So we have an unexpected driver absence, and the boss has to jump in a truck and make a run to Western PA the deliver some cars. Everything was going pretty good except it was really cold, somewhere around -2, and the windshield washer solution was freezing on the windshield. The 99 cent bottle of windshield washer fluid no longer looked like a bargain.
Stopping about every 10 miles to wipe down the windshield by hand, we roll into the outskirts of a small Western PA town for the first delivery (a night-drop) about 4am. One more wipe down of the windshield before reaching the destination would be needed. But this time, while jumping out of the truck the drivers door locked by accident. This is an ongoing problem with this truck, if you slam the door too hard the door lock falls and locks the door. We use to always carry an extra key hidden outside the truck for when this happens.... of course it was not there... forgetting this was an issue with this truck before the trip, the extra key wasn’t in its normal place.
Locked out of the truck with nothing on but a turtle neck shirt, the cheap windshield washer fluid became a more serious issue since it was 4am and minus 2 degrees. The frantic search for the extra key produced nothing. Even the phone was locked in the truck. So after about 15 minutes and while getting pretty cold, the decision was made to smash the passenger side window with a tire iron. Now the boss has never smashed a window with a tire iron before, so the amount of force required was an unknown. As it turns out, it doesn't take much to break glass at -2 degrees. Upon impact the tire iron and a left hand went all the way through the glass.
Editors Note: The author plays tennis with his right hand reserving the left hand for tire irons and window smashing
It exploded.... there was glass everywhere. But success was achieved and even being inside a truck (which was on the whole time) with no passenger window was warmer than it was outside.
Then there was the blood… oops the left hand had something “not good” going on… no pain since the hand was numb from the cold, but lot’s of blood. With a towel wrapped around the left hand, the truck rolled cautiously onward into town when the safe haven of a convenience store appeared. Ok. We need band-aids, plastic and duct tape. We really didn’t think too much about what it must look like to have a burly somewhat angry-looking guy with a bloody hand walk into a convenience store at 4:30am asking for plastic sheeting and duct tape… at lease the tire iron was still in the truck!
So a store employee calls 911 while we’re in the back of the store, and in the men’s room washing off the blood. As a box of trash bags, duct tape and band-aids are being paid for 2 squad cars fly into the parking lot... With a quick glance to the sales clerk, “What's all the excitement?” She answered, “I think they’re here for you...”
In our business we deal with A LOT of law enforcement. Our trucks get inspected weekly, it's just part of the business. So the officers approached from two different angles and asked, “What happened to the hand?” Calmly we pointed to the truck parked with the flashing 4-ways with the smashed out window. “Locked out, and smashing a window caused this”… pointing to the bloody paw of one really tired hotshot driver. So the officers came over to the truck to make sure there wasn’t a body, checked the registration and blah… blah… blah... They went their merry little way... We drove the next 150 miles or so with no passenger window at temperatures from below zero to about 10 above until the window could get fixed.
So don’t buy cheap windshield washer fluid, or you get locked out of your truck when it’s below zero, when you get locked out of your truck, you smash a window, when you smash a window you get a bloody hand, when you get a bloody hand you stop at a convenience store to clean up, when you stop at a convenience store to clean up, they call the police and you have to explain why you are buying plastic sheeting and duct tape with a bloody hand. So don’t buy cheap windshield washer fluid so you don’t have to explain to the police why you’re buying duct tape and plastic sheeting with a bloody hand.