Wed, July 2, 2008
Despite the fact that mercury has gone OUT of retrograde, we are plagued by transportation issues. Well... it could be that we (the equine ambulatory service) are working for a large LARGE university, and saving money by buying or keeping crappy vehicles is the name of the game.
Anyway. This is my second week. I still don't have a truck, so on call time is rather tricky for me. I'm still riding with the others, however, so it isn't so bad. The doc I am riding with, a 5 foot tall spitfire of a woman with a wicked sense of humor, a self proclaimed bitchy attitude, and a mouth like a trucker, has managed to render useless three university trucks in the space of 2 days. Her vet truck is a piece of crap. It's brand new and has all these issues and is in and out of the dealer every couple of weeks. That one is now in the shop. Which means we are going to drive?
"That flaming pile, parked out back. Go get it." Yes- a POS white pickup with a cracked windshield, which shimmies at high speeds. We drove it yesterday, it sucked and stunk, but it was fine.
"Today, we are taking that other flaming pile." The vet truck the old intern used to drive. Well... they got it started, she got in it, drove it a little ways before discovering it has NO BRAKES, parked it and shut it off... and it would not start again. Truck # 2, out of commission, towed away.
So we took Flaming Pile today, "Hilljack" style as she called it- a cardboard box in the back seat next to the student, piled with the stuff we'd need for the day, but pitifully lacking in the basics you need for any vet emergency... oh well.
We were driving along, headed towards lunch. Suddenly all the warning and emergency lights came on, then some buzzers, and the truck was having some sort of seizure. She got all excited at it and started swearing... and then, it was gone. Blank. No controls (except that the F'N RADIO STILL F'N WORKED). She, all 5 feet of her, stood up on the brake pedal and steered that Flaming Pile with all her might towards the side of the road. We were all concentrating so hard on willing the damn thing to safety that we didn't notice where we were.
Somewhere in rural Ohio, on a backroad (yet one that has a 50 mph sign), past fields of corn... we managed to pull into a shady spot on the side of the road, where the grass helped stop its progress and it ground to a halt.
To the left, across the road, was a field of corn.
To the right... abandoned trucks and cars. And a great, big empty abandoned creepy house, overgrown with windows missing, completely shielded from view by the road by a row of overgrown shrubs and trees.
She went into a frenzy of calling everyone at the university to get us help. They were willing to call a tow, but NO ONE CARED ABOUT THE PEOPLE. "We can't help you with that, sorry."
"How about a cab? A groom? Someone?"
"No, sorry... can't help you..."
Are you F'n kidding me???
Mean while we had dissolved into complete hysterics (and hysteria) in the cab of the truck. Firstly, out of nowhere a little old man in a tiny Kia came out of the backyard (which was filled with abandoned cars). He entreated us to move the truck as he was on a very important errand to get pizza.
So we three women pushed that Flaming Pile up 5 feet to let the little car out. And the little elfin/trollish old man in it. It was really really bizarre, friends, truly. Where did he come from? We got curious. I said:
"You know, this is the part where the zombies come out of the house. Or the cult comes from the backyard and brings us to the shed in the back."
"yeah- pizza for WHO? The cult, or the voices in his head?"
Weird, people, really f'n weird.
All this time we have the passenger doors open, and the hazard lights on. Suddenly the truck went into a heart attack. The needles in the gauges all went wild, flipping up in a weirdly heartbeating rhythm; then the clicking of the hazards sped up (tachycardia! It's having a heart attack!) We dissolved once again into hysterics, screaming for the drugs we sadly did not have... and then FLATLINE!!! Yes, it actually made that horrific long drawn out beep, the needles lay down for the last time and the hazards then shut off forever.
She then starts flipping out-
"This F'n Flaming Pile is gonna catch fire, blow up, something! Let's get the crap out of the damn thing before it takes us and the expensive ultrasound with it!" So out of the truck we got, all our crap piled on the grass under the big creepy cedar trees...
I then went on to say:
"Ok, this is the part where it gets really dark and we are forced to go sleep in the creepy abandoned house, where the zombies eat our brains. BRAAAAIIIINNNNSSSSS...." So then she starts yelling at me (jokingly of course).
We were rescued eventually. Our lovely secretary sacrificed her LUNCH BREAK to come and get us.
As we packed her SUV with our crap, student and us and went to drive away, I looked to the right where the abandoned cars lay quietly in the grass and saw SEVERAL SMALL CHILDREN STARING INTENTLY AT US!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(please see My Photos for additional footage of this adventure.)