Yes, that is my 3-wheeled truck in Brewgard’s parking lot since Friday.

Yes, someone apparently didn’t sufficiently tighten lug nuts last year, and there’s a slim chance it may have been me.

Yes, the spare wheel possibly fell from its under-bed perch at some point since there’s nothing there now but a broken, dangling cord. And yes, I am cursed, which answers the question, “Why does Doug seem to have a victim-mentality?” Isn’t it obvious? I’m a constant victim.

I’m sure you’ve asked these questions, unless you’re one of the many stopping me to ask, “What’s wrong with your truck,” or if you’re Dan Snow, who texted a pic of my own disabled pickup with the caption, “D Blough Roofing,” as if I wasn’t aware of the dubious advertising implications. Duh!

So here’s what happened. Over a week prior, I began hearing an odd sound each time I braked. Told it’s likely just a warning built into the newer models, telling the consumer a brake job’s in the future. So I put off getting to a mechanic, a procrastination greatly aided by my regular mechanic’s declaration weeks earlier he was quitting as of that day. So anyone looking to blame me for this perfect storm of revolting developments best look elsewhere.

The warning getting slightly louder, I knew a diagnosis was fairly imminent. Driving to Olive Glenn for Tanner Beemer’s golf tournament last Friday, the sounds had increased to the point of negotiating curves with minimal braking while holding my breath.

After the tourney, of which my partner Dave Beemer and I shot a sterling 39, the noise bordered on deafening, prompting my resolve not to drive again until repairs were complete.

But after dinner while driving home, I spied in Brewgard’s parking lot a gaggle of guys I knew standing around. Pulling in to chat, there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my seat to see what was the matter. That’s when Andrew Bischoff yells with a peculiarly-timed chuckle, “Hey, your wheel just fell off. You were down to one lug nut.”

Looking back to a blowout near Bridger last year, I did tighten my own lug nuts after calling nephew Rusty for instructions where to find the spare and how to lower it from its frame hiding spot.

But my failing memory prevents recall of whether the tire shop that later deemed the tire unrepairable actually worked on that wheel and whether they ever returned it to me. I’m definitely not claiming responsibility, but I will get to the bottom of it all; that is my vow to you.

But out of the darkness radiated a soft light, calling to save me the expense of a tow. This friend has on his own, weekend leisure, jacked it up, replaced the damaged-beyond-repair studs, and ordered and paid for the special lug nuts. While even attempting a wheel replacement, his progress was stymied by a rare, lug-tightening surface. Today I conduct a desperate search to find one and get my mess out of Franky Kraut’s bar parking lot.

I am indeed a cursed, wretched man. But selfless sacrifice … thy name be Scott Rickard.

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