Felony Films’ first production is underway. “Held for Questioning” the 60 minutes straight-to-DVD documentary of three monster rally racers, the backwoods of Rhode Island, and – yes – a 1976 Ford Granada.
This weekend we *finally* got our mother plucking ducks in a row and took the Bark of the Meast out for a lovely Sunday evening stroll through the roughest roads we can find, often at speeds exceeding 35 miles per hour. One might think that a three-decade old sports sedan might not be ideal for baja rallying, and that one would be absolutely correct. Though we had a ridiculously good time and spent 3 hours demolishing what thirty years could not destroy, it was not all squealed tires and oil spray.
First, as we go tumbling over a trail dotted with enormous rocks all over hell and breakfast, Jesse has the amazing forethought to ask, “Are these tires rated for off-road travel?”
Immediately I respond, “Of course not.”
And that *exact* moment in time and space some unseen, presumably stone-like object pops the right front tire like a balloon, leaving us flat in under two minutes. We used the two minutes wisely, doing an approximately 13 point turn to get pointed in the direction out of the trail leaving us with two decisions. We could either 1) tow the car out with Jesse’s truck and put a spare on, thus saving the tire and the rim from destruction or 2) see if the Granada can travel 1.5 miles of rough terrain with three tires.
Curiosity in young men being what it is, we discovered the answer to the later query as yes, but not without considerable steering assistance from the other passengers.
After getting the tire on and coming towards the conclusion of the day, we found one final trail upon which we would finally see the capability of the Rockstar. Jesse taking the wheel for this fateful journey, we tumbled of sheer rock faces, slammed into the scorched chassis of older, less fortunate automobiles, and took hairpin turns at speeds bordering on lunacy. Finally, after abuse that would end all abuse the Granada’s steering unceremoniously gave way to better sense, eliminating our ability to control direction and, thus, ending the day’s festivities. Expecting at very least a large explosion of some sort, we were all naturally quite disappointed. Our disappointment would quickly turn to dismay, however, when we learned that the distance between our stranded vessel and the truck that would have to retrieve it was considerable indeed. Further, how one would tow a steering-impaired vehicles through twisting, winding rocky mountain hills was a question posed on many occasions over the two mile hike. Fortunately, we had plenty of time to figure out a plan that would fail enough times to provide suitable entertainment.
Finally, we extracted the vehicle from the trail and with the shadows becoming long, snowballed AAA into coming to tow the vehicle to a proper burial ground. The wait for a tow truck was indicated as considerable, as we apparently were as deep into the boondocks as Rhode Island can get, we decided to quench our undeniable thirsts over at Jesse’s parents while the tow truck arrived. Not thinking that anyone put perhaps the occasional law enforcement officer would come across the Granada, we left a small note on the windshield and took leave.
A little less than thirty minutes later we returned. Now, we had left the vehicle on the trail from whence we pulled it, making its flame-painted side very visible from the road. However as we approached the car from afar we were very clearly observing its rear end. Pulling into the trail it became clear that we were not alone. While the moan of dirt bike engines cascaded in the distance, we discovered that a few someones had taken the liberty of operating the vehicle while we were gone.
You may have remembered before that we had lost steering. As our note did not share that information, the vandals who hopped in the car in our absence appeared to have started the car with the keys that were left inside and stomped on the gas pedal. Clearly, the car surged forward… pushing the front wheels to the right, sending the Granada rather abruptly through a tree on the side of the trail. If that weren’t enough, the stump of the tree these yohans drove through lodged itself firmly underneath the car’s rear-mounted gas tank, eliminating the ability for that individual to get the car out themselves.
From the evidence we gathered at the scene, we came to the conclusion that the villains must have been incensed by this event, as they completely obliterated what was left of the Granada with a 20 pound sledgehammer we had negligently left in the back seat. In what we could estimate as between 30-40 blows, all the windows were completely shattered and many parts of the body dented, as well as the headlights and thievery of the license plate. All and all, what we hadn’t been able to sack, they sacked for us.
All of the above was the God’s honest truth.
Now imagine explaining that to the police officer who just so happened to pull up behind us right after we arrived.