Saturday, July 17, 2010

A Mildly Entertaining Tale of a Little Truck, a Bigger Truck, a Large Russian Man, and a Big Stick.

It sounded simple enough.

We had stuff in Kansas we needed to get back. We wanted a small truck anyway.

We’d fly to Kansas, buy a small truck and drive back to California.

Easy, right?

We bought those one-way airplane tickets.

Then we started researching.

We needed a truck that met California emission standards. Guess where those are sold? California! Weird, huh? Apparently, to bring a truck purchased in another state up to CA standards costs a snoot-full of money.

Then there were the registration costs and sales taxes. You have to pay those in both states.

Yikes. Big bucks.

We e-mailed car dealerships in Kansas. No trucks up to CA emission standards. No way to get around the registration/sales tax thing.

We went to dealerships here to see if they could help. No go.

However, at one dealership, a salesman said, “Well, you could buy a truck here and then you could have it shipped to Kansas on a flatbed truck.” I turned to him and said, “That’s just silly.”

However, my very smart brother-in-law urged us to check it out. Then he found us a truck to buy near Los Angeles. We went down, dealt with the car salesman, and bought the truck.

HOB took over finding a shipper for the truck. Let’s just say it was not pretty. When we left for Kansas there was no truck on its way and no commitment from any trucking company.

However, at the airport in Dallas on July 1, HOB got a call from a trucking company. They could pick it up that day. Hurrah! A friend of ours met the trucker, gave him the cash and handed over the truck and key.

HOB and Evan left Kansas on July 4th. My sister came and got me. We played for about five hours and then we got word the truck with the truck was in town.


It was drizzling as the large truck pulled in and my sister and I sat and watched as the driver, a large Russian man with a thick accent maneuvered the giant truck into the parking lot and unloaded a Subaru in order to get to our truck off.

I went to say good-bye to the driver and he said to me in a thick Russian accent, “I am going to be needing a favor from you, ” he said, picking up a very large block of wood and holding it in front of me.

Quickly, my mind whipped together a concoction of thoughts combining every bad movie ever made with the very current national Russian spy incident. I looked back at my sister, who had not moved from her van.

“That Subaru I had to move to get your truck has no breaks. I am going to lose it for sure. I need you to slam this piece of wood behind the rear tire when I get it on the truck again,” he said.

What was a girl to do? I looked around the nearly deserted, wet parking lot, and took the big stick. I looked back at my sister with wide eyes as she looked at me with even wider eyes. I waited for him to drive up the slanted platform, heard him yell “Now!” and then slammed the big stick under the tire.

The driver started chaining the Subaru in place and I said good-bye to my sister, and drove off in the truck. Since I had not really had a chance to drive the truck in CA, I had to quickly find the wipers and lights and get used to it. I drove slowly through the streets and five minutes later a policeman pulled me over.

We still had the dealer tags on the car, but apparently the registration sticker was not in the right place for Kansas’s law enforcement officials. He was nice about it, suggested I move the sticker and sent me on my way.

My plan was to load up the truck and use bungee cords, ropes and a tarp to keep everything where it should be. My sister was going to be with me the first two days and I announced to her that we would be unloading the truck nightly and carrying everything into the hotel room. She was not exactly excited about this.

Finally, the constant rain and the plan to stop in Las Vegas on the way back convinced me I needed a topper for the truck. Unfortunately this dawned on me the day before I planned to leave.

I was going to be in Kansas City for one of E’s doctor’s appointments so I sent out an alert to the sisters and they found a place in Kansas City where I could get one installed quickly. It turned out to be a great decision AND they even took my picture with the truck for their web site. Yeah, baby. I wish they all could be California Girls.

2008 Ford Ranger: $14, 500.

Shipping Ford Ranger from Kansas to California: $950.00

Topper for Ranger: $995.00

Diet Cokes with Lime from Sonic for driver of Ranger throughout the trip: $30.00

Driving down the highway, heading for home: Priceless.

39 comments:

Ms. Anthropy said...

Personally, I call that an expensive trip. But, I'm a tightwad.

Venassa said...

Sounds like quite the adventure. You'd have to pay me to slam a piece of wood behind a tire of a vehicle that may come back over my hand. You are brave!

Ann said...

Now I'm a big diet coke with lime drinker but $50 worth is A LOT of coke. I'm betting that required very frequent pit stops, I know it would for me

Old Kitty said...

It could only happen to the indefatigable BB!!!! LOL!!

You and a big stick with a Russian man!! That really is too funny. It's amazing how a simple need could turn out to be so complicated! I hope the truck was worth it - by golly I hope you used the life out of that truck!
:-)

Take care

x

Madi and Mom said...

BB what a story!!!!
We expect there was a ton sentimental attachment to what had to be hauled back to CA from KS?
That was a ROAD TRIP with lots of baggage.
Happy Saturday
Madi and Mom

Mamma has spoken said...

I'm just sitting here wondering if ANY of my cars would meet CA's requirements.....

Kathie @ Just a Happy Housewife said...

wow. that's all I can say! :-)

Pat said...

You tell quite a story! You had me worried there for a minute with the Russian guy, but I KNEW you could handle yourself! Besides, your sister could have run him over with her car if he tried anything. I, too, think you were brave to put the stick behind the tire. You are woman, hear you ROAR!

Theresa Milstein said...

Wow! That was complicated, eh? But now you have a brand new truck, the memory of a fun road trip, and a good tale to tell.

baygirl32 said...

That's a LOT of coke! Great story

scrapwordsmom said...

You were in my neck of the woods!! I am about 100 miles north of KC!! And Diet Coke with limes? We are soul sisters:)

Thanks for stopping by Words of Me and becoming a follower. I appreciate it...I'm now following you, too:)

Leslie

Joe Cap said...

And your truck was in MY neck of the woods...I live a few miles from the airport in Dallas.
Is your truck stalking me??

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

So much trouble for a truck!

Lin said...

Wow. That's crazy!

E. Elle said...

Your stories always entertain me. Situations like this, though, are probably why I hesitate to take massive trips like that!

I have something for you over at my blog, if you'd care to take it. :o)

Pat Tillett said...

that was an adventure! It may have been expensive, but it sure made a good story....
great post BB

KleinsteMotte said...

So this must be the first "cop" story in the trilogy, right? Now you have had some great truck buying experiences and a picture in an ad too!!

Aging Mommy said...

Great story and quite an adventure! Can't wait to hear more about your travels!

Peggy K said...

Betty, I love stopping by for the adventure du jour!! You either put a tear in my eye, or a smile on my face. I'm definitely a fan!!

Momma Fargo said...

Wow! What an adventure and planning of logistics. YIKES> I'm all about the diet Coke with lime...my fave.

Writing Without Periods! said...

Wow, that's an international incident with the Russian, the block of wood and the request.
Love your stories.
Mary

Joey @ Big Teeth and Clouds said...

Proof that "California Emissions" is more than just part of the description given for new cars on the Price Is Right.

Bernie said...

Thanks for stopping by and becoming a follower.
I really don't know much about the price of trucks but did you save a lot of money for this vehicle, I imagine you did or you wouldn't have gone to all the trouble.
.....:-) Hugs

Daisy said...

Oh my! That sounds like it was quite an ordeal! I'm glad it all worked out OK for you. Being back home--Priceless. Yes, indeed! :D Hope you have a nice weekend, Betty.

Cheeseboy said...

Wow, what an adventure. I am glad the Russian spy didn't kill you or WORSE, torture you.

Glad you had the Cokes though. I am sure that was a lifesaver.

Beth Zimmerman said...

I think I would have rented a truck. But that's just me!

Beth Zimmerman said...

I think I would have rented a truck. But that's just me!

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

That truck better have a freaking jacuzzi in the back for all it cost you! Boy!

Shan said...

A veritable bargain! Love the story (of course).

Shan said...

A veritable bargain! Love the story (of course).

Senorita said...

You are always full of stories !

I live here in CA and let me tell you that every year, I get anally raped with vehicle registration charges. Owning a car here is expensive !

Maggie said...

Woah. That's quite the truck!

Dave King said...

Priceless - now I see how come we get this special relationship. We're as unbelievable as each other. Well worth the telling, that tale!

Baby Sister said...

Switch the Coke to Pepsi and you're good to go. ;)

Sounds like fun though!!

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

After reading your story, I think I'd love a road trip, a brand new truck and.. a lovely story like yours!
B xx

Lynne H. said...

What an awesome story.. had a ring of "Who's on first" to it.. Yes, i liked this..I like your spot over here...

Marlene said...

The skeptic in me asks, why didn't you just get a one-way rental truck (even though you wanted a small truck, anyway)......

HOWEVER.....

If you had done that, you wouldn't have had nearly as good a story to entertain us with! :)

christine said...

WEll, they say life is just one big adventure - and you're simply proving them right! What a journey:-)

Christine's Chatter is over at http://cadugdale.blogspot.com

slommler said...

All I can say is WOW!!! You had quite the adventure!! And it was a brilliant idea to get a camper top!! Makes it all so much easier!
Hugs
SueAnn