful language, I commented about him not seeing the fence post.  His reply was that he didn't have a rear view mirror!

Quite honestly, I suspect the friends were probably stoned.  I doubt the stepson was, as he knows testing is routinely done at school.

So here it is; 5:30 in the afternoon, pouring down rain, I'm trying to leave to go to a party and I have stoooopid kids with their car stuck on my water wellhead, with who knows yet what kind of damage has been done.  And no, I'm not referring to damage to the car.  Livid is an understatement.

After pondering best solutions for a moment, my off roading experience kicked in.  I retrieved the Hi-Lift jack out of the Jeep CJ and told the boys to fetch some cement blocks I had next to the firewood pile.  The boy that was the driver went and brought back two.  The other two boys just stood there looking stupid and I had to tell them to go some some blocks as well.  Sigh...

I jacked up each side of the car and got blocks under the rear wheels and placed a couple in front of the wheels to keep the rear raised off the pipe.  The front drive wheels where buried and whatever tread the tires had was loaded with mud, so I knew the car was going to have to be pulled out.
Using hooks is typically not a good thing in stuck vehicle recovery, as they can become deadly projectiles in the event of a line failure.  Cars, unlike off road vehicles, don't have recovery points, so I had to use the hooks on the ends of a chain to grab whatever substantial framework I could.  A strap was used to connect the chain to my truck.
I got the knucklehead out of the yard and onto the road.  I was surprised the cement blocks got put back without me having to give instructions.
Now I'm soaking wet and running late and have some pretty sizable ruts in the yard.  Pointless to think anyone but me will be fixing that.

Small miracle of miracles, at a quick cursory inspection, there did not appear to be any damage to the wellhead.  The pipe is very stout and set in concrete, but the cap is cast aluminum.  The fuel tank of the car could also have been ruptured, for which I am VERY thankful it was not.  I don't know how gasoline in my drinking water would be remedied.

My friends and I did some pretty stupid (and sometimes dangerous) stuff when I was that age, but I don't recall being quite that boneheaded.  Perhaps if I could ask my parents, they would disagree.

Edit note/ clarification:  What had me furious was not them getting stuck in the yard.  That would have been a simple annoyance.  Having landed squarely on on top of the wellhead and the possible expensive damage that could have caused is what sent me over the top.

1 comment:

  1. Fury for the entire thing would be appropriate. And he's grounded until 35 with no contact with his friends, who should have a nice police officer chat with them about the need for licenses and rear view mirtors.