It’s funny, when The Rover was weeping oil, no one acknowledged us at all. In fact, from Missoula to San Antonio, it’s like we didn’t exist. No one made eye contact; no one tried to strike up a conversation.
Filling up before hitting the Kansas City maze, I had to go into the station because the gas pump didn’t like my zip code. Along the way, this fellow in a Royals jersey shouted out, “What is that?”. I didn’t fall to my base instinct and shout back, “A gas pump?”. Instead, I played along, supplied the make & year of the truck when prompted and shook the man’s hand when offered. Twice actually, because he had to shake it again when he heard I was from Alaska. “That’s insane!”, he said. Yes, I’ve heard that before, and from good friends too.
Later in Missouri at the motel, I went outside after checking in because I thought The Rover stood out a little too much. I figured I’d park it between two large vans that were in the parking lot. That way only the Jerry cans on top stood out.
I no sooner climbed in the cab, when an Avalanche spun around and drove up to talk. The husband was a “huge Land Rover fan”, but his wife hated the things. For her part, she said that “hate was a strong word”. I guess he spent a lot of time in the UK & would have talked Rovers all night if the wife & I had let him.
This morning I was on my daily fluid check before starting out and a girl who was outside smoking a cigarette came over to chat. The motel was full of 18-20 year old kids, all running around flirting, smoking & trying to find someone to buy them beer. I wasn’t sure what the story was.
It turns out the girl & her boss were examining my truck last night. She claimed it was an Old Time Rover right off, but the boss said it was a Land Cruiser. She said the key was the emblem. I had to laugh at that, and agree that assuming emblem malfunction was the definition of being stubborn. I had met her boss when checking in and the first adjective that came to mind was, “slick”.
When the subject turned to Alaska, she said her “crew” did a turn in Alaska and would be heading up there in a couple of months. I automatically assumed oil industry, and all I could think of was that these kids would be eaten alive by the folks at Prudhoe.
Oil workers, no. It turns out they were a pack of door to door salespeople selling cleaning supplies. I guess the company puts these kids up at a cheap motel, then turn them loose on the population door to door. I didn’t realize companies still did that. Seems like a banner on Yahoo! would be more productive, but who am I to question archaic practices?
Then things turned awkward, because I was just sure she was going to try to sell me some sort of degreaser that smelled like orange juice. Maybe she was just a trainee, because someone practiced at the art of sales wouldn’t have let that opportunity go by.
Maybe she sensed that I was immune to any pitch. Bringing on board any degreaser/cleaner would have been bad karma in my case. Sort of a “if you buy it, the leaks will come” situation. Over 1000 miles and not one fluid level has dropped. I didn’t know life could be like this! Hellfire & brimstone, who knew?!
When you’re on a roll like I have been since San Antonio, you can’t let something like Someone’s livelihood screw it up.
I would have been polite about it though, backing away while making a cross symbol with my fingers, saying “Begone you vile fiend of darkness.”
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