Yesterday I decided to take advantage of Richmond's perfect 72-degree weather to finish up with the MINI. All it needed was to have the stock exhaust and wheels remounted. That's it. Nothing more (at least for now).
So Alastair and I went outside, and he blew some bubbles and tried to cause general mayhem while I set about remounting the exhaust. I got the 6-bolt plate in place, used it to get the stock straps mounted, and then went for the to big flange bolts.
There's really no good access for the flange bolts. Even the thinnest socket wrench is just a hair too thick, which means you can't really get the socket-well to mate properly to the nut. Which means the wrench will, at some point, almost certainly fly free.
And with less than 1/4 turn left until it was good & tight, that's just what happened. I caught that 18" long 1/2" breaker bar right on my forehead a full-crank. It didn't feel good. I screamed. Like for real, and I am not a screamer. I laid my arm over my face and tried to come to an understanding with the pain, but no dice. I rolled out from under the car, took Alastair inside, and washed my hands (this is actually very clear thinking--who knows how much dirt & grease was on my hands from the bottom of the car). Then we went upstairs to assess the damage.
I had a nice deep 1.5cm laceration about 3/4" over my right eye. I hit my face hard enough that it didn't bleed much. Which made me worried about a concussion. But I did the whole peroxide & neosporin & band-aid thing, and we sat down to eat. And then I started randomly crying and shaking. I think I was afraid of going to the hospital and getting admitted overnight for observation, getting stitches, and failing CT-scan (ya know, since Amanda did technically die of a brain bleed).
So I called my stepmother in tears and asked her to come over. When she arrived, I beat a hasty path to Patient First, where they got me processed, seen and treated within 20 minutes. Apparently when you come in with a big hole in your face, they think that's important.
No stitches, but now I have to take creative showers for a couple of days to keep my steri-strips dry.
So that's that. I had to leave the car up in the air with no front wheels and 6 loose bolts--but not for long. I couldn't calm down enough to sleep last night, so I went back outside at about 12:15am, tightened those bolts, hung the front wheels, and put the car on the ground. Drove it to work today, too. It's awesome! Doesn't feel at all like an 82K mile car (probably because all the stock suspension components only have about 25K miles on them).
Oh yeah, and right before Alastair went to bed last night, he crapped all over himself, his bed, and his towel. Rather than telling us (me and Randy), he asked to hide under his towel, effectively pulling his own feces over his face. Niiiiiiice.