Monday, May 7, 2007

Call Me Joe Btfsplk!

I know I'm going to have to 'splain this to those of you that weren't reading comic strips before 1977. In 1977, Al Capp retired one of the most beloved comic strips of all times, Li'l Abner. He began the strip in 1934 and over the years millions upon millions of people enjoyed his "hillbilly humor". It is amazing how much Li'l Abner has seeped into our everyday culture. There's Fearless Fosdick the detective, Daisy Mae, Sadie Hawkins Day Dances, Kickapoo Joy Juice and a host of other things. We all laughed at the antics of the characters.

One character that we laughed at and simultaneously felt sorry for was Joe Btfsplk. Joe was the nicest guy and would do anything for anybody....but for one little flaw, he would be the world's ideal friend. The one flaw was that he was the world's biggest jinx. Whatever could go wrong did go wrong for Joe. He was so unlucky that a black cloud always followed him around and rained on his head.

I am related to Joe. I know I am. Nothing I do is ever easy. Nothing ever works for me the way it does for "normal" folks. Everything I own is one of a kind. No stock part fits anything I own. I don't care if it's a toaster, a lawnmower, a computer, an electric razor, a piece of furniture, or a travel trailer. I can't just go to a store and buy something to add, fix or replace any item I own.

That's not correct, I can go to a store and buy something to add, fix or replace something on an item I own.....I do it ALL the time. It just doesn't fit or work if I buy it at the store like everyone else in the civilized world. The piece, part, thing I need is ALWAYS a special order, made only by Tibetan monks on a special religious holiday that occurs once every 5.362 years.....if the moon happens to be in the correct phase on that day!

It can't be that bad you say? Well, Joe Btfsplk to you too.....

After doing all the posts about my upcoming Moab trip I realized that I have some maintenance work to do on my travel trailer, just to be on the safe side.This will be the first time I've taken the trailer to Moab. Believe me, having mechanical, or for that matter any kind of trouble in eastern Utah is NOT what you want to have. On the way to Moab, The Bride and I are going to spend two nights in a pretty remote place so things need to work right.

So the plan is to bring the trailer from the storage lot to the house on Saturday. I can putter around inside it on Sunday and on Monday morning take it to have the brakes checked and the bearings repacked. Saturday afternoon I'm pumped! I get to play with the trailer....ah, Moab is going to be so great! I'm thinking all these great thoughts as I hook the trailer up. The trailer is riding behind the vehicle great...I'm one contented manly man.

About two blocks from home as I'm driving through the neighborhood, I hit a dip in the road and feel/hear a hard "scrape". As I try to figure out what that was, I hit another dip and feel/hear an even louder "scrape". What the heck???.....................

Daydreaming about Moab interfered with my mental check list when hooking up and of all things, I forgot to raise the tongue jack all the way up. The scrape was the jack leg hitting the ground....and bending out of shape.

It doesn't take a lot of bend to put you in a world of hurt. If the jack won't go up or down you can't get the trailer off of the tow vehicle! Twenty minutes of panic subsided into a semblance of reason. Not a big
deal says I. Hand operated jacks like this are only about $35. It's only 3 pm. I'll rush over to Camping World and buy a new one and replace the whole kit & caboodle. There are only 3 bolts to take off and replace.

I execute this part of the plan flawlessly. I even get a heavier duty jack than I need because it's the smallest they have. No worry, it's an "upgrade". It's a 60 mile round trip but my trailer is worth it....besides unless I want to leave the trailer on the vehicle permanently, I don't have a choice.

I get back home at about 5 pm and am thinking how great it is that I'm going to upgrade to a bigger jack. Boy this is one easy fix!

The trailer frame has two holes the jack goes through and the 3 bolts I mentioned. That's it, simple. The jack slides through the first hole and then.......bump....didn't get it quite straight. Do it again....bump...won't go through the second hole? It's just me, I'm not sliding it in right......................Nope, the second hole in smaller than the first. Just about 1/4" too small! My horse for a 1/4"!!!

Sunday is devoted to internet searching on jack post diameters. I'm a special guy! I'm a special guy with a special jack! Monday is devoted to checking the possibilities of someone welding a new plate with larger hole on the trailer frame and checking every RV dealer in town to see if someone outside of Tibet has the right jack.

Joe Btfsplk, how are we related? Your father's, mother's, cousin's, grandson is my...something or other. I knew it! I knew it!

Even bad luck guys catch a break every now and again. One dealer about 50 miles from here has the right jack! That's a100 mile round trip for that and another 60 mile round trip to take the "upgrade" back.

I'm glad I'm just a "distant" relative of Joe's.

Thanks for visiting.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

:You are special Larry! Love the new header, you did it....KH


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