We have a truck. Actually two, but one just sits in the driveway with half its parts in the front seat. It is the newer of the two, but needs a specific harmonic-balancer-puller which we can't seem to find, so there it sits, waiting for some kind soul to pity it and permanently put it out of its misery. Ben calls that one "Big Red" but it is actually a lovely shade of maroon. The rest of us call it the "purple truck" and Ben gets incensed and we all laugh hysterically. Red it is not.
But I digress.
The older of the two trucks is a 1990 Ford F-150. Yes, that's a 17 year-old truck that has about 250,000 miles on it and runs like a champ. It has a five-speed manual transmission and at one time was that great Ford blue. But alas, it belonged to a painter (Ben) who was hired to paint a fence around a six-acre sheep field on a windy day. He used a sprayer which he moved around the field in the back of "Ole Blue" and you can guess what happened. "Ole Blue" became "Ole Blue and White." They scraped the white paint off the windshield (sort of) to drive home. The mirrors are still white, well, what mirrors there are. The blue paint was already peeling badly on the hood before "Ole Blue" took on her new hue. There are more dents than flat spots, the bumpers are curled up in several places, the ladder rack is completely rusty, and the tailgate comes completely off if you let it down too fast. But don't worry - Elijah and I are good at putting it back on. One day Mike backed out the driveway thinking the tailgate was latched. It wasn't. When he started to go forward the whole thing fell off in the street. The neighbors love us.
The power windows stopped working in Ole Blue and White a long time ago. But that's ok - we've learned that if you open the door, put a hand on each side of the window and have someone else push the "down" button, they go down easily. You just can't do it while you're driving. We've also learned not to put the window all the way down, otherwise you can't grab it to put it up like you got it down. Actually, some of us have not learned this lesson, because some of us like to hang our arms out the window while we're driving. And then some of us don't put the window up when we get home so that the next day, when rain is imminent, our wife has to go outside and pull the inside door panel off (don't worry - it comes off in a snap and only rattles a little while you're driving), shove a small crowbar down there to lift up on the window until she can grab the top of the window and pull it up.
Except that sometimes said wife accidently drops the crowbar down inside the door and it's unretrievable. Oops. But what's another rattle, right?
Last weekend Ben took apart a set of cabinets in some guy's den and the back of Ole Blue and White was full of the parts, along with the combination microwave-range-hood he took out of the guy's kitchen. And since he has more work to do tomorrow, he asked Elijah and I to take all the junk to the dump today. Now normally this is not a big deal. Elijah and I do the dump-runs most of the time anyway.
But today was different.
Today it was pouring. I mean a steady, drenching, soaking rain.
Nevertheless, the deed must be done, so we put on hats and coats and brave the cats-and-dogs downpour. Ole Blue and White starts right up and I go hunting the accessories. Headlights - check. Defroster - check. Good thing it's chilly out - defrost comes out at 110 degrees, full blast or not at all. Then I find the windshield wiper switch. It has no knob. Just a little metal stub with one flat side, where the knob used to be oh-so-many years ago. It is so tiny I can't grab it hard enough to turn it, but wait, here's a heavy-duty glove kept on top of the steering column just for grabbing the non-knob with! Who needs conveniences like knobs when you can just keep the heavy-duty glove handy? Hey, you can even use it to wipe the sweat brought on by that awesome defroster!
For the love of Pete (and I'm not talking about my dog), will someone please find us a harmonic-balancer-puller thingy so I can drive a truck with a windshield-wiper knob?
Be thankful ~