SwampMan’s Bad Weekend

SwampDaughter told me on Friday that we did not have the grandkids this weekend, so we could have the weekend all to ourselves and have fun, whatever that is. It had been a rather busy week for me with two new lambs being born, additional roof work, more chicks hatching, and going back and forth to Georgia several times.

After SwampMan got home, I decided to run up to the grocery store. I had intended to go grocery shopping after picking up the kids, but I’d just make a quick trip to pick up a gallon of milk. I started up the F150. Instead of going “vroom, vroom, VROOM”, the engine went “pblfff pbliff pbliff”. Hunh. I put it in reverse. It made a final “pblfffff” sound and died. As any good scientist would do, I replicated the experiment. I started up the vehicle to see if it was kidding. I got the “pblfff pbliff pbliff” again, with a final “pblfffffff” wheeze of protest upon putting it into reverse. Hunh. One more time for verification. Yep, same results. I took SwampMan’s truck to the store instead.

I got back from the store, tossed the milk in the fridge, and told Swampman about my truck.

“So, what’s wrong with it?”

What? He was actually asking my opinion about something mechanical? MY opinion? He has repeatedly stated to anyone that listens that I am the least mechanical person that he knows and that my idea of fixing something is to hit it with a hammer and, if that doesn’t work, to find a bigger hammer.

I crossed my fingers behind my back and gave my opinion. “I’ve been doing a lot of driving this week and ran the gas tank pretty low before I refueled (at the lowest priced gas station) Thursday. As I’ve told you before, I’d been having a few intermittent hesitations occasionally like the engine is briefly starved of fuel, and I thought that you needed to change the fuel filter. I think the fuel filter is really clogged now and I need a new one.”

“Okay. If you think that’s the problem, I’ll change the fuel filter, then. Fuel filters on Fords are a real pain in the ass, though, and I’m going to need a special tool.”

“What?”

“Yeah, if you had a Chevrolet truck and the filter was in a logical place, it would take me all of five minutes. But nooooooo, you have a Ford.”

What. Ever.

Saturday we ran around town picking things up for his class on Monday. We did not pick up a tool for the fuel filter. On Sunday morning after breakfast, SwampMan announced that we were going to go get the fuel filter and the Ford fuel filter changing tool. I got all happy because I needed to go to the grocery store to pick up some items for a new recipe for crockpot chicken that I wanted to try. I got the groceries. He got the fuel filter and tool.

When we got back, he told me that he needed me to hand him tools under the truck so just bring in the groceries and get right back outside. Okay, fine. How long should this take, anyway?

Usually when SwampMan does mechanical work, it is out at his barn where all his tools are. Since the truck was disinclined to make the trip out to the barn and I was disinclined to push it, SwampMan elected to spread a tarp on the ground and climb underneath in situ. He had me loosen the gas caps of both gas tanks to release the pressure. He looked at the location of the fuel filter. He then spent awhile cussing Ford, everybody that ever worked for Ford, and everybody that has ever built Fords. He did not cuss out people that bought Fords, however, possibly because I had a large pipe wrench near my hand.

“Just LOOK at this shit! There’s NO ROOM to even get two hands in there!” I got on my back and shimmied under the truck.

“What the HELL do you think you’re doing? You’re gonna bump your head. Get outta here!”

“Well, you TOLD me to look at it!”

“That was rhetorical!”

“Well, how was I supposed to know that? If you really don’t want me to look at it, don’t say something like “Look at this!”

“GET OUT! You’re supposed to be handing me tools. You can’t hand me tools if you’re under the truck! And what the HELL is that turkey doing on my feet?”

Turkey had finished the “what’s a nice lookin’ shoe like you doin’ on an ugly foot like that” talk. He’d moved on to the intimate stage. “That turkey really loves your shoes, if you know what I mean!”

“GET HIM OFF ME! And get the dog out of here, too. Hand me a half inch wrench.”

Puppy had crawled underneath the truck to keep SwampMan company. SwampMan does not like to have his face licked while he’s trying to do mechanical work. I pushed Turkey off SwampMan’s feet. I knelt down and pulled Puppy out. As soon as Puppy was clear of the truck, he happily jumped up to greet me. His head violently collided with my chin and bottom lip, splitting my lip and causing me to momentarily see stars. At the same time Turkey, taking advantage of the situation, jumped on my calves and started sexually assaulting MY shoes.

“I SAID hand me a half inch wrench!” SwampMan loudly demanded again.

I wiped the blood dripping from my lip, pushed Puppy away, and yanked my feet free of the amorous turkey. Who knew being a mechanic’s helper could be so dangerous?

“We don’t HAVE all day!” SwampMan declared. I located the half inch wrench and passed it under to him.

“Too big. Find me something smaller. Maybe a metric.”

I found something smaller, and passed it to him.

“I need a needlenose pliers or a regular set of pliers.”

I got up to locate some.

“Where do you think you’re going?”

“Uh, to find the pliers for you.”

“There’s none in the bag?”

“No, which is why I’m going to go find some.”

“No no no no. Every time you’re supposed to be helping me, you wander off and do something else. You stay RIGHT THERE!”

I stayed right there. After awhile, SwampMan said that there were probably some needlenose pliers in the toolbox beside his truck. I was to get them and come RIGHT BACK. There were. I did.

“THIS IS NOT WORKING!” SwampMan bellowed.

“Perhaps”, I opined gently because this was probably one of those rhetorical things, “you need a different tool.”

After about 15 more minutes, SwampMan shimmied himself out from under the truck. “Get in the truck!” he snapped. “I don’t think this nylon tool is strong enough. We’re going to look at their other options.”

At a different parts store, we looked at other options. “This one says it fits Ford trucks!” I said helpfully, looking at a metal tool. “Well, THAT’s no help! So does this one!” declared SwampMan.

“Well, what size is the fuel line?” I asked SwampMan.

“Well. Ummm. Errrrr. Hmmmmm.”

I raised my eyebrows at SwampMan. After over 30 years of marriage, I know when NOT to say something.

“Well, how about this one, then? It has two sizes on it.”

We got it. We went back home.

“I dunno what I’m going to do if this doesn’t work!” SwampMan said. “It’s in a real bad location.”

I was not sure whether he was inviting advice or not. Probably one of those rhetorical things again. “How about cutting it, then?”

“HOW would I do that?”

“Don’t you have a pipe cutter?”

“No room.”

“How about a hacksaw?”

“No room.”

We got home, and SwampMan was immediately able to pop one end loose with the new tool. The other end, however, stayed stubbornly in place.

“Go out to the barn and find me the longest screwdriver I have. And bring me the hacksaw.”

I brought the requested items back, but pointed out that I was a little loathe to give him metal tools since the fuel filter was leaking a pretty steady dripdripdripdrip of gasoline. “Should you create a spark and the gasoline explode, I would have a helluva time pulling your roasting ass out!” is how I believe I phrased it. “You’re not even on a creeper, just a gasoline-soaked plastic tarp!”

“Just give me the tools!” roared SwampMan.

“Can I at least hand you something to collect my gas in?”

“It isn’t that much leaking!”

SwampMan was finally able to saw through the fuel filter after taking the blade off the hacksaw, and then pulling the metal tip out of the fuel line with the needlenose pliers. After that, it took about five minutes to put the new fuel filter in. While he was still underneath gathering tools and replacing fuel line clips, he told me to start it up to see if it worked now. I started it up. It went vroom vroom VROOM.

I switched it off and got out.

“Well?” asked SwampMan. “Why did you switch it off?”

“Well, it SOUNDS like it is running better!” I told SwampMan. “However, it didn’t actually die until I put it in reverse. Since you’re laying underneath it, I didn’t want to test it out completely.”

“I appreciate that point!” said SwampMan from beneath the truck. He finished up, got out, and told me to test it. I said a quick prayer to the God of Ford Trucks that this was going to work.

The truck started. The truck backed up. The truck pulled forward. The truck backed up and pulled forward again. The truck ran strong.

“You’re welcome!” snapped SwampMan and stomped into the house.

I ran after him telling him that I was truly grateful for his labors on my behalf.

“Fine! Is dinner ready yet?”

It was 6 p.m. We hadn’t eaten since breakfast. The crockpot chicken hadn’t made it into the crockpot yet because I’d been standing beside the truck all day long. And I hadn’t fed the livestock yet. Crap.

“Oh, I only have a quarter tank of fuel left.” I told Swampman.

“It didn’t leak that much!”

Yeah, it didn’t leak that much for SEVERAL HOURS, though.

“You can believe what you want, but it didn’t leak more than a pint!”

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5 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    kcduffy said,

    Welcome to end of February and the whole damn month of March at Duffy House!

    Yours is much funnier, though. 🙂

    • 2

      swampie said,

      Well, you probably don’t have a turkey with a foot fetish at your house! He tried to crawl under the truck with SwampMan, too.

      • 3

        kcduffy said,

        Kaylee had to come over and ask me what I was laughing at when I read that part, Swampie. It was GREAT!

        And you’re right, I don’t have a turkey, with or without a fetish. 🙂 Not sure anything would get done if I did!

  2. 4

    no2liberals said,

    Having observed you and Swampman from a distance over nearly a decade, I have come to the conclusion you two were meant for each other…and turkeys are meant for the dinner table.

    • 5

      swampie said,

      Turkey thinks he’s a dog. He sleeps on the step (and leaves big ol’ droppings all over it) unless Puppy claims the step first at night. And you’re probably right about me and the SwampMan. Nobody else would put up with us!


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