CHAPTER SIX - Tuesday Woes

Although we had a few bumps, so far our trip was going fairly well. We were still a full day behind schedule, and we would need to make up large chunks of driving time on Tuesday to catch up. We figured we would need to drive a lot on Tuesday to make it up, but the RV had other ideas. Kostival got behind the wheel at 9:00 a.m., and started the engine. White clouds of smoke rolled out of the exhaust, and the Holiday Rambler was bucking wildly. He put the RV in drive, and proceeded with caution, but the RV wasn't buying it. It bucked and sputtered, and stalled and died. The RV was going no where.

Like I said before, JC is a master of vehicle repair, so he proceeded to diagnose the problem. It was concluded that bad spark plugs were causing our calamity, so a few of our crew hitched a ride to a nearby AutoZone to pick up new plugs. It was after lunch by the time they came back, and we hooked up the shiny new spark plugs and gave the old girl another try. After a few cranks, the engine roared to life, and 5 seconds later began spewing a giant cloud of white smoke. The Rambler was not moving.

"Bad gas, it must've been bad gas", Jim proclaimed. Yes, bad gas from the night before must be the cause, we all chimed in. At this point, we were all grasping at straws, hoping someone would rescue us from our plight. Luckily we parked in a Wal-Mart parking lot, so food and supplies were at our fingertips. It was decided that we would siphon all of the 'bad gas' from the RV, and purchase new gas. One problem: the RV's gas tank was full, and the tank capacity was 50 gallons.

A few of the crew proceeded into Wal-Mart and purchased some 5-gallon gas cans and some hose. T-Mo volunteered to be the first to attempt to siphon the gas from the RV to the cans, using his mouth of course. After getting a few mouthfuls of gas, he realized this was not going to work. Then JC came up with an idea, purchase a small electric fuel pump and a battery, and create a makeshift electric pump to extract the gas. It was once again time to hitch a ride to AutoZone.

JC and T-Mo found a kind gentleman to take them to the auto store, and as his car door opened, he proclaimed "Holy Hell boys, you'all smell like you've been rolling around in Diesel fuel". Now, I am not an expert of fuels, and cannot tell the smell difference between diesel or unleaded, but it seemed some of the fine people of the south were. And he hit it right on the head. The night before, T-Mo, in a tipsy state, accidentally filled the RV up to the brim with DIESEL fuel and not the needed unleaded. Thus, the cause for all our problems was not that we had 'bad gas', but the wrong gas.

As JC and T-Mo left for the auto store, there were talks of a mutiny. Some of the gang started calling home and work, explaining the situation. Others called car rental companies, looking for a one-way ride home. After deliberation, it was decided by all to stay and attempt to get home in the Holiday Rambler.

Our version of MacGyver crafted a fuel pump, and we proceeded to extract the 50 gallons of diesel fuel from the craft into 10 5-gallon gas cans. This took hours as the little fuel pump worked itself into overtime. T-Mo took one of the gas tanks to a nearby gas station, and returned with the much needed unleaded. By 7:00 p.m., we were ready to move out of Nashville and head home. Tony felt so bad about the situation, he volunteered to drive, and it was determined that we would have to drive 24 hours straight to be able to make it home on time.

As we headed down the road, the mood was somber, and all were quiet. But finally, someone decided that we were on this trip to have fun, so we cracked a few beers, told a few jokes, and laughed about the problems of the day. That is when I proclaimed in a joking, but jinxing, fashion: "Fella's, I bet that wasn't even the worst of the trip. The worst is ahead of us". Sometimes I should keep my dumb mouth shut.