I knew when my booth partner was in my driveway at 6:45 am this morning because I could hear the sound of her car engine (the legendary 1985 Subaru BRAT mini-pickup) reverberating through 2 shut doors and back to the inner recesses of my farmhouse.
“Okay”, she said nervously, helping me pack my gear in the pickup bed as it rocketed away.
“It’s sucking air this morning. There are leaking issues that I can’t deal with until tomorrow”.
“I like it” I shouted above the machine-gun fire under the hood. “It’s exactly the sound you hear from the little putt-putt bumper cars at the county fair”.
The BRAT is always good for a discussion either coming or going from the Corvallis Indoor Winter Market. I’ve watched as total strangers stop her at intersections to ask her for the vehicles stats, or the Police wave to her on Highway 99 as though she’s traveling through time.
“It’s still working!” one woman squealed the first time we turned homeward from the Fairgrounds.
“How in the world did you ever manage to get it to DO that?”
Approximately 45 minutes later we were sailing into the Benton County Fairgrounds parking lot with all the grace and elegance of a battleship trying to park off shore at Sea World. A small group of college students paused in their discussion to stare at us with that peculiar mixture of scorn and pity for us and our death-farting contraption that only college students can manage.
My hearing, my blood oxygen level and my self-respect all returned to me at approximately 12:45 pm...just in time to re-pack and putt-putt-putt back home.
Dan Conan Young
Saturday February 9th 2013