Saturday, June 24, 2006

urban truths - watch your wheel nuts

this is the sort of email which i would immediately flag as being an urban legend, except that this time it's a first hand account of someone i actually know, as opposed to a friend of a friend... even that "disclaimer" sounds like how many of these type of emails start, but i guess i can't force anyone to accept my credibility... anyways, here goes (actual names and places have been edited by me):

Hi all

Just letting you know of what has happened yesterday, after [meeting], as I don't want what happened to me to happen to any of you.

What happened was that my car had made a strange bumpy & rattling noise from the left side as I drove off from [church], after [meeting] finished. The car had not previously made that noise. Thinking that the noise may have been caused by something stuck underneath the left side of the car, I drove back to the church & asked the [people] still there (S, Y) if they had a torch I could borrow to check under my car. I also had thought maybe there was something wrong with my tyres, as they looked a little bit underinflated in the dark. It was then suggested that I get to a fuel station & pump in more air. This I did, & off I went to the Caltex station [nearby].

Under the bright lights at Caltex, as I set about pumping one of the tyres, I saw what the problem was, & I was rather alarmed. The tyres were fine, they were not flat by any means. But some wheel nuts were missing! All up, 4 wheel nuts were gone! (2 from left front, 2 from left back - the wheel nuts on the right side were still there). My thoughts were that someone had tampered with or loosened those wheel nuts, & they had fallen off after I drove off from [church]. With the missing wheel nuts, the wheels were not as secure, & was most probably the cause of the noise. Because it was unsafe to drive my car like that, I got the car towed home. More alarming developments was that this morning, it was discovered that pretty much ALL (or almost all) the remaining wheel nuts on my car were also loose!! Obviously, not as loose as the 4 which did come off yesterday....

Now, I don't know exactly where or when the wheel nuts were tampered with - it could have been last Sunday at the bbq at [GP] (I parked the car well away from [GP]), or it could have been last nite during [meeting] (the car was parked in a very dark spot). But anyway, I think it's rather disturbing that there could be someone out there who's so twisted & cruel as to do something like this - it's very dangerous as accidents can easily happen. This shouldn't be happening to anyone, & I absolutely do not want it to happen to any of you or anyone else.

That's why I'm sending this email out to you all, as some sort of a warning to be careful & be wary in case you experience something similar when you next drive off your car. Maybe it's an idea to check your wheel nuts & make sure they are not loose next time before you drive off - I certainly will from hereon in. I just thank God that nothing serious happened to me & that S & Y were still at church when I drove back.

can't imagine how the majority of a car's wheel nuts could come loose under normal driving conditions, and to think that there are people out there conjuring up this sort of tampering, whether as a malicious act or some form of misguided practical joke... it's all a bit sad, really.

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