My mission this weekend is to provide top cover as MBD enters the high threat environment populated by used car salesman, their managers, and car dealer financial managers. As we pull up, I turn to her and say "Mos Eisley spaceport: You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious."
She responds by calling me a nerd, but this sequence is well into the mission execution stage. Like all good stories, one must begin at the
Deployment of forces. MBD is deployed to her home base in College Station Texas. Your's truly is deployed some 180 miles west and the target area is in Houston. Initial plan of attack calls for a complex rendezvous at Time On Target over the target itself. However, due to an unfortunate turn of events, in which yours truly, having already launched and while hurtling towards the target, through a very high threat area known as the People's Republic of Austin, realizes he has forgotten to obtain a key piece of targetting data, known as "The Title to the current Car."
The current attack plan has been rendered impossible, since without the targetting data (we believe, but all things are possible) we will not be able to sell the current car and since 2 people can't drive 3 cars, rendezvousing in Houston is not an option. Still progressing eastward at the speed of traffic (alternates between 8MPH and 80MPH with little to no warning and absolutely no rhyme nor reason), I modify the attack plan to rendezvous at MBD's house and drive down in her current car. Communicating the modification occurs through the magic of cellular communication.
At this point I am just east of a highly defended area known as the Badlands of Bastrop. Previous missions through this area have resulted in considerable battle damage. In fact in my 45 years of driving, I've only sustained battle damage 3 times. Once on my second day of driving at 16 years old. The other two were in the Badlands of Bastrop. The first attack was kamikaze in nature and involved the other pilot seeing a red colored octagon and stepping on the accelerator to achieve ramming speed. With my lightning fast reflexes, I was able to avoid the cockpit of the other vehicle (driver's side) and instead slam into the bed of the truck. Both vehicles were unable to continue.
Similarly, in the second mission, I was moving forward in a long line of slow moving vehicles when the opposition pilot decided to change lanes, timing it perfectly so as to arrive at my front side passenger fender as I was passing. Fortunately, my vehicle was only slightly damaged, her Smart Car was unable to continue.
I have a certain trepidation about Bastrop.
I am approaching the area and initial electronic readings show the threat to be there, but not engaged yet. As I pass the last light before entering the town, I hear a loud noise, much like a siren. Glancing around, I can see no flashing lights and after a second or so, the noise goes away. But I do notice a smell much like burning rubber. There is now a "Whump" followed by a "Whap, Whap, Whap..." sound and my Master Caution panel lights up.
Quick assessment of the situation. The battery light is on. The engine temperature is climbing. The power steering is out, control is difficult. "They got me!" The temperature is spiking and the Master Caution say the engine is overheating as I pass the entrance to a Ford dealership with a sign over the service department saying Saturday hours 8-12. It's 8:30. I set up a straight in approach and am able to successfully land my vehicle diagonally across a handicapped spot and two regular spots. The engine coughs as I shut it down.
A local approaches, looking friendly enough, but this is the Badlands of Bastrop, one must be careful here.
"Looks like you've had some trouble." He says as I describe the battle damage.
He asks ""Framistat?"
I reply "It's never the framistat. It's the phrenolic bearing." Learned THAT from Skip!
He replies ""Um, yeah. I'm sure that's it Sir.""
3 Hours and $350 dollars later (I had also picked up a nail in my tire), the mission resumes. I transit the Badlands without further ado and arrive at MBD's quarters. I put my trusty steed to bed, so it can begin the healing process with it's new parts and mount up in MBD's vehicle.
We arrive at the target area quite late now with the sun beginning to set.
Source google street view
We park our vehicle and walk in the front doors of the
Mos Eisley Cantina Dealership. The music stops and the bartender snarls "We don't serve their kind here!" Ok, well not really, but a young lady comes over and asks if we have an appointment. We give them a name and there's a smile of relief sweeping across her face. Seems we'd walked in to the New Car department and we were actually looking for a Pre-Owned vehicle. She would be happy to show us the door way.
We meet our salesman who's actually a pretty nice guy and work our way through the laborious car purchasing process. "Let me discuss your offer with my manager". "Do you want to purchase an extended warranty?" Sign ze papers!"
After inspecting the current vehicle for trade in value, the used car manager actually sanitized his hands on coming back into the building. It had just been detailed. Really! Did I mention that everyone we talked to mentioned that they sell $100,000+ cars?
Finally at about 9PM, the car belongs to MBD (well, technically, all but the right wheel belongs to USAA but...).
|2014 VW Tiguan (not ours at the time of the photo, still got forms to fill out. Mrs Juvat wanted a peek)|
Drive the vehicle back to College Station and realize that it'll be Midnight at the earliest if I drive home tonight. MBD offers to put me up at her place. Having not planned on staying, I hadn't brought any of my "must haves" to ensure a restful night's sleep. Awoke this morning, tired, cranky and decided I'd best get on the road as I preferred to transit the defenses of the Badlands and Peoples Republic while the defenses were asleep.
Arrived back at homebase by 1045, was asleep in my own bed by 1100. Some travel days are better than others.
*Fairy Tales start "Once upon a time..", War Stories begin "So, there I was..." Other than that.....