Monday, May 05, 2008

The Details

It's Spring.

The days are toasty, not yet broiling.

A fine time to take the hard top off my car and use the convertible--especially for a Sunday drive down the coast to a wedding shower in Santa Monica.

So, on Friday--thinking ahead since I can't lift the thing off by myself--I got co-worker John to help. First, he prepared a nice clean spot in the back of our factory to store it. Then, grunting and groaning, we wrestled it off, tipped it upside down, and laid it on a table. While John covered it with protective wrapping, I slid into the driver's seat to push the button that engages the automatic mechanism by which the convertible top raises and lowers.

Uh-oh. Trouble.

In a hypnotic trance, I watched as hydraulic fluid poured like Mrs. Butterworth's from an area behind the visor in an unrelenting stream to the seat about an inch from my thigh.

I guess I kinda thought it would stop in a few seconds.

It didn't.

Finally, I brought this unfortunate series of events to John's attention, and...I dunno...I guess I switched off the car. Meanwhile, the convertible top only made it half-way.

This is about when John and I dimly remembered a similar occurrence several years prior. Um, this is also when it dawned on me there was a REASON I hadn't used the convertible much...and why I wouldn't be using it this weekend.

John literally bandaged up the "wound" with paper towels and duct tape--a lovely, sophisticated addition to my snappy little sports car, then wiped the seat. And wiped some more.

Okay, so about a gallon of the fluid must have made it into the seat cushion. (That's when I had the brilliant idea about the bubble wrap--see earlier post.) Much cursing ensued.

Finally, we reversed order, lugging the hardtop back onto the frame. I pressed the button again, but guess what? Not quite enough hydraulic fluid left to get the thing to latch in place.


Let's recap: I've got duct tape running up one side of the window, I've got bubblewrap taped to the seat and...oh, yes...the roof of my car isn't quite attached.

Remembering that my old car had some sort of manual latches, I scanned the headliner for a similar device, and found a knob next to the rear view mirror. Twisted it.

Aha! I SWORE the "give" between latched/unlatched lessened, but my newly-arrived brother didn't believe me. To demonstrate the difference, I twisted the knob again.

It broke off and fell on the floor.

Let's recap: I've got duct tape running up one side of the window, I've got bubblewrap taped to the seat, the roof of my car isn't quite attached, and where a knob used to be, I now I have a wire dangling.

Do you see how this is a fine example of a good idea gone bad??

So now I'm cruising around in a wind tunnel...which is almost loud enough to drown out the ding ding ding designed to warn me about the roof not being 100 percent attached.

Don't worry.

I'm driving real slow.

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