"i am going to need a nap, but it's cause i spent all night at the strip club with my neighbor and his visiting brother."
"what's an idiot spoon by the way?"
everyone laughs again.
"it's a shovel."
"oh, in that case, point of fact, i was working the idiot fork."
everyone laughs yet again.
me and the other new guy, z, were out digging trenches to put repaired sprinkler lines back into the ground out at the defunct nursery greens, a brown dead patch off the beaten path somewhere across the 14 fairway and on the other side of a pond. our boss wants to refurbish it and reseed it and use it as a sod bed from which we can pull patches when we get a dead spot.
truth be told, z was working the shovel, and i was coming along behind with a rake and pulling the dirt back into the trench over the new lines.
once that was done, the boss says, "what do we have that will tear up all the weeds and st augustine so we can smooth everything out and get it ready to seed?"
the mechanic j and another of the tractor operators and z and myself all sweep our weather eyes over the contents of the garage.
and we light upon the most beautiful thing i have ever seen: a battered, yellow, rust-pocked, oil-stained massey ferguson tractor that looked like it would as soon chew you up and spit you out as look at you. it actually looked like humungus' car in the road warrior, and i was already formulating plans in my head to steal it and convert it into a four-wheel death machine suitable for traveling the post-apocalyptic wastelands.
j and i rig up a grader with monstrous teeth option, top off the tank, and kick her in the guts. she coughs to life with a rattle and shake, spewing a gout of blue-gray smoke that tastes metallic, while i top off the air in the front tire.
j gives me a quick rundown: "low/hi stick here, and this one; reverse all the way top, 1st, 2nd, 3rd. gas. breaks. throttle. power steering. all the comforts of home."
then i am in the seat. and i am no longer tired. i mash the clutch down with my foot, stick it in low 1st, and give it the gas gently. we roar out of the garage like maniacs in search of gasoline and destruction on australian plains.
and i dig right in. literally. i get the motherfucker (which i began to call her, as she had "mf" emblazoned right there on her cowling, and considering her beaten and battered and angry demeanor, it somehow seemed appropriate) to the nursery green, dig the teeth in, and bog her right the fuck down, kicking up a rooster tail of sand and digging the four-foot-tall back tires into the ground about 8 inches. i am in hog heaven. grind her into reverse, get her out of the hole, and right back at it.
the last two hours of my day are spent ripping old weeds and dead grass apart.
and a fair chunk of today. ripping apart the ground, then smoothing it back out. digging the mfer into the sand, using and abusing her, all with a smile of the criminally insane plastered across my chevy chase as i sent birds hungry for the unhoused worms scattering with a loud knocking diesel bellow.
then, sadly, it was time to park the mfer again, and recommence with the idiot spoon, the noonday sun bleeding my energy as if someone had set a blood tap right in my neck and set it to wide open.