Rube and Gertrude (A guest post by Rube)
Howdy folks. I’d like to introduce m’self. My name’s Rube, an’ I’m a friend of Will’s. We been friends ever since we was in school together back in grade school. He says if’n ever I wanted to say somethin’ on this blog, he’d be happy ta have me as a guest. So you’ll probly be seein’ some of my ramblin’s from time to time. Like right now fer instant. I got a little story I want to tell ya. I didn’t go much past sixth grade in school, so I don’t talk fancy like them folks what graduated high school or college, but I manage to git said what needs to be said, anyhow. I’ve got a little cabin in the back country here in Southeast Ideeho. I’ve been sort of a hermit these past several years (well, maybe not a real hermit). I do sneak into town on occasion for supplies and provisions and an occasional visit to the mall; and I do have a few modern conveniences. Believe it or not, I even got electricity here in the outback. Yep, I had me one of them World War II surplus generators up until a few years ago, then I obtained me a windmill generator. It’s much quieter, and don’t burn none a that expensive gas or diesel fuel we’re a payin’ fer nowadays.
But that ain’t the story I want to tell ya about. No, it’s about me and old Gertrude. Gertrude’s my 1941 black Ford pickup truck. She and I have been together a long time. She was like new when I got her. Ya see, when I found Gertrude she’d been stored in a old farmers barn for nigh on twenty years. Seein’ as how America got into the big war back in 1941, this farmer figgered trucks might be hard to come by fer a few years. He’d saved up a few dollars, so he went out and bought three 1941 Ford pickup trucks. He wore one of ‘em out, was still drivin’ the second one afore he died, and his widder decided to sell the third one in 1961. It had been settin’ in this feller’s barn fer all them years and had never been run much, exceptin’ when he took her out once a month for a wash job, and a short run to keep her bearings and seals limbered up. She was just like brand new when I got ‘er, and she had less than a hundred miles. So ya see folks, It’s almost like me and Gertrude been together since she was built.
We’ve had our problems, though. I had to take her into the truck hospital fer some minor surgery. Seein’ as how since I been venturin’ to town more often lately, I been havin’ more problems. A few days ago, I decided to take a trip to one of our neighborin’ states. I was just drivin’ along whistlin’ a happy tune (Gertrude ain’t got no radio, so I have to whistle fer my entertainment while I drive). Well, anyway, I’m a chuggin’ along mindin’ my own business and givin’ the proper hand signals when I want to change lanes on the fancy freeway I was a drivin’ on.
What was so exasperatin’, though, was nobody seemed to pay no attention to my signals. I stuck my arm straight out when I wanted to move left into the next lane, but cars just kept comin’ up long side of me so close they almost took my arm off. Then when I wanted to go back into the right lane, I stuck my arm out at a 45 degree angle up, but nobody paid no attention to that, neither. Then this police car comes up in back of me and starts flashin’ all them red and blue lights. What he’s doin’ back there, anyway, I don’t have no idee, but he just keeps follerin’ me with them lights a flashin’. Finally, after a while, he pulled up long side me and honked his horn. When I looked over at him he points his finger at the side of the road. I decided he must want me to pull over….So that’s what I done.
When he gits outa the car, I discovered he ain’t no man after all; he’s a woman, an’ let me tell you folks, I could tell she was fumin’ mad; and from the look in her eye, I could tell she was all business. I knowed right away she weren’t about to invite me to no road side picnic, neither. I said to her–right polite like– “Howdy ma’am.” She gave me a stern look and told me her name was officer so and so, and I was to address her that way….So that’s what I done. First thing she asked me is: “Don’t you know you’re supposed to pull over when an emergency vehicle flashes its lights at you?”
I asked her, “Emergency vehicle? Where’s the emergency vehicle? I don’t see no emergency vehicle.“ That didn’t set too well, neither, folks….She turned kinda white, and the pencil she was holdin’ snapped in two. Then she said to me she was the emergency vehicle.
“Oh…,” I says.
Well, lordy sakes, folks, I didn’t know a police car was an emergency vehicle. I thought emergency vehicles was ambulances and fire engines.
Then she asked me what was I doin with all that arm wavin’ business. I told her I was signalin’ to the folks that I wanted to change lanes. She asked me why didn’t I use my turn signals. I told her Gertrude don’t have no turn signals. This here’s a 1941 black Ford pickup truck, for lordy sakes. They didn’t have no turn signals when she was built.
Then this lady officer stares at me with one of them kinda blank stares. Then she nods her head from side to side like she don’t understand what I’m a talkin about an’ tells me I’d better get some, because most people nowadays don’t know what them hand signals I was doin’ is even all about. Then she says, “let me see yer driver’s license.” Now folks, I may be a country rube, but I know ya have to have a drivin’ license to drive these days, so I brung it out and showed it to her.
Well, then she told me if’n I’m gonna continue to drive this old relic, I’m gonna have to bring her up to modern day code. Now, Gertrude has a personality all her own, an‘ she didn’t take to well to bein’ called a old relic, so she threw a fit just like that little Volkswagon car did in that movie, Herby. She roared her little old flathead V-8 purty good at this lady officer. Well, anyway this lady officer told me she was givin’ me a ticket fer not havin’ no turn signals, an’ I better get some installed on Gertrude afore I venture out on the highway agin. She said she’d forgive my ignorance this time about evadin’ a police officer, though. But she warned me that if I ever done that agin, I might land in jail.
So…as much as hated the thought of it, I guessed I’d have to take old Gertie to the truck hospital. I’m tellin’ you, folks, I weren’t lookin’ forward to that. I hate truck hospitals worse than a cat hates water. I think it’s because ever time I take Gertrude there it costs me a arm an’ a leg to get her out and I’m ornerier than a bear with a sore paw for days afterwards. An’ I really don’t enjoy bein’ ornery.
Well, anyway, I made the appointment, and took Gertrude to the truck hospital and got the turn signals. I gotta admit, now, though; theys purty neat. She’s got two amber lookin’ lights on her front fenders, and two new fancy lookin’ red tail lights on the back. She looks purty classy, actually. When I flip ‘em on, people don’t try to clip my arm off no more. They just hang back and let me slide into the other lane smooth as silk. Maybe that lady police officer didn’t do me such a bad turn after all…even if she was a mite cranky. And I’m not even ornery about all the money it cost, neither.
See ya next time, folks.
Now while you’re here, why don’t ya jump on up to the free download button on this here page of Will’s at upper right and click on it. If ya do that, you’ll git a free copy of his book, Buddy…His Trials and Treasures. I think you’ll be glad you did. It’s some purty good readin’ I’m here to tell ya.