Start Your Engines…

Start Your Engines…


“I think I’ll start up my vehicles” Brian says as he browses through a booklet on the newest computer thingamajigs (This word is actually in the dictionary, I kid you not). How looking at computer stuff kicked his brain into thinking about cars and trucks is a mystery to me, but so is Stephen Harper, people who wear spandex, and getting the wrapper off a new CD case.


“You mean the ones out in the cow pasture?” I query, although I already knew the answer as we were at his parents farm where he has several stationary vehicles, by which I mean they’re parked and are not moving nor, as far as I can tell, will be moving any time soon.


He offers a “Ya ya” as he puts aside the booklet, leans back and grins at me as if he’s just discovered out how to get the wrapper off a new CD case. My simple “Why?” was greeted with “Just to see if they will.” In the year plus that I’ve been going to the farm with him, he’s never tried to start up his collection of vehicles. In fact I didn’t think any of them even HAD the ability to start anymore, and were more like conversation pieces for the cows…

          “You know Mable, I think that grey one with the big eyes

is kind of cute. Seems a little standoffish though. I asked if he’d

like to play Dodge The Cow Pie, but he won’t even look me in

the eye”

          “I’m kind of fond of that older white one, but I know what

           you mean Dorothy. None of them are very friendly. Look how

           they stay in their own little group and act like we’re not here.”

          “Well who needs them anyway. Come on, let’s go see Beth. I

  heard she had implants.”


Anyway, when I had asked why he had so many vehicles he said “I might need one some day” and “If nothing else, the parts alone are worth it.” And I’m thinking “Worth what??” I mean really, how many carburetors, starters, rear view mirrors and thingamabobs (distant cousin to thingamajigs) should a person have “just in case”? How many vehicles does he intend to have along the way that these parts will be compatible with, hmmm? This guy has enough parts strewn about the farm to open up his own shop. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like everything is in a big pile in the middle of the front yard. Some of it is in his shed (which is smaller than a warehouse but bigger than a Mini Lube station), some is in his stepdads workshop (I don’t know why, considering there’s no work being done with them), and some of it is…….ok, it’s in a pile…or two…but covered up (mostly) and not in the front yard.


Anyway, my curiosity was piqued ((I didn’t have anything else to do) and  after Brian found (hopefully) all the keys, I headed out to the field with the company of Freckles (the dog) and he drove our car (to use as a boost) As I approached the area, the first vehicle to catch my eye is what I call Farley, which is a big old Fargo truck that Brian (at the time of purchase) was sure would be a breeze to fix (ha) and is (six months later) still parked in the field and NOT fixed. Well, we stop at Farley and next thing I know Brian is in the back, passing me parts and whatchamacallits (second cousin once removed to thingamabobs) that I then either put on the ground or into a wheelbarrow. Can anyone say “Side tracked”? Said parts were then taken to the “shed” to be protected from the upcoming winter elements, meaning Farley is going to be parked in the field for at least another six months…sigh.  


Eventually we made our way back to the other vehicles that were nestled ever so cozy amongst grass, brush, hay and cow patties. Freckles had lost interest and headed off to find something to dig up, chew or roll in. Brian picked out a few cars and checked under the hoods to find they didn’t all have batteries. No problem, we’ll just shuffle batteries around as needed. After hooking up our car battery with the first vehicle, my job was to get in and try to start it. Well I was totally surprised when it started up after only a couple of tries, and if the look on Brians face was any indication so was he, even though he denies he had any doubt (I believe you dear). Anyway, once all the smoke cleared, our coughing subsided to a low hack, and our eyes stopped watering enough for us to see, we continued down the line and after some tinkering and a few…um…words of encouragement, successfully started five vehicles. Sounded like a good time to stop. No sense taking a chance on ruining our perfect score or putting one of us into a carcinogenic coma. And besides, I needed to pee.


Later that evening Brian beamed with pride as he told the family of the successful start ups, like a father boasting after his child has used the potty for the first time. I’m waiting for the day when I see these vehicles MOVE and not just start, or at least contribute in some way other than increasing our carbon footprint, and providing the cows with something other than each other to mooo at.


I’m just saying J


  1. Karen Said,

    November 28, 2009 @ 6:32 pm

    BRIAN’S PICK A PART does have a good ring to it…

  2. simone Said,

    November 29, 2009 @ 8:03 pm

    He’s actually thought about it.

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