Poor old Bob has been unwell for some time. Not long ago he was leaking from one (or several) of his inner parts and Bil would pour replacement liquid back into the bowels of Bob (boBob?) The worst of it was expensively repaired a few weeks ago, during the process of which we learned that one of the wheels was due to fall off at any time and nearly every hose needed overhauling. (We know about hose, don't we ladies? Nasty stuff, that) I think the brakes needed doing as well - something I pay attention to, because brakes have shoes.
However, we are brave and hearty folk (I don't call us the Nuts for nothing) and last Sunday saw us preparing for a road trip to the Big City for some Big Fun. We packed snacks, had plenty of drinks, hair was pulled back and windows were down. We had hours of travellin' tunes lined up... I'm telling you, we are experienced road trip professionals.
As every road trip professional (R.T.P, or, in military terms r-teep) knows, the first stop you make is at a gas station. It's much more fun getting where you want to go than being stranded at the side of the road because you weren’t paying attention to the fuel indicator light. And so it was that four songs into our expedition we found ourselves at a gas station, where we discovered Bob had sprung another leak. Not so much a drip-drip-drip as a pour-pour-pour. Obviously, no more road trip for the Nuts.
Back home went we, vastly disappointed at our curtailed adventure but recognizing the wisdom of being safe, not sorry.
Two days later, Bil and Bob arrived home from work just in time for all the fluid in the radiator to come gushing out like a mini, radiator-fed Niagara Falls. Bob was not going anywhere, anymore. What were we to do? My car, the Honourable Red Rocket has been temporarily decommissioned (though not yet discharged) so it is unavailable for immediate service. Bil must get to work and back, which even in Sohoe includes hills and traffic and distance. Fortunately he enjoys a good bike ride, so he madly pedals his way around town.
Our plight hit cyberspace as we told the story of Bob’s demise on Waste Book and Bil wrote an ad on a local trading site explaining Bob’s ailments and the impact on our situation (5 children + 0 vehicle = inconvenience 100)
That is how we came to know a man named Moe. He replied to the ad, saying that he’d like to help. If Bil could afford a couple hundred dollars for parts, he would come by and help do the work here. We went from needing thousands of dollars for repairs at the dealership (or getting a new Bob) – totally impossible right now - or somehow getting by without a vehicle, to a solution within our means all through the kindness of an absolute stranger – our Good Samaritan Moe.
Saturday morning dawned sunny with a threat of rain. Bil and Moe went to purchase parts from wherever such things are done and then set about attempting to put Bob back to rights. Only Bob is a complex construction. His parts are all piled on top of each other in what I consider an unhelpful and illogical fashion. He is NOT German designed. I found it hard to tell what was going on, but it did seem to be taking a while for the appearance of progress at least. Apparently Bob’s bolts are stubborn and their placement awkward, so Moe found himself involved in a job that was rather more involved than he’d anticipated.
All of which he endured even as he became the Main Event. There he was, wrestling with temperamental Bob in our driveway, with 3 of the Peanuts lined up on lawn chairs right beside him, watching the proceedings. They even had drinks and snacks. As far as they were concerned, it was better than a movie: this was real! A man was taking their car apart! The engine was sitting right there on the pavement! He had lots of cool tools! I don’t think Moe was terribly keen on being under such close observation – or maybe it was the cardboard guns they were holding that made him nervous? Anyway, soon enough they were lured away by soccer balls and wagons and left Moe and his trusty sidekick Bil to their efforts.
And then, it rained. No no. Correction: it poured. It deluged. And still Moe worked. He wouldn’t accept food or drink and kept on working. And still Bob resisted giving up his bits. After a full day of cursing and coaxing, the men decided to quit while still sane. As I look out the window at Bob, he looks like a victim of plastic surgery left halfway through the procedure – he’s rather droopy and misshapen – a sad sight, indeed.
This story is as yet unfinished. Will Bob be road worthy once again? Will Moe come back tomorrow? Stay tuned. There is a lovely postscript however. The evening of the waterfalling radiator episode, a gentleman from down the street brought over a beautiful red Radio Flyer wagon and it was full of toy cars and trucks for the boys to keep. Weren’t they the happiest boys in Sohoe? Nay, the world? Aren’t people wonderful, underneath it all?