Kilty, who had asked to return for a brief stay over spring break, the 12-19th, actually showed up on Monday, thinking it was Sunday... He'd lost a whole day somewhere. I do that all the time. Like recognizes like. If he has to write an essay called "What I Did on My Spring Break", he'll have no lack of details from just the first 24 hours on the farm...
He'd left his critique novel in his dorm room. "My roommate isn't leaving until Monday. Maybe he can find the file on my computer and email it to me."
Busted. This IS Monday. His roommate is in Boston with friends, not Ames, Iowa, in his dorm room.
"Look, the perennially missing truck has wandered home. Think how easy moving the brush to the burn pile would have been last May if we'd had the truck."
We try to take the truck for a load of gravel. Kilty had never driven a clutch before, and asked to learn. We headed out - he depressed the pedal, turned the key... No sound at all.
Paranoia set in. "What am I doing wrong?"
A call to the town's top mechanic, getting his brother. "Yes, trying to jump it sounds like a safe and possible solution."
Kilty and I both have jumper cables. He's never actually used them before. I have, but it has been a long, long time ago. I remember, "Don't put yourself or any part of the vehicle with the working battery in front of the dead one," -- stick shifts leap forward if the clutch is not held in...
He drives up, is not touching my vehicle, has long enough cables to bridge the gap, but... One of his battery posts is NOT using a red cable. He has clearly labeled + and - signs. I look at the red "live" wire. I THINK that is the plus. My battery does NOT have plus or minus anywhere.
"I'll read my manual."
"Great. I'll fire up the G4 and get on line to see what is there."
By the time I've located an excellent article by Click and Clack, the Tappet brothers, whom I know from NPR to be humorous, but REPUTABLE and RELIABLE, I find a list. 1) READ YOUR MANUEL... down about step 4 or 5, it calls the red the +... They scare me to death with all the worse case scenarios.
A call to a neighbor who makes his living keeping heavy equipment running. We dug out enough electrical cords that were the orange outdoor hookups to reach the truck, unearthed the old battery charger I'd had to hook up nightly when I owned my near-the-end-of-its-life BMW, and out the door this city boy heads.
Soon the mechanic shows up with his charger, sees mine sitting there, decides it will work and hooks it up. Kilty evidently thinks setting a battery charger in close proximity to a dead battery is a done deal.