A Land Rover finally arrives
by Bill McClelland
Bill has been busy this past month, so busy in fact that he never even noticed that his dear wife was passing me a copy of his diary, in hopes that its dissemination might either lead to treatment for his condition, or that other wives might be forewarned and have good reason to keep the powder dry in case a Land Rover pulls up in front of their home.
Dear Diary: As I promised myself a week ago, the time has come to tackle the problem of Land Rover acquisition in a head-on and very forceful manner, despite my wife's strident objections. Dixon keeps telling me that if I don't go back to the wreckers to check on the frame-busted 88 we saw there last November somebody from Ottawa might snap it up on me. To which my wife responds "And this affects me how?".
Dear Diary: Well, I have gone back to the wreckers and as Dixon had foretold someone had been there...But let me tell it like it happened. when I walked into the office and asked about the Land Rover they had there last fall the owner looked at me in a distasteful way and snapped "You aren't in that Ottawa club or anything like that are you?" When reassured that I was a local he went on to explain that he had been pestered and bothered over that Land Rover by various Ottawa people over a long period of time. It seems, to hear him tell it, that the members of some Ottawa Land Rover Club could not collectively raise the money to buy a pot to have a communal piss in. They also seem to expect to get their Rovers for nothing, or close to it. And on, and on. His tirade ended with the proviso "At least the ones I have had to deal with." At length I got his permission to go back and look at what he described as the remnants of the vehicle because some expletive deleted had been out from Ottawa during the winter and stripped the machine pretty thoroughly. More later diary, I must answer the call of my wife.
Dear Diary: As I was saying, I finally got away from Bob and walked back to where the Land Rover sat, and a pretty sad and forlorn sight it was. I saw at once that someone had taken the front grill and headlights but there was nothing else missing that I could see. When I got back to the office I decided the time had come for some forceful action. Knowing that he was disgusted with the machine and the people who kept bothering him about it I offered him a fraction of what he had asked last fall, on the basis of the machine's having been stripped of all those important parts and pieces. To my intense surprise, he agreed.
Dear Diary: It took a few days for it to sink in. I am now a Land Rover owner. Of course, some other part of me keeps saying "You fool, you agreed to part with the equivalent of 2 bottles of good single malt Scotch for a rusty, dented, unsightly looking heap of junk with a broken frame. Are you out of your mind?"
Dear Diary: Strangely enough, those are the very words that my magical mechanic friend Harold used when I told him what I had done. I had to tell him, despite his fervently expressed desire to be kept in ignorance, because I needed the help of him and his tow truck to get my new Land Rover moved from the wreckers to some place behind my barn where my long suffering wife won't be able to see it. After much negotiation he agreed to help me if I paid for his gas and got him drunk. I mean, offered him a drink once the machine was back on my farm.
Dear Diary: Inclement weather, fields still too wet, Land Rover rescue postponed until next Saturday.
Dear Diary: This morning Harold arrived with his tow truck earlier than we had agreed upon. As a result we left for the wreckers before I had a chance to have my second pot of coffee. This was directly responsible for everything that happened afterwards. When we got to the wreckers Bob had not had a chance to move the Rover up to the yard, so we had to wait around while he went back with his massive moving machine and wrestled it around. When it arrived Harold protested, but in vain. I was bent on doing this thing. I was like a person possessed. One sidebar here however. When Bob (owner of the wrecking yard) realized I was a friend of Harold's (owner of the tow truck) and a real bonafide local his attitude changed and a good deal became even better, and a very few bills changed hands.
Dear Diary: Before I could finish relating the events of yesterday morning events intervened and I lost consciousness. Now, in the small hours of Sunday morning, just before the dawn, I am beginning to wonder if I have not perhaps been over hasty. But, to continue: After a few bills changed hands Harold and I hooked up the Land Rover and headed for home. While passing through North Augusta I saw that Frank's Pizza had just opened. We agreed that we both needed more coffee and stopped. And so my fate was cast. We were sitting there drinking our coffee when a fellow walked in and asked if we were interested in selling the Land Rover in the parking lot. Never the one to pass up the chance to make a quick fifty cents Harold said he was but that since I owned the machine it was up to me. Like a fool I said I was going to fix it up and was more interested in buying more than in selling that one. Why did I ever say that? Before you could discuss the theory of diminishing economic returns we were on our way over to this fellows house because it seems he has lots of Land Rovers. He did have lots of Land Rovers.
Dear Diary: Phoned Harold today to see if he was busy next Saturday because I might need his help to move a few more Land Rovers. It seems that after he left my place late Saturday, after we had done justice to a bottle of Sheep Dip my wife (upon whom be the peace) brought back from the States last time she visited her parents he went over to another buddy's and did justice to another bottle and then....anyway, it seems he hurt until Tuesday and his wife didn't start talking to him again until the Wednesday. It seems Land Rovers affect him this way for some reason. Then the penny dropped. "WHAT THE <> DID I MEAN, I HAD MORE LAND ROVERS FOR HIM TO MOVE AND WHAT KIND OF IDIOT WAS I ANYWAY?"
Yes Diary, there are now 5 Land Rovers in various states of decrepitude parked out behind my barn and my wife (upon whom be the peace) talks about having me committed, or perhaps shot.
Reprinted from the Ottawa Valley Land Rovers newsletter, May, 1994