A couple of weeks ago I hear “I love my truck” as he sips his coffee and looks out the living room window to where one of them is parked on the street. Well I love peanut butter and chocolate, but I don’t stand at the kitchen cupboard and gaze longingly at them. His truck may transport him from home to Princess Auto or Pick N Pull, where he buys more stuff to work on his trucks, but my jar of peanut butter and bar of chocolate transports me to a comfy and happy place where I smile and nod a lot as he recounts the virtue of his vehicles…ALL of them. “Mmmmm, yuz drrr” I reply to his chatter, as my tongue does it’s best to mix and then try to remove the chocolate peanut butter blend from the roof of my mouth. “Ey newww uu dough drrr”
Anyway, as I sat there watching him gaze lovingly at a hunk of metal on wheels, it got me wondering why men think women tend to accumulate too much stuff they just don’t really use. Okay, I realize that some woman (not me of course) go a bit overboard and buy stuff that may not get much use. Stuff like 10 purses, because they were such a great deal and had little individual pockets to hold all their valuable must haves. Things like a cell phone, a nail file, a package of gum, lipstick, lip-balm and lip-gloss. All but one purse probably now sits in the back of their closet taking up space. Orrrrr.. 20 pairs of shoes because they were a great deal, and looked cute, but with 5 inch heels they kill your feet, so they sit in the closet looking cute but taking up space. Then I suppose there’s…….Never mind. Ever notice , though, that men never consider their stuff as just accumulated stuff. What about baseball caps or keys, hmmmm? Neither of those things have individual pockets or look cute. Well maybe ONE cap looks cute, but not the one with the flames all over it. And keys that he doesn’t have a clue what they’re for, but will hang on to them in case. In case? In case of what? The other thing about keys is that men don’t even have to go shopping and buy them. They just accumulate on their own. They multiply like rabbits, only without the fun part. And speaking of accumulating stuff, according to Guinness Book of World Records, Graham Barker has the largest collection of belly button lint, which, I suppose, kind of makes the shoes and caps thing s little easier to accept…. But I digress.
Now, my dear half Brian, has a bit of a collection of vehicles. I don’t mean they’re what most people would call “collectibles” I just mean he’s been accumulating more of them over the last couple of years (Fargo Farley’s journey is in my June 2009 archive named One More Time) You see, Brian loves vehicles and he loves fixing them (not body work, but engine stuff) and getting them roadworthy again. Here in Calgary, he has one car, three trucks and a big cube van. Oh and he also has a motorcycle, but that’s another story. Me, well I just have one car. It gets me here and there and even has room for my “stuff”. His parents farm is home to an assortment of his collectibles that I’m not sure will ever see roadworthy again, but rather what they need is last rites. His intentions were to fix and sell these vehicles, thus making a profit, but perhaps keeping one or two for personal use. Whenever I mention that perhaps it’s time to rid ourselves sell one or two, he starts uttering excuses why not…”The timing needs to be retarded a tad. I think I want to change out the yadayadayada” or “It’ll come in handy for yadayadayada”. The way I see it is he becomes attached to them like pets, only he doesn’t have to take them for walks or brush their hair or pick up poo, but he does have to pick up all the old parts that fall off, which are also accumulating because unlike poo which is discarded (hopefully) vehicle parts (good or otherwise) MIGHT come in handy one day. At this point we’ve run out of room, and even with his son using and parking a couple of them at his place, we have 4 vehicles and a motorcycle. AND until recently we also had a an old truck skeleton parked in the back yard….on the grass. Yup, and I only have myself to blame because I personally helped him roll it down there, but only because he promised me it would go to the farm in the Spring.
Spring came and damn near went by the time my tantrums gentle reminders of his promise were heeded.
The time came to help him move the skeleton back UP from the yard to the cement pad, and it’s not that I needed the exercise (don’t say it dear) but I didn’t hesitate risking myself a hernia while assisting him so that we could hit the road and get this thing anywhere else but here.
It was my understanding that we’d be on our way by noon, but apparently I hadn’t read his mind and the fact that he had to go shopping for parts or towing lights or beer. By the time Brian had done this, that and then some, we were finally on the road at 5pm, which was a far cry from noon and put our estimated arrival to the farm at 9pm….sigh. As we headed out of the city he piped up with “On the road again”. However, being the math guy that he is, what he should have said was “If an old pickup truck towing a another old pick up truck skeletal remains leaves Calgary at 5pm on a 4 hr trip, heading north at a speed of 100 kph , how long will it take for crap to happen?” The answer turned out to be about 10 minutes.
We had barely reached the highway when one of the tires on the skeleton seized up and started smoking while leaving a black trail of burnt rubber, not to mention it made it more difficult for Brian to steer. We pulled over, out came the thingy to loosen the nuts or whatever the hell holds the tire on, and then he removed the brake pad out of the cauliflower. Oh, I stand corrected, it was the caliper. Thanks dear. We were then on the road… again.
As we motored on our way, Brian pats the dash and says “I love my truck” quickly followed by “And I love you too” as perhaps the thought that I might be jealous of the truck has crossed his mind and he wants to be assured he won’t be spending the night in it.
We stopped in Red Deer at the Burger Baron (love their mushroom burger). When Brian tried to start the truck afterward, all we heard was werrrrr blah….werrrr blah. He fiddled with it (not sure what “it” was) but still only got werrrr blah. So out came the coveralls and tool box. We never go anywhere without tools of some sort. Nope, if it came down to only enough room for two people or one person and the tools, I’d be left on the curb because using me as a jack or socket wrench would work about as well as using him as a coffee pot or exercise ball. Well what he thought would be a quick fix, turned into a long fix with a mix of dialogue and sounds of ping, clank, hmmph and #$&%! Although I offered my assistance, it was obvious that I should do what I do best, giving moral support while sitting in the truck attempting to solve a Sudoku puzzle, and so I got right to it.
Eventually the tinkering was done and we resorted to pushing it to get it started. After asking me if I wanted to do the pushing and waiting for me to peel myself off the concrete from laughter, he did his best to give me instructions as to how to work the clutch and gears and when to release one and step on the other during a particular phase of his push. That, um, didn’t work too well. And then along came a guy asking for directions, who had witnessed our efforts. He was kind enough to help push and so I then too took the push position (no laughter now) and within a minute … Verrrroooom!! Success…yay! And so we were on the road… AGAIN.
By that time, darkness had replaced light and so that made it easier to see that we couldn’t actually see much of the road ahead, because our headlights were on VERY dim and we had no dash lights, and no amount of swearing gentle coaxing improved that. It wasn’t until we hit a bump that the headlights and dash lights came on, at which point we said sweet words of thanks and stroked the dash in a gentle and grateful manner. Hey, it doesn’t hurt to cover your bases.
So our 4 hour drive turned into a 6 ½ hour drive. We arrived without further delay at about 11:30, and a little tired… Yawn.
As we all gathered for a bite to eat, Brian sipped on his beer and said “I love my truck” to which I replied “Ey newww uu dough drrr”