A phone call from a roving Adaptive Curmudgeon to Mrs. Curmudgeon.
Mrs. Curmudgeon: “Hello?”
Mrs. Curmudgeon: “I’ve told you to switch to decaf.”
Me: “I HAVE! I’m in Starbucks, surrounded by hipster dipshits, and I’m drinking decaf!”
Mrs. Curmudgeon: “Oh my God! Are you OK?”
Me: “I am now. It was dicey a few hours ago. My truck entered a different dimension of time and space while I was in it.”
Mrs. Curmudgeon: “Yikes. Was anybody hurt?”
Mrs. Curmudgeon: “The truck is totaled?”
Mrs. Curmudgeon: “Ummm… so it broke?”
Me: “It suddenly and violently went totally apeshit while I was at the wheel. I’ve dealt with ‘broke’ before and ‘broke’ is merely a ‘bad thing’. Apeshit is different. I do not condone ‘apeshit’ as an acceptable state of being for my equipment.”
Mrs. Curmudgeon: “It was scary?”
Me: “I’ve driven vehicles where the hood flew up and blocked the windscreen. I’ve driven vehicles that caught on fire. I’ve had the actual wheel itself fly off. Lost brakes, collisions, deer strikes, oil pan blowouts, doors that fly open….”
Mrs. Curmudgeon: “Um… You’re scaring me.”
Me: “…transmission dropped… I mean literally dropped out of the car, blown radiators, that one time the radio caught on fire and…”
Mrs. Curmudgeon: “Yeah, yeah. I’ve heard all that. You lost your REO Speedwagon tape in the radio fire. So you had a breakdown. After years of driving shit you’ve seen it all. So what?”
Me: “This time it hit my good truck.”
Mrs. Curmudgeon: “Your big blue security blanket?”
Me: “Suddenly. I had to come to a screeching halt at the edge of the highway. No warning…”
Mrs. Curmudgeon: “It can’t be that upsetting.”
Me: “When the mechanic named a price I didn’t even bitch about it.”
Mrs. Curmudgeon: “Oh my God! I didn’t know that was possible!”
Me: “Me either. Also, I’ll be getting home late. Like a few days maybe.”
Mrs. Curmudgeon: “And you’re not pissed off.”
Me: “Not really. I’m going to rent a room. Watch cable. Eat Cheeto’s.”
Mrs. Curmudgeon: “Wow. It must have been crazy. You take care.”
Me: “Yeah. I’m gonna’ pretend I’m in the free shit army for a day.”
Mrs. Curmudgeon: “How long can you stand that?”
Me: “Apparently until the mechanic’s bill arrives.”
Mrs. Curmudgeon: “Reality blows.”
Me: “Yep. I”m gonna’ blog about this all day.”
Mrs. Curmudgeon: “Now you’re in the spirit of being useless! Enjoy your nerd therapy.”
OMG! I have experienced Death Wobble, multiple times. The Friggin’ truck has not once, however, given the same pleasure to my husband. Only me. Naturally he is skeptical that it was ‘really that bad’. The last time it happened & I pulled off the road, the guy behind me pulled off too, jumped out of his truck and yelled at me “what the hell just happened to your truck?”. It “wobbled” so badly he could see it from behind me. The first time it happened I was on a 400 mile round trip, alone. The first wobble was 2/3 of the way there & I limped slowly the rest of the way with hands shaking. Took it to a garage per hubby, they found nothing…. treated me like a dumb female. Got on the highway to go home & didn’t get 5 miles before it struck… and then again and again and again….. Two hundred miles home with me driving with the hazards on, slowing down more after each “wobble”. WORST DRIVE OF MY ENTIRE LIFE. You have my sympathy!
You have my sympathy too. We have a support group of two.
I admit that I wouldn’t have believed anyone who borrowed my truck and experienced the “wobble”. Now I know better.
I’m just so terribly happy to see someone else’s description of what it’s like to live through it. I know my husband believes me, his old boss actually did go off the road test-driving a jeep with Death Wobble….. but still, I feel like he thinks I might have over-exaggerated a bit. I still find myself getting tense every time the truck hits a couple bumps or potholes in just the right sequence & I can feel that vibration start. Hubby keeps an eye on the front end parts tho, lots of alignments…so it hasn’t happened again in three years. And I do love that truck, wouldn’t sell my Comanche for any amount.
I apologize for taking delight in your misery. You suddenly made my day, just not that damn bad. Sorry about your truck. Be safe!
You lost an REO Speedwagon tape? Was it one made during the Gary Richrath days? You poor bastard… They were legend in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Today, just not the same.
I’d love to replace it (the tape) but I refuse to “rent” music for an iDevice and I’m too damn lazy to figure out how to buy & download an MP3 for my cheap ass MP3 player. (I’ve got a zillion songs but hate swimming though files to “manage them” and there’s only one REO song on it right now.)
Poor REO, taken out by a fire and then more or less unsalable to a guy who is lazy. Who could have seen it coming?
Love the writing. And, no…you didn’t overstate the feeling of Death Wobble…in fact, I thought it was spot on!! Anyway, I’m sharing your post with my own blog and my customers…because I thought it was awesome! -Kevin
When I look up “Dodge Death wobble”, the first page that comes up on Google also refers to it as “Ram Death Wobble” indicating that it is specific to that model. You would think the dealership would list this as one of their built in options.
“Oh and our truck comes with the ‘Death Wobble’ option. If your tired on a long haul, once that baby kicks in your butt hole will pucker so tight, you’ll never fall asleep again.”
I suppose I should expect that kind of engineering prowess from a Government owned company. All hail the engineering might of denial!
OK, it’s been three days. You can’t build up a story like this and just leave us hanging. Are you still stranded at Starbucks?
Status report. The combination of a kaput truck and decaf has shocked my system. On hour four I went beserk. I’ve taken hostages and issued a list of demands. I demand the enigineers responsible be put in a volcano and Chrysler be disbanded and sold in pieces as a lawn tractor company. I’ve killed and eaten the hipsters. Everyone else is getting Curmudgeon language lessons in the words “small”, “medium”, and “large”. Those who utter “venti” are set on fire. Wolves are prowing at the doors. My mechanic is trying to calm me down. There is no bacon in a Starbucks! We’re all doomed!