Free advice

(a rehash from 2010 but still sound advice)

It was a particularly warm morning so the usual crew at the debating table at the Bakery in Rainy River (a.k.a. Drizzle Creek) was in early to escape raising a sweat.

“How’s that lawn mower doing? Get it figured out yet?” I asked the Runt as I held my cup out for a refill.

“Slow. I still can’t figure out why it’s stalling all the time,” sighed the Runt as he slathered on a full layer of peanut butter. The ‘spread’ is a wonder to behold. Those massive hands moving with the precision of a watch maker, as every square millimeter is covered to exactly the same depth.

“Stalling? I had one like that. Never could isolate the problem myself. But I think it was just running too hot,” suggested Spiker an expert on all things mechanical.

The assembly nodded wisely in unison. Sound reasoning.

“How’d you solve the problem?” replied the Runt around a massive bite of precision spread toast.

“Didn’t. Traded ‘er off,” replied Spiker as he looked wistfully at the orders of toast arriving around the table, while his appetite and conscience did battle.

“Probably a plugged jet or filter,” offered the Chief as he pulled out his switch blade and flipped it open. The table collectively relaxed as he began cleaning his finger nails.

The assembly nodded wisely in unison. Sound reasoning.

“Well it was nearly new. Is that what was the matter with it?” asked the Runt as he nibbled more daintily at his last slice of toast trying to prolong the pleasure.

“Don’t know. I got sick of it and traded it off,” replied the Chief as he refolded, then re-stowed his knife in his boot.

“I’d bet it’s the clearance on the intake valve. It’s stretched and she’s not closing properly,” suggested Pickle, himself well into his own toast and looking questioning at the depleted level in his coffee cup, but not offering to get up and do the refill round.

The assembly nodded wisely in unison. Sound reasoning.

“How’d you solve that?” wondered the Runt, still a little gun shy from Pickle’s tune up of his roto-tiller this past year.

“Oh, I picked up a new one,” stated Pickle as seven heads snapped in his direction at his mention of unexpected personal extravagance.

“er… down at the dump. Well it was nearly new. Must have belonged to a little old lady with a small lawn,” explained Pickle as all the coffee cups were pushed in his direction. He looked hopefully at Val who studiously ignored him so he reluctantly got the pot and made the rounds.

“Oh darn, there’s not enough left for me,” Pickle complained as he poured the dregs into the Runt’s cup and looked dispiritedly at the other empty urn sitting on the counter. Pickle so rarely does the refills he had forgotten survival etiquette is ‘fill your own cup first’.

An hour later we were ready to cut our coffee time short. The Runt left first

“Thanks for the advice. But maybe I should go talk to a professional… or just trade it off,” he reasoned as he lumbered towards the door.

The assembly nodded wisely in unison. Sound reasoning.