Every piece of shit tells a story
I’m not talking about that foil-clad envelope in an envelope I just sent off to LifeLabs to verify that I don’t have any of 23 varieties of ass cancer. And by the way, is that a gross undertaking or what? Seriously, I have yet to figure out a way to stifle my gag reflex while I’m scooping samples with those miniature popsicle sticks that come with the kit, no matter what I’ve tried.
No, I’m talking about something else entirely. With apologies to Adam Sandler, I’m talking about the fleet of piece-of-shit vehicles that festoon the property. It was a very lovely spring-like afternoon here at Falling Downs, and I wasted it sitting on the stoop surveying my empire, and I have to admit, every piece of shit tells a story.
Take the old Allis Chalmers back-hoe, for example. That was fully functional when my dear father dropped it off here five or six years ago. Dad was a real estate guy, but he had a hobby that let him out of the office. He’d spend his free time building various roads to nowhere throughout the acreages that he owned.
To that end he had a dozer and a dump truck and the old Allis. When he got a newer backhoe old Allis showed up here at Falling Downs on a float. I dug a few random test holes, smoothed out the roadway into the Bass Lake marsh across the road, and used it to clear snow once or twice.
Then I parked it, and it’s been parked ever since.
Just like the Ford Escape has been parked for a year. This is an older Escape, when they still looked like SUVs, unlike the new ones. Originally bought it for the tires. It was wearing a decent set of off-roaders that I thought I could use on the F-150. Got the whole vehicle for less than a new set of tires. Used it to collect firewood around the woodlot for a couple of years, but it turned out those tires weren’t rated for the larger F-150.
Then there’s the Mustang Fifty. It’s been in the fleet for seven or eight years, and I don’t believe we’ve put five thousand miles on it. Once in awhile I like to go for a spin in a car that pushes you into your seat when you stand on the gas, and the Mustang does that in spades. The longest trip it’s ever been on was from here to Bayfield.
My favourite piece of shit is the 2005 Subaru that’s become the daily driver. It’s old and ornery, much like me, but I’ve come to love it.
It’s authentic. You know your’re driving a real car. No back-up cams or blind-spot alerts with this puppy, and the manual transmission means you actually have to know how to drive. She’s my fourth Subaru. Two of the other three got well past 400 thousand kilometres. This one will eclipse them all.
Anyway, you can only drive one car at a time. I’m getting older (and you are too) and I think I’m going to start paring down the fleet this year. I haven’t even mentioned the 500 Ninja or the Ford 4000 tractor or the GM SUV…
After all, I can still tell their stories when they’re long gone.
I’m thinking of trading the entire fleet for a new F-150.
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