The workhorse Ford, the big-a** dually, went in for inspection and stayed. Something about a ball-joint and hard-to-get parts. I don't begrudge the Beast, he works hard pulling a 3-horse trailer with living quarters up and down the East Coast and into the mid-west. We call him/it "Big Bird".
That's when the excitement started. At the intersection, the light turned so I slowed down ... not at all. Even standing on the brake pedal did little to halt forward progress. Then, and only then, did the warning light come on and the gut-wrenching message flashed: Service Brake System.
It couldn't do that *at* the garage, it had to wait until we were a mile away and halfway between salvation and home turf? I managed to slide through the now green light and opted to head home, very carefully, with one eye on the rear view mirror and one on the road ahead to make sure the traffic didn't decide to come to a screeching halt over a leaf on the road.
I really wanted a hand brake at that point - not the mostly useless foot pedal device that doesn't allow for minute control (this wasn't my first time at the brake failure party). So I used my gears and the steep hill running next to the house to slow down and ghosted up to the driveway.
Negotiating the tight turn nearly in reverse gave me warm fuzzies ... until the point where the driveway flattens and there's a clear run to the paddock fence.
Firstborn: "Do you have any brakes at all?"
Me: <untranslatable and NSFW>
Firstborn: wisely holds tongue
Me: standing on the remains of the brake pedal, now flat on the floor.
Winnie, Czar and Bob: 'Oh look, they're home. It's about time. Dinner's late...'
Firstborn says the weather looks OK for overnight, then checks under the hood for brake fluid and pulls/resets all manner of fuses (and exactly how are you supposed to tell if the little strip is broken or not without the benefit of a high-powered microscope?). He even read the manual.
Then it got dark, the horses really did need their evening feeding and we all agreed that the Chevy required a tow in the morning.
It took 45 minutes and lots of cussing before we found an old, ratty tarp and covered the truck cab. Naturally the bungies were all in Big Bird so we made do as weathergeddon hit with tropical downpours, impressive cloud to ground, and lots of noise but thankfully not much wind.
By 4pm the tow arrived and my truck was loaded on the flatbed and on its way to Vehicle ER.
"Well... Here I am"