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“Arcade away from home” Part 5 – Heading Home

The hope was that the worst days of my Chicago trip were behind us. Yesterday the truck had broken down with the games in the back, in the rain. We got it towed, but the dealership closed before we could get some answers and for all we knew, we might be in South Bend until Wednesday. Fortunately, that didn’t materialize.

The waiting game

It’s now Tuesday. We had made arrangements for someone to watch the dogs, I had planned on doing my Tuesday class homework on Monday night this one time, and I had to work today. None of that was going to happen. The hotel had a public computer that I did some short communications and I made some calls. In between there was a three way conversation that was going on between the truck owner, the dealership and me.

The main sales rep at Jordan Ford, Vaughn Taylor was really a nice guy. I thought he was calm and really forwarding facing considering the circumstances. We just dropped into his lap and he was going to do his best to get the truck squared away. He reassured me that the truck wouldn’t be outside, and that the contents safe. I was worried about a little more than that including the well being of the truck, but the fact that he squeezed the truck in was gracious.

However, it took Jordan Ford 3:30 hours to even get us a quote to approve for the repair!!! Why did it take so long? I personally thought that was inexcusable.

So, the story was this. The AC Compression locked up and shredded the serpentine belt. We were glad to hear that it wasn’t the starter and that we might be sitting better than Wednesday. On the trip up and St. Louis, we thought the AC was a little loud…but I had nothing to compare it to and it was really hot so we continued to use it. Come to find out, the AC had been installed aftermarket. The F150 is pretty simple in the way of features, and apparently didn’t come with AC.

Well, since the owner had that professionally installed, it wasn’t covered under his warranty! Ouch! We finally got the price back, not cheap at all. The owner approved everything, and the repair got under way. Again, they didn’t have the parts, but they were able to find them across town, which was part of the delay I think.

Leaving went pretty smooth

We were really happy with the Comfort Inn Suites. The rooms were great, the whole facility is brand new, and the staff accomodating for our son, late check outs and price discounts. As for Jordan Ford, they did an All Star job on everything else beyond the quote. They initially thought 3:30-4 before the truck would be done. We needed to be picked up in South Bend, and they sent out a vehcile that fit all three of us and all our stuff. We got back to the dealership just after 3:00 and the truck was ready to roll. They just disabled the AC and bypassed the compressor. Otherwise, replacing the unit would have taken us to the end of the week!

Around 3:30 we were on our way home, finally. The games were safe, although Vaughn did lie in telling me the truck wouldn’t be outside. I found more raindrops on the cabinets when we picked up the truck, which might have been from them pulling it around right during the short rainfall they had in Mishawaka.

I had been checking weather all morning, we looked to be good until about 7 pm in Indianapolis, which should have given us enough time to make it home before the rain. Oops, nope. That would have been too easy.

Around Westfield, 30-40 minutes north of Indy we hit some heavier rain. I was only driving in it for a mile before I found a gas station where we pulled off and sat under an awning.

Rain at Gas America Westfield, IN

By this time the shrink wrap had shredded on the Mad Planets and the back inside had some rain on it. I was able to wipe that off and appeared to be home free.

Mad Planets Shrink Wrapped Shredded

:30 minutes later the rain let up, and according to a couple of people I called, we should be able to make it home before the other storm came through.

I got home, and quickly unloaded the Mad Planets. The sky was looking terrible, so I knew I had little time and only me to unload the tightly fit games.

And yet more rain

I didn’t get both games out before it started to rain, but I was able to back the truck up into the garage far enough to protect Pengo and save it from more moisture.

Truck Backed In - Downpour

Surveying the final damage

I had said that Pengo stayed dry the whole time, and that was the case. But collectors aren’t kidding when they say that this particle board is like a sponge. Just being around moisture caused some swelling on the front of the kickplate and the base. I haven’t seen too much swelling in other areas on the cabinet, but I haven’t had it in the sunlight just yet.

The Mad Planets did have that swelling at the base;

Mad Planets Base Swelling

and the rain water on the bezel in Westfield seeped down under the glass and buckled the paper bezel print a little bit. That was frustrating to no end. But if you look at this photo of the back of the cabinet, it looks perfect and around midnight I fired Mad Planets up and played about 10 games. It played just fine! Awesome.

Mad Planets Unwrapped

Pengo and Mad Planets could have been worse

That is for certain. But the whole trip could have been leagues better. Lesson learned, like I said. Wrap the whole game, even the underside of the base. Without that shrink wrap I would have truly been up a creek. Only thing I can do now is put a fan on the games overnight and see if that helps in drying up any remaining moisture.

Pengo and Mad Planets Home at last

I cleaned the whole truck out, washing it down, vaccuming it out, filling it up and took it back to the owner and went through all of the details of the situation. He was truly amazing, gracious and awesome given the circumstances. I will never be taking that truck again, no owner should have to experience such a chain of events. I got home about 10pm and hit the hay. I was just glad to be home and have it all be over.

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Comments
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Wow. Now I lived through part of this and thought it was pretty rough, but still a fun adventure. I can’t believe the chain of bad events you had to deal with! Absolutely crazy. I’m just glad you all made it home safe. I think you win the prize for worst arcade road trip ever.

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Sorry to hear how bad this trip went. You didn’t tell me all the other bad stuff that happened prior to your call. I would have brought you some dinner so you didn’t have to eat potpies! Well, at least you have that HOU Pengo and a big story to go along with it for as long as you keep it around! Let me know the next time you swing through here and I’ll make sure I can be around to help.

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I held off calling anyone until I was out of options, I try my hardest not to inconvenience anyone, but we were about a minute away from being left at Meijer without a car and our stuff….

I certainly would have taken the games without a story 🙂 I think the story of each finding them was enough…I’d take out the smoking truck if I could with a twitch of my nose.

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I wish I could have helped you more. I was just on my way out with my son to run an errand for a friend when you called. If you swing by again, come with some time and stop by!

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WOW!

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