Wednesday, July 27, 2005


The move from hell...

Well, I helped move my friend Adrian to Strathroy on Sunday. Did ya ever have one of those days where karma kicks you in the balls, pushes you down the stairs, and laughs? That was my day. Poor planning resulted in piss poor performance this go round. See, the plan was Adrian and I would load up the BK, hammer down to Strathroy, kick Wayne (Adrian's new roomie) outta bed and unload. Then all three of us would come back and load up the U-Haul and move the rest of the stuff down.

That ain't what happened.

Not by a long shot.


I woke up early on Sunday and went to take a shower. As I twisted the handle to the hot side there was a faint "snap" and the handle started free-wheeling around. Now I couldn't turn the water off! So I raced downstairs into the garage and started grabbing tools left and right. Flying back up I had to disassemble the faucet so I could get at the actual axle that controlled the mix. To this day I'm still using a pair of pliers to turn the water on and off. *sigh* That will at least be fixed tonight, all going well.

My morning shower adventure over I drive down to Adrian's apartment. There was a noticable wobble in the steering but I ignored it. I had accidently knocked the balancing weights off my left wheel when repairing the brakes on Saturday and assumed it was just a wobble. Remember this for later.

I arrived downtown (Adrian lives at Bathurst & Bloor) and parked outside Adrian's apartment. I leaned on the doorbell for about 15 minutes with no answer. I tried calling his cell, but it had been disconnected. It was eight in the morning so I figured he was just sleeping soundly. I went next door to Mel's and had a great breakfast of smoked meat and eggs. Montreal ex-pats will recognize the owners as the kids who were adopted into that huge, 20 person family. You may remember their Excedrin (or Tylenol, can't remember which at the moment) commerical.

Well, it's 8:45am and now I'm outside Adrian's apartment door leaning on the door bell again. Finally I give up on the respectable way and start yelling -- his window is only on the second story and facing front. That worked! He zombies down the stairs and lets me in and we get to work. By 10am the BK is loaded and ready to go. I decide to call U-Hell and find out where my damn truck is since we needed to know whether or not Wayne should come back. First I call the franchise where my truck is supposed to be. They've never heard of me. Then I call the national 800 number. They can't tell me and forward me to a regional office. The regional office then takes bloody forever to find my reservation and gives me the number of the franchise to call. I call them and they are in frickin' Richmond Hill! Adrian noted that this was, at least, better than having to go to Ottawa to pick it up. Way to look on the bright side A!

We drove on up to King Sideroad and Yonge via the DVP & 404. The shaking in the front end was quite noticable now.
Clouds are gathering over the little garage with an even smaller "U-Haul" sign that wasn't visible from the road. We sorted out our paperwork and were ready to head out. Adrian's licence is expired so we decided to drop off the U-Haul at my parents place and drive the BK down to Strathroy per our plan. Then we'd come back for it. I was pulling out of the parking lot when I noticed A wasn't behind me. I backed up and watched in my rearview as he pulls forward, then back, the forward again. I parked the U-Haul and ran back to the BK and politely asked if he's forgotten how a steering wheel worked. With some cursing and swearing we discover that the drag link, which connects the steering box to the tie rods, has sheared right off. This is a 5/8" thick piece of hardened steel. Or it was, at least. I ask the mechanic in the garage, a little old Phillipino gentleman, if he can fix it. He leaned over, looked at it and in heavily accented English pronounced, "You're fucked." Then laughs.

Thanks, guy.

The next hour and a half involved many, many cell phone calls to arrange for a tow truck, my father and my wife to meet all at this little garage. My wife and father followed the truck to Canadian Tire while Adrian and I drove the U-Haul to his place. It was now high-noon in downtown Toronto and you can guess what parking was like. I shoe-horned all seventeen feet of the truck into the little alley behind A's apartment. We had decided to try moving everything out the back. The rear steps are a gated alley and some schmuck has chained his 30' extension ladder in the way. The air turned blue for a while as we comtemplated this new development. Finally, we went inside to see if we could work around it. As we rounded the corner to the front fortune smiled on us -- the car dead in front of A's apartment was leaving! I raced back to the U-haul, backed it out of the alley, down the street and around the corner. Pedestrians dove left and right as I couldn't see them and they seemed to think I could. Adrian risked life and limb standing in the parking pot, shoo-ing potential parkers away. Some fool tried to swing in in front of him as I backed around the corner on to Bloor towards the spot. Apparently parking is so hard to find in Toronto it's worth the risk of being run over by a 10,000 pound moving van. People are STUPID!

* To be continued... *

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