Snow and ice continue to accumulate here at Fish in a Barrel Pond even though the calendar says it is spring. In an effort to forcibly evict the remnants of winter from the property I fired up the tractor and began clearing the roads to some of the cottages this weekend. The results of my efforts were not impressive. Digging through the frozen layers and heavy drifts proved to be too much for my little compact tractor to handle and I had to carefully nurse it back to the barn with at least one rupture in the hydraulics hemorrhaging fluid. I give you the following to read while I am in the barn turning wrenches instead of out here playing in cyberspace:
If I heard myself while I worked I might wonder just what was happening in the barn, too. One morning last summer the one-sided conversation went something like this:
Okay, baby. Let me just lie down and get comfortable here. Yeah, that’s better.
How ‘bout I slide under and see what’s going on down there? Yeah? Good.
Now, let’s take a look. Aaagh, I have to move my arm. Hang on. There we go. No, that’s not it. Wait. Unnnh. Ack. There we go. This isn’t really comfortable, but if it works for you I’m good.
Let’s get this thing off, shall we? Good lord, what a mess! Man, is it slippery under here! We’re going to have to clean you up before I can do anything. Wait. Let me get a rag or something.
Dang! I can’t get my hand all the way in there! Ow! That hurts! Maybe a couple of fingers? No? Okay, how about just one? Yeah, that’s it. Just a little wipe and we’ll be done.
Okay. Now we can get this thing off. It’s pretty loose, isn’t it? Here we go! Jeezum! How did all this grit get in that hole? Huh? Ah, crud, right in my eye! Wait! Let me twist around a little bit so I can get my finger in there without all this stuff in my face.
Alright, that’s cleaned out and we can get to work but this is not comfortable for me at all! I wish you would move just a little and help out here. Yeah, I know. You aren’t going to move, are you? Fine. I’ll just do it all myself, but I’m doing it for you.
I’m going to need both hands for this next part, so let me twist around a little more. Ow. I didn’t think we were so close to the wall! If I can just get my right leg over a bit I can stretch my left one up the wall and get my other arm in here … ow! … cramp! Cramp! Ow! Dagnabbit! This is ridiculous! Aaaa, my hair! Who decided this was where this thing should be?
Great. Now you’re dripping in my ear, too! That’s it! This is going to happen whether or not you choose to cooperate, damn it! I don’t care if it takes all day and all night!
You do know this stuff doesn’t taste very good, don’t you? Then frickin’ cooperate!
Okay, let me get this thing lined up with the hole … I don’t know if it’s the right size or not, but here we go!
Nnnh. Nnnnh. Unng. Mmmph. Yes! It’s starting to go in! Mmmmm. Mmmmm. Unnh, unnh, unnh, unnh … yeah, baby! Yeah, baby! Oh, yes! Yes! Yes!
Man, is that tight or what? It’s not all the way in, though, so just a little more, okay? Oh, yeah? I don’t care. I’m going to get this all the way in! Just a little more … just a little more. Yes! Now we’re talking! Yeah, baby! Yes! Yes! Yes!
Phew! That didn’t take nearly as long as I thought it would.
You just sit here and think about it. I need a smoke.
(An hour later I was all cleaned up, the tractor had a new power-steering hose and I was ready to get back to mowing. Setting out across the field I promptly drove the mower over a rock, knocking the gear housing loose, and spent the rest of the afternoon in the shop, talking dirty again.)
Another adventure in tractor repair can be found in An O-ring Revelation.
Happy frickin’ spring.