Thursday, September 28, 2006

Oil shower

The trip to Burning Man did not go as expected. My VW motorhome began to overheat within 100 miles of departing. My response? Keep going. Whenever the red light went on, I'd let it cool down for a bit before proceeding. The biggest evil pill that I had to swallow was my not putting the oil cap back on after dumping in a couple quarts of oil into the engine. Consequence? Ooo yeah! Picture me, hyper focussed, willing the Karmann Mobil to not overheat, ignoring the insanely concentrated smell of oil and coolant. I don't want to know how far I drove while oil sprayed all over my floor, cabinetry and me.

Finally, I pull into a gas station. That is when the horror was realized - I had been driving with the oil cap off. The floor was coated with black oil. The interior was coated with black oil. I walk into the store almost delirious with the petrol lung treatment. I head into the bathroom to clean up. That is when I see my reflection. Shock. Awe. The side of my face and right arm are coated with oil. How did I not notice this? That I had been taking a 60 minute oil shower. I scrub, the oil cleans off and I wonder how much has been absorbed thru my pores.

It takes an hour or so to clean us up. Now, the Karmann Mobil starts to really heat up. Somehow, I keep going, red lining and leaving an insane trail of smoke. I am a frozen comet of pollution. Traffic quickly passes me while I contribute my lifetime share of global warming every 10 minutes or so.

My VW bursts a coolant hose 10 miles past Lee Vining. It will end up costing 140 bucks to tow it back the 10 miles to the 76.