It seems the local gas station run by an off duty policeman and his family and friends is the gathering place for the characters idling away a rainy morning. Since I am generally working on a Friday morning, I did not realize that, even though this is the second time I've had quite a good time just sitting there watching the world parade by.
This particular Friday, Good Friday, saw two off duty policemen at work, a man with a limp, another younger man who stayed pretty well buried in the repair bay, and a whole parade of characters, both local and from afar.
First came the obligatory former student, polite even though he'd graduated a few years ago. His father works at the Sheriff's office just across the street, two of his father's fellow officers were right there, and he evidently decided "school rules apply".
Once I'd carried my work load inside, I set it down and had such an attachment to it that not only did I never even open it up, but drove off without it and had to return later for it, fortunately before I'd left town, at these gas prices!
One elderly farmer was feeling sorry for his "youngsters". One never quite knows what someone is talking about, even when they do speak the language. It surprised me to hear that he was not upset about rain spoiling the hiding of Easter eggs or some other seasonal pursuit... He sat there patiently in calf-high black chore boots that were NOT disreputable and described unrolling a fresh bale for the little fellers to have something to sleep on, but they ate it first.
Another farmer drying out while waiting for his diesel truck's starting trouble to be diagnosed replied that his would have urinated on it before their mothers could have consumed it.
I felt a kinship with the older fellow -- his calves, my colts... our "children".
Another fellow picked up the thread. "I had two that got rained on, so I dumped them in the ditch for some erosion control. They'd eaten them before I'd gotten the rest moved into the bale pen. If I'd TRIED to feed those bales to them, they'd have turned up their noses at them for sure."
The Visula woke up and came over, one ear flipped back the wrong way. As I scratched and rubbed him, I turned it over for him and was rewarded with a wet hand. He'd really tanked up since I'd seen him last, so I teased Rod about it when he next walked through. In pretend anger, he said, "Well, if people would stop feeding him everything under the sun."
The calf lover paid his bill and left, firing up his truck and letting it rumble a bit before he pulled out, grinning.
My Acura made it into the shop bay's now empty stall, only 30 minutes later than the appointment, surely a promptness record for me.
Angie came in, telling of picking up her son's truck and leaving him her car, then all the things Butch had to say, none of them complimentary, as they tried to drive it home after dark -- one headlight out, one tail light out, and the knob for the fan broken off. She spent the hour turning it up and down as needed to keep the windshield clear with a pair of pliers until it finally died completely. Then Butch was trapped inside, and used the pliers to exit so Angie wouldn't have to run around in the rain.
Laughing men exited into the rain, leaving us two women momentarily alone. I promised to send her a lease agreement that had a purchase arrangement worked into it for the new female vet to lease a pureberd gelding she hoped to sell that had come originally from my farm.
A repairman hollared in to see if I knew what kind of oil I used. I shouted back, MOBILE.
Exasperated, he opened the door and informed me, "I know that."
"Okay, so what do you want to know?"
"The weight and if you use synthetic, or not."
"Are you kidding? You're asking a WOMAN that, when it's the new car's first oil change for her?"
That got all the men laughing, as they knew when I had the BMW in, I told them exactly what brand, what weight and what filter and how it had to be done if they had never worked on it before. I walked into the bay, being sure to stay back out of their way. Gale had the hood up, and I idlely watched him remove the air filter and blow it out, then try to replace it backward. He turned it upside down when that didn't work, and taking pity on him, I said it was backward. The man with the limp turned it over and reversed it for him, then all fit at once. Talk returned to the booklet I'd dug out for them, and one teased another about how he'd like to do a tune up on it.
I looked at the engine, and commented, "That's the cleanest engine I've ever seen." We put synthetic oil inside, as it said that was okay, as long as it was the right viscosity.
The wipers got replaced, but nobody knew where the fuse to the air bags was, so that is still not fixed. The bill was just over $27. The entertainment was priceless.