Tuesday, July 28, 2009

This is another of those “Where to start” tales. Somewhat different, perhaps, in that it hasn’t a real beginning and hasn’t ended yet.

I went to the Greasy Saturday. My purpose was breakfast (two eggs over medium on a half order), and a collection of hamburgers (five, no mayo, no juices. Just lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles and what ever else might fit and was free (or included in the base price.)).

I put the ‘burgers in zip lock and stick them in the fridge for coming meals. I don’t want the mayo or condiment soaking into the buns, you see.

The half order business is one biscuit with one ladle of gravy.  An order is two biscuits and two ladles of gravy, or simply Biscuits And Gravy, Please  – just thought I’d get us on the same page, here. We’re talking the same language.

The owner of the Greasy was cooking, and his son was wait staff. I think I’ll call the son, Son. That would differentiate him from ‘wait staff’ who is Son’s mother. I’ve referred to her as ‘the dark haired’ in other posts to separate her from the Blonde – who is also the Widow. Son is starting the eighth grade come fall and has an unusual first name I’d like to share with you, but dare not.

Some day soon I will have to create character cards for these people. I’m losing track of them. I have never written articles containing the same character’s with this regularity before, either. Hooey, yes. It is becoming necessary for cards though.

As I said, owner was cooking, Son was running the tables and owner was sick. He continues to protest he hasn’t been kissing pigs. This last time, he disclaimed the fact without my sticking pins in his physic. Anyhow, off owner went to cook after a half hour discussion of the steering wheel problems of his Kubota Tractor.

Owner is one of those people that knows how to make a dollar. But, as I noted to him in a free and public discussion the other day, once he spends the dollar, he doesn’t know how to care for what he bought – although he can create things with his hands and talent. He honestly agreed with my observation, and therein lies a portion of the tale.

Owner purchased his tractor because he has a great deal of property within the village to maintain, far more than a push mower cares to handle. Owner also, in common with hundreds – nay, thousands, if not hundreds of thousands – has little idea of the demands cutting grass has on machinery. He therefore buys, year after year, under robust riding lawn mowers. One each year.

Tired, he said, of buying riding mowers that quit, he bought a tractor. The thing is, he bought a mower from hearsay. Kubota. Is. The. Cats. Meow.

Partially true. He purchased from the Grey Market with his easily come by dollars and, after enough use to convince himself it was, indeed, the cats meow, the steering wheel broke. Totally. It disassembled itself at the spokes. All three of them. 

Simple. Purchase a new steering wheel.

Except, the grey market dealer didn’t carry parts, and the normal dealers require serial numbers, and the serial number will reveal the grey market status and normal dealers will not sell parts to grey market purchasers. Hence, Owner’s hard working little tractor with the sterling reputation sits in the lots, behind the chicken runs, sans steering wheel with grasses quietly growing taller and thicker, hiding its luster. While owners fertile brain seeks means of rest on the subject; and the grass grows  more imposing. The problem out of sight, but nagging(ly) not forgotten.

So, there you have it. The story set up. All the character’s are in place, the problem stated and waiting solution .

The problem is, of course: the quietly growing grasses, getting thicker.

With the problem stated, Son hove into view and I commenced to rag him on his laziness for not mowing the lawn. As an aside, the kid is far from lazy. That has little to do with the ragging however. The Son stated that all he had was a three horse power push mower and the grass was eight feet tall, all over the place.

I suspected the grass was substantially less, and continued the ragging. “You need a willing friend with a tractor and a bush hog,” says I, “and I have a bush hog. But, I’m not friendly.”

I continued in my superior manner and found the location of the owners home. I then told Son to hold my ‘Burgers and I’d return in short order to pay for them.

I left to see this place with my own eyes.

And for the greater part of the three hundred by one hundred – twenty feet of city lots, the Johnson Grass (tall grass) was eight feet tall. Well, above the windows of the Pierce Arrow of a self propelled travel trailer parked in there and completely hiding a trampoline and a dune buggy I had been assured were there – some where, and as I discovered later, the grass was truly above my head when sitting on the tractor..

The situation was well beyond a thirteen year old kid pushing a three horse power mower and a weed wacker to solve.

Nine hours later, having gotten my tractor and bush hog down there, suffering two flat tires, getting them repaired and returning to work, I picked up my five, free, ‘burgers.

I had found the dune buggy, twelve tires with various rims, from chromed to custom, three sets of tools, a truck engine, six plastic basketballs (which ended in the trash), a complete basketball backstop, with hoop and concrete shrouded twelve foot metal pole (owner maintains no knowledge), a riding lawn mower where it was left on stopping and partially dismantled – I’m afraid I ran over the thing, being unable to see it in the grass. I also ran over five motar tubes, six inches in diameter and three feet long of well piping last used two years ago for the fireworks display owner gave for the village. Bicycles were eight strong and fared less well than most other items when run over. I’ve excluded three gas containers partially filled with gas and water, sans tops or stoppers, the eight foot long picnic table with two benches I bumped into on a turn – Officer, I didn’t see them. I was looking the other way..

I also moved or otherwise disturbed the slumbers of yard upon yard of nail studded boards from the old wooden building of 1920’s construction which had been dismantled and pieces cast aside to make room for the erection of new all metal replacements.

It is Tuesday, today. This event happened Saturday.

I am now recovered. I’m waiting the Co-Op to finish repairing the last flat tire on the tractor. That was the third flat and occurred Saturday.

The cost of fixing the flat tires exactly equaled the cost, if I had paid for them, of the “free” ‘Burgers.

I remain convinced that somehow, in all of this, I got screwed.

I’m not sure, exactly, how.

_____

From the reaches,

Ten Mile

About tenwhiskey

User tenwhiskey is also the author of this blog. He currently lives in small town Kansas in a semi-retired condition. His kids are married and gone (thank you). An empty nester. Divorced. Very happy with life as it is. Ten Mile maintains a personal blog here, writing of events as they appear to him; commentary, and opinions abound. He deviates into fiction as the mood strikes and creates flash fiction stories and short stories. He will not warn the reader when he drifts from fact to fiction. He feels adults are, generally, smart enough to figure out which is which. He does, however, attempt to make his fiction sound as true to life as possible. You have been warned. He, as time permits, writes and occasionally sells writing. More often than not he gives it away to various non-paying publishers of Ether Magazines, forums or for entertainment on a wall for in need of a hand friends. He likes candy, pies and a certain amount of strife. In the matter of strife - in his yourth on the farm, he became embroiled in a slinging fight. The fight involved lath as a launcher, fresh cow patties as ammo and it was a six way free for all. A little mud only adds (Umm?) a certain taste to life.
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