Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Exhausting The Options

Wednesday, October 21, 2015, 8:45 AM

What follows being Part III of a Racer's Final(s) Diary

The tenuously attached exhaust has me confined to the right lane of the interstate, observing a self-imposed speed limit of 65 mph as I scan the side of the road for an auto parts store, Walmart, anything that might sell baling wire and brackets.  I spot a Tractor Supply too late, having already missed the exit.  Deciding it is still my best option, I get off at the next exit, figuring I can find it.

I begin my search driving through the town of Marion, VA, named for Revolutionary War General Francis Marion and apparently the birthplace of everyone's favorite testicle shrinking sickly sweet beverage "Mountain Dew".  Stumbling upon a NAPA auto parts store first, I stop there.  Amber, a bespectacled young blonde in a camouflage coat drinking Wawa coffee, tries to assist me, but cannot find any baling wire or brackets.  Her manager comes over and tells me they don't usually carry any exhaust brackets.  How the hell can an auto parts store not carry exhaust brackets?  Finally, on some upper shelf in a forgotten back room one is located, covered in thicker dust than Tutankhamun's tomb.  I use this to make a more solid repair to the now custom 'slash cut' tailpipe, narrowly avoiding tetanus as the razor sharp edges tear my shirt.  There's nothing like being the guy crawling around under his vehicle in the parking lot of the NAPA swearing and talking to himself.

Custom exhaust fool!

While this takes care of the problem with the latter 1/3 of the exhaust system, there is now the barely attached middle third that sustained damage as a result of swinging around for 200 miles.  Amber is helpful enough to give me directions to the Tractor Supply I saw from the highway and I am off again.  As I knew they would, TS has baling wire, so I buy 100 feet for ten bucks figuring I can wire the whole fucking van together if I need to.  Once again I am crawling around under the van, but a different parking lot this time, so a whole new bunch of people get to listen to me cursing and mumbling to myself.  I can't call it a repair, "cob job" being a better description, but either way I know that exhaust isn't going anywhere until I get home and hack it off.  I hit the road again, trying not to notice that the voltmeter on the dash is not reading it's usual 14 volts......

Form follows function.

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