The Princess and I were at Best Buy this week. We continue to try to single-handedly keep the economy afloat. After putting up with a non-vented microwave over the range for 5 years, we finally decided to do something. Cooking smells in our town home had immediately gone all over the house, and we “enjoyed” them for several days after the meal. On top of that (literally) is the grease film that built-up, on and in cabinets, and on the kitchen ceiling. You can actually see a dark area up there. And no good can come from breathing “second-hand grease.” There ought to be a warning from the Surgeon General on non-vented microwaves: “Caution, breathing in the same room as this microwave may cause grease build-up in the lungs, and give one unnaturally lustrous hair.”
By the way, there is no Surgeon General in ThatIdioticTractorLand. We got an old lady, Ma Cheevers, she’s 97 years old, lives west of here a bit. That woman lived a hard life, grew-up poor, had every disease known, worked in a knitting mill for 40 years, gave birth to six kids and raised them all to be successful chiropractors. So around here, if you want to know if something’s all right or not, you just ask “Ma.” If she spits and says “Don’t worry about it,” its “ok.” Conversely, if she thinks something’s stupid she’ll slap ya before you can react. That seems warning enough for most folks round these parts.
My face still stings from the day I asked her what she thought about dragging the Pony out of the woods and restoring it.
“You don’t know the first thing about tractors, you got no tools to speak of, and you live in a town home. Are you nuts?” SLAP!
“But listen, Ma, I found it, it’s kind a cute, and I want it.” SLAP!
“I’m gonna tell you somethin now, that I’m hopin will put you off any such notion. I got the story on that worthless piece of junk, and after you hear it, if you go ahead and pull it out the woods, I won’t slap ya, I’ll pray for ya. That tractor was used for about 10 years by a farmer just outside Hillsborough, until the Krebs boys, Moonie and Casper, lives up in Kilhowlet, stole it to haul supplies and run “shine” down Kenner mountain.
Those boys were awful; I can’t tell you how many times I had to slap em! It got to where they’d duck when they saw me, cus they knew I’d just wail on em, on general principles. They were unschooled, ignorant, filthy and worst of all, Pony abusers. I’d see that poor Pony struggling up Kenner Mountain most days, and with time, more and more smoke coming from the blown muffler. Made me sick to see it. They just gave it enough oil and water to keep it alive.
The sad end came in a way I guess you might expect.
Early one morning, Casper was towing a wagon a shine through the woods to meet a truck down by the highway. Moonie was passed-out under the tarp with the shine. The Feds had had the place “staked-out” for weeks and saw their chance. When Casper saw ’em he hit the gas and did a hard right down the old logging road that went straight south. The Pony did all right for a while. Bottles were bouncin in their cases, Moonie come out of his stupor and sat up goggle-eyed. When he figgered things out, he threw two bottles of lit shine out the back that burst into flame between them and the Feds. It went on like this for a while, but the poor Pony started to lose power, so that if they hadn’t in general been headed down hill they’d a stalled. But as it was they continued on like this for some miles, with the occasional Molotov cocktail keeping the Feds off ’em until finally they ran out of luck.
The Pony flew over a boulder that sent the poor thing off at an angle and then a horrible crash back down to the earth. There was a high-pitched scream of the engine as the drive shaft broke loose from the transmission and the poor thing came to a rest just as the Feds came up around them.
As the deputies put the boys in the back seat of a squad car, one of em asked Olipus, the local sheriff, where they should take them. “You take them boys to the Kilhowlet jail, but first you take em by Ma’s so’s she can give em a good slap.”
Well Ma, that’s a good story, but “checkered past” and all, I still want her. Jeez, sounds like my first girl friend. So now Gene and I are trying our best to wipe those bad years away, so that the Pony can live out his years in comfort. We’ll see….
Where the hell was I. Oh yeah, the range hood. This was a time-consuming, fairly expensive project. It took the contractor a day and a half with two to three guys working. So, money for the contractor, money for the home supply store for the new hood, and now more money to Best Buy for a new microwave. We stood in the microwave aisle looking over the options, no service person in sight. I couldn’t quite see into a microwave on a shelf above my head, so I grabbed a tall stool, the kind that spins actually, and stood up on it to peer in, while The Princess steadied me. I was just climbing down when a sales person hurried down the aisle asking if he could help. Turns out someone had seen me risking life and limb and ratted me out. So, the lesson here folks is if you need service, do something dumb, and store personnel will come a running. Just don’t let on to Ma Cheevers.
Well, that’s the news from ThatIdioticTractorLand, where if you live long enough, and have faith, you might one day SOON see the Pony defy all odds and sputter back to life. Thanks for reading.