I kept the siren :-) Big monster Federal, looks like http://www.fedsig.com/products/index.php?id=111 and is louder than God. It's the one that is on the Sonic ID, and, if not for noise regs, would grace my golf cart at Flipside. Here's the writeup of the day:
What a circus. At 11pm last night, the gnarly little redneck dude, Lester, who's been telling me for 3 months that he'll take the firetruck called up and said 'I've got some guys and a truck and we can do it tomorrow morning!' I told him that was too short notice, but he said 'this is it, now or never!'
I was stuck. I told Tracy, who hates Lester because he's always coming around to check that I didn't give the truck to someone else. She had two clients in the morning. Every other morning has been client free, but of course, today she had one old and one brand new client.
Tracy's a psycho-therapist for those who don't know and she sees clients in an office at our house with a separate entrance on the driveway. Right beside the firetruck.
Lester shows up at 8:30 with 5 grungy hispanic dudes in a pickup no bigger than mine. I'm highly skeptical since everyone else had said that the required tow truck to pull my firetruck is a BIG one. But they swear that this'll do the job. For some reason they decide to strip off all re-sellable parts (of which there are a million,) while the truck is in the driveway. It was a lot like being an observer during an 18th century pirate raid. They split the booty by arguing about it ("I get the radiator!" "The hell you say, you can have that little brass valve, but the radiator and that Holly carb are mine!" "Screw you guys, I get the Holly and those fancy chrome lights" and so on...) This also involved sawzalls, crowbars and many other heavy power tools and swearing.
They had to drop the gas tank to tow the vehicle as scrap, it's a 50 gallon tank and it was full! Many humorous moments ensued as, one after another, the pirates got soaked in gasoline unbolting, cutting hose lines and jacking the truck up to get the tank out from under. The final release of the gas tank was celebrated by everyone (except me,) leaning up against it as they all lit up cigarettes and had a good smoke. I hid behind the fence for this part to the amusement of all.
Tracy was getting madder and madder and I could see she was getting ready to blow. I determined that the main problem was her new client showing up at noon. This was someone unfamiliar with the eccentricities of our church-house-junkyard and they were paying Tracy's top rate so she wanted to make as good as impression as possible and maintain full client confidentiality.
I tried to soothe her by demanding that the pirate crew either finish by 11:45 or take a break for an hour and a half to be clear of the office and driveway during the critical time. Everyone smiled and assured me that they would be long gone by then.
At 11:15 we finally hooked the chains to the back of the firetruck and attempted to pull it. No go. It's been frozen in place for 6 years. In an amazing show of mechanical skills, the pirates broke into three teams; one to dissassemble the emergency break system, one to jack the axle and soak the suspected locked wheel with wd40 and break it loose with crow bars and one to cut the lines on the hydraulic brake system after hot-wiring a quick solution to release the electric parking lock.
At 11:45 I'm getting ready to get in my truck and drive out of Tracy's blast radius. But they're ready for another try! They hook the chains tight and PULL!!! Amazingly, the truck starts to move. It rolls down the driveway (slightly downhill) towards the street, at which point everyone remembers that they just finished destroying every trace of a braking system on the 18000 lb. firetruck. Hilarity ensues.
Essentialy they use the pickup truck as an impromptu wheel chock by allowing the firetruck to slam into its rear bumper. Tension mounts as the combined mass edges into the street, but lo and behold it stops! Like an Indy pit crew the pirates unmount the one or two pieces of gear now finally exposed that I wanted (a valve here and a hose there.) They pull the firetruck into the street with two guys running alongside tossing wood blocks repeatedly under the wheels (the truck would roll over the chock, slow slightly and the agile pirates would jump in, snatch the block and throw it under the wheel again.)
At this point the firetuck is in the street and off my property for the first time in eight years. Tracy's client shows up and we all pretend that the improv firetuck circus in the street has nothing to do with my house. The pirates unhitch from the back of the firetruck, rechain their pickup to the front and haul the firetuck up the block a few houses. After about an hour, they'd rebuilt a jury-rigged parking brake system and they drove off in the sunset (so to speak,) bound for Bastrop with their new, old firetruck, headed for the scrap yard.