The Alternator Apocalypse of 2010 continues to bring misery and suffering to everyone who expected the Traipsathon to set America right, in the sense that it would give them a reason to say to themselves, “Hey, look I’ve made some bad choices in my life, but at least I’m not wandering around in a van living on beer, barbecue and peanut M&M’s.”
The good news is that we can blame this latest setback on foreigners. Germans, specifically. Who will then blame it on the Turks. Or possibly the Greeks. Who will not notice, because they will be busy getting drunk and shattering plates.
Here’s where we are, alternator-wise. The original oversized 250-amp alternator, custom built by the aptly-named folks at Maniac Motors, finally went kaput, for reasons yet to be determined. So we’re waiting for a Mercedes-sanctioned replacement to arrive from Germany. Once it arrives, the Sprinter mechanics at Freightliner Dallas will install it and proceed to test all the electrical systems to (we hope) determine why the Traipsemobile, much like the H.A.L. 9000, continues to shut itself down at regular intervals, stranding the Mobile Command operations team at various locations along Interstate 30, including but not limited to a Wal-Mart parking lot in Little Rock, an Exxon Travel Center in Greenville, Texas and, best of all, in the middle of 100-degree nowhere 11 miles outside Mt. Pleasant, Texas. We are in contention for the dubious honor of “AAA Roadside Emergency Customer of the Month.”
So, here we sit in Dallas, conducting operations from a rented Kia until further notice. With any luck, The Traipsathon should be in operation by the first of September, heading for cooler Northeastern climes. The chances of this actually happening? I have no idea. Ask the Greeks. Opa!