It’s the end of February and the Southern hemisphere was saying its final goodbyes to summer. One girl decided to take this as a sign to go fix the part of the picket fence she had run over before the cold set in. This girl is obviously me. My brothers used to call me LateStitch, in reference to the dumb old saying ‘a stitch in time saves nine’. This is just to give you an idea of how lazy I am. Lazy for a farm girl anyway.
So there I was, hammering away, when this noisy pair appears at the end of my drive (which I had a good vantage point of from this part of the fence.) They were deep in argument, obviously about which direction they should be going in because one kept turning back down the drive, indicating he wanted to retrace. I waved to get their attention and the one pointing back stopped pointing.
“Hey, can I help you?”
“Umm, ya, our tour bus stopped moving. We were wondering if you could direct us to the-”
“Nearest garage? It’s a while away. Can I have a look at it? I might be able to do something. If not, we could always give them a call.”
The two men looked sceptical but lead me on anyway. It doesn’t make much sense for me to ask for a look, but I wasn’t always a farm girl you know. I was actually born in the city and only moved up North when my uncle died, at around 6 years old. My older bros used to fix tractors and stuff after we moved here, so I had a somewhat good idea about stuff like that.
When the guy said tour bus, it didn’t really register in my head. The latch at the back was open and smoking. I’d never seen under the ‘hood’ of a bus before. Very interesting. There were a few guys standing around it, fumbling with stuff out of a tool box. A petite woman, mid-thirties, was slumped against the side of the bus. I smiled at her and gave her a curt nod. She returned the greeting.
One of the guys turned around and noticed me for the first time. “This is the mechanic?” he raised his eyebrow. At this point I feel the need to mention the overload of Brit accents on me. All these guys were British?
“No, not the mechanic. Did your engine blow?”
“Ya, and well, now, as you can see...”
I sighed with an apologetic smile, “not much to look at then, only a mechanic can fix a blown engine.”
“I’m guessing there isn’t one nearby, this is like the middle of effing nowhere”.
“You’re guessing correct, I’m afraid. Where were you heading to?”
“We were heading back to the city actually; we’ve just finished a shoot.”
Cool. A shoot. I wondered what for. “Why don’t you guys all pack up and come to my place? Not far from here. I could bring the tractor round for the rest of your stuff if you have equipment you want stashing.”
“Ummm...will that be necessary?”
“Well, the earliest the car guys could make it is probably tomorrow morn, but we’ll just have to call up and see right?”
The lady slumped against the bus now stood up and walked towards us. “Thanks, we’ll take you up on that offer. And...”, she opened her mouth, then closed it, as if deciding against what she was going to say. She shuffled her feet awkwardly.
“Just a small favour...”
“I hear ya”
“Do you mind if I use your shower?”
I chuckle. “No problemo.” She smiled. It was a pretty smile and the laugh lines creased around her eyes.
And while I’m thinking how nice it would be if I had people around me that’d always smile like that, all of a sudden I hear, “what’s up doc? Aren’t we moving?”
Oh. My. God. I’d recognise that voice anywhere!
“It’s so blinking hot in there. I need a breather.”
Aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh! That voice too! I wanted to turn around and look to the front of the bus but was too scared, in case it was really them and I made a fool of myself.
But that’s just what I’m pro at. So I cleared my throat and turned around.