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Wheels and Emu Fencing

I promised to tell a story about the wheels falling off my truck, so here it is.

Let's start at the beginning. A few years ago, I hired a guy in my construction world that we will call John. (Not his real name.)

John, his wife and HER dog were living in his van when I met him. John was working for one of those temporary labor companies. For those of you who do not know there are companies that we in the construction industry can call and get helpers for small projects short term. (You guys can use these companies, also.)

John is/was a fantastic worker, but he has a problem. John's driver's license was under suspension. Remember John lives in his van. Having no driver's license didn't prevent John from driving, it just prevented John from driving legally.

Driving laws don't apply to John. He is just as comfortable in jail as living in a van. He is happy with his life and wouldn't or won't change it. Did I mention he is 55 years old, a father and grandfather?

OK, you now know who John is. Over the past few years, I have become his friend and friendship is something he takes seriously.

Let's get to the wheels falling of the truck.

Two months ago I ran into John. (He called me.) He explained he was a little short on cash and wondered if I had any "jobs" for him. I told him I needed brakes on the "Beast" (the name of my truck, per the twins and Ivy). John is a pretty good auto mechanic. John gladly accepted the job.

The brakes were installed in know time, saving me a bunch of money. John asked if he could perform some more maintenance on the "Beast". I allowed him to start on the maintenance.

With the "Beast" out of commission, John's lack of a drivers license became a problem again. He was caught driving without it. The "Beast" is in pieces and John is going to jail for thirty days.

I sent the "Beast" to a regular auto mechanics shop to be put back together. Considering no one knew where John had put the parts he took off the "Beast", I had to buy new parts. Spending everything and then some of what I had saved by using John. Oh well, win some, lose some.

John eventually got out of jail and I was driving the "Beast"

. Ivy has a duck pond. Right about now, I'm sure you think I"m drifting off topic again. (I have done that a couple times.) I assure you, the duck pond has a place in this story.

The water in Ivy's pond needs to be replaced with fresh water. I have a 275 gallon tank that I take to town when the duck pond needs fresh water. Water weighs 8 lbs. per gallon. (You are surprised I knew that, aren't you?) 275 gallons X 8 lbs = 2200 lbs. 2200 lbs. is the weight of the water I carry each time the pond needs water. I've done it a hundred times

. I had filled the water tank, picked up Elaine at the store and headed home. I drove 43 of the 45 miles home when Elaine and I heard a loud thud. The "Beast" slowed immediately. Elaine and I simultaneously exclaimed, "What was that?"

Looking out the driver's side window I saw a wheel pass the truck. This all happened at a curve in the road, so I could not watch where the wheel was going. When the "Beast" came to a stop, I got out and realized my worst fears. The wheel(s) that passed my truck belonged to the "Beast".

I have driven in five decades. I have driven "literally" over a million miles. This was a new one for me. When I was a younger man, had this happened, I might have thought, "Wow, that was cool. Did you see that?" But I'm not a young man. I thought, "How in the (construction language) did that happen? What the (construction language) do I do now? Come on God, do you know how old I am?"

I had to find my wheels. Elaine found one immediately. I was looking for the other.

We have a neighbor that raised emus. (Cousins of ostriches.) Yes, this is part of the story, I am not drifting. The emus were contained with a six foot high fence. My wheel bounced over that fence and was laying in the middle of Emu Acres. I had to get my wheel.

My days of jumping six foot high fences are/were over. Good lord, it was only a few days earlier, I fell going up the steps. I had to find a way into the emu pen. I found a gate on the other side of the pen. I

was a big pen with rocks and tall grass.

We have rattlesnakes where we live. Actually, rattlesnakes have nothing to do with this story, but they were what I was thinking of as I walked through that pen.

When I got to the wheel, I realized it weighed too much to simply throw back over the fence. I had to carry, roll and carry it back across the pen and out the gate. I know rattlesnakes were watching me, just waiting for me to let down my guard. Turns out the snakes let me pass.

I'm not sure that John was the reason why the wheels fell off, but I was sure he was going to put them back on. (He's out of jail, well, he can get out for "work release".)

I told John of OUR dilemma,and he assured me not to work about it. John and I went to a local store to buy a jack that would lift the "Beast" and the water. That's a big jack.

John started lifting the truck with the jack and instead of lifting the truck it started pushing the truck into the ditch. John said,"Maybe we should put on the brake and block the front wheels." I said, "No (Construction language)".

With the wheels back on the truck, John started carefully disassembling the jack and putting back in the box. "We're taking this baby back, when you live in jail you don't have room for things like this." Hard to argue with logic like that.

OK, this time I'm drifting. If you have ever seen me, you might have notice I occasionally where short pants. Years ago I was invited (ordered), by phone, to a business meeting. I was told I needed to be in long pants. I didn't wear long pants that day. No problem, I went to Wally World and bought pants. I left the tags on the pants and took them back after the meeting. I didn't need another pair of pants. Sorry, I don't know why I felt the need to tell that.


Girl Twin was at the mall with some friends. A boy she didn't know asked for her phone number. She gave him the number of a boy at school. She called he grandma extremely proud of what she had done.

Our crazy lives!


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