Friday was one of those days when everything Cliff touched turned to catastrophe. That evening I had him dictate his view of the day as I typed; here it is, in his own words:
I did all my running around Thursday so I wouldn’t have to run around Friday (I hate running the roads). Figured I’d save a little gas (3.15 a gallon) getting all the errands done in one day. I took a vacation day Friday so I could get some things done.
We were going to Kansas the next day, Saturday; my brother, Don, got some free lights for my shop (the ones I have now aren’t all that bright). I didn't want to drive the gas-guzzling pickup at ten MPG, so I needed to get our trailer ready... the trailer we plan to use to haul two motorcycles to Colorado in July.
While I was getting the trailer ready, I noticed there was a slick belt on one tire, so it needed to be replaced. And having no spare, I only wanted a simple, #&^%*@ wheel.
So I go to a town only eight miles from here (to save gas), but they couldn’t help me. This meant I had to go twenty-five miles to Blue Springs to be robbed by the local tire store there. I’ve bought many tractor tires there, so I figured I’d get a good buy. Boy, was I ever wrong.
$49 later for a twenty-dollar wheel, I asked how much it would be for a used tire (which they charge you for disposing of). They wanted $20, and no way would I pay that much. So I figure I’ll drive to Higginsville, where you can buy three used tires for ten bucks. But, it happened to fifteen minutes till noon, and they close at for an hour at noon for lunch. So I came back home and ate lunch first.
Then I went to Higginsville and they didn’t have what I needed for the cheap price. But they had two decent tires for $30. So I bought them.
I have a brother near there who has a fancy tire-changer. When I arrived, I found out the tire-changer was broke. So I had to fix my tires with a hammer and a couple of tire-tools, just like I could have done at home.
When I got home with the tire, I realized there was hay to bale in a small lot where Donna's Jersey calf stays. I started to mount the spare on the trailer first, only to discover that the neighbor boys had used all my flat metal (which I had told them to leave alone). They’d left a mess in the floor and gone home.
So then I decided to use the big baler to bale the hay in that tiny lot, even knowing there wasn’t room to turn it around in there. I hooked the tractor into an electric fence wire, and while concentrating on getting out of that mess, I turned the baler too tight and tore the power shaft off it. Because the baler is old and well-used, it won’t do sharp turns.
I decided to wash the grease off it to see if I could fix it; put the power shaft in my parts washer only to discover I didn’t have enough cleaning fluid to clean it. I put the whole thing on hold and figured Donna and I would go on a nice relaxing ride on the Honda. Walked over to the Gold Wing, bumped the starter, only to find the battery was dead. Made that “I’m not going to start for you” rattle, down deep.
By now my wife was paranoid, and figured we should skip the ride, with the way the day was going.
She’s the one who forced me to buy a fancy battery-charger at Sears one time, with enough amps to start a diesel dozer; and that persuaded the ‘Wing it was time to go.
I pulled it out of the shop and saw Donna nowhere around. I beeped the obnoxious horn on the Honda, letting her (and the whole neighborhood) know I was ready to go.
She stuck her kinky head out the door and came bouncing out, ready to go. First thing she said after plugging in the helmet... “Be careful”.
I have a motorcycle with a license to fly, but I have to ease down the road as if I’m on a moped. After a little while, Donna’s death grip let up on my ribs and we had a nice little motorcycle ride. The only bright spot in a dismal day.
So: $100 worth of parts just so I could go to Kansas and get some "free" lights. God knows what it will cost to fix the baler.
The vacation we’ve been planning is getting eaten away, $50 at a time.
Oh, by the way, it’s time to give the renter’s daughter $50 for graduation. She made valedictorian.