As I sit here listening to the soundtrack from GTA Vice City, I am reminded of a story involving something else from the the 80’s – a trencher we call Varley. We named it Varley after that fat old guy from the show Street Outlaws who’s favorite thing to say is “We really need to get our shit together”. You will understand why by at least the middle of this story, if not the picture at the top.
Varley had been living his life a quarter mile at a time for days leaving behind him 12″ ditches to be filled will hope, joy and purple pipe. For the most part if you can actually get Varley trenching he will usually keep going for a while unless he has one of his neurotic episodes, which come at random with varying severity. This fine piece of machinery is an excellent canvas for mechromancy as well as a test in skill, patience, reflexes, and use of the force.
The first anti theft feature is the leaky fuel system that allows water in the tank, which when mixed with the rust will go straight into the fuel lines and be sucked into the carburetor every morning when you try to start it.
On one particular morning, Varley must have been visited by Daenerys Targaryan, breaker of chains, because after about 30 feet he made a poping noise and abruptly stopped moving. I was almost thrown from the seat only to find some of Varley’s organs lying on the street beneath him. In my moment of trauma I looked up and off in the distance I saw a long haired man with a black hard hat and blissful aura rummaging through a pile of wood. I assumed he was just looking for a Pokemon, but several minutes later the man, resembling a description of the myth Turbine Jesus, approached and mumbled something. I asked the man “Hey, can you help me push this thing out of the road?” and he responded “Do not fear my son, for I have brought hope” as he opened his hand containing a form board nail used when pouring concrete.
I laughed a little at first, but his presence and mood did not seem to change. The man picked up the broken chain off of the sandy asphalt and smiled as he surgically placed the nail into the the 2 ends of the chain, sewing them together as one again. “Are you sure this is going to work?” I asked the man, but he only continued to smile while he started removing parts of the machine. The tension and chaos was starting to rise as vehicles and equipment were honking horns from both directions, but Varley was still immobile in the center of the road while this man was painting some kind of miracle inside of of that machine with grease and nails like a Bob Ross TV special.
Another feature of this machine is the compassionate wheel located on the right rear. This tire is a free spirit, who’s parents were most likely Mother Teresa and Gandhi, and isn’t greedy when it comes to hording air, it just wants to share it all with the world.
Concerned about the traffic and the worsening flat tire situation, I asked the man to help me push the machine again and he jumped up, pulled a screwdriver out of somewhere, jammed it into the key hole, and started it right up. “Yeeeah 10” said the man with a strange southern accent, as he moved some levers and yanked his foot from the clutch pedal. The front wheels left the ground for a moment and the whine of shafts spooled up and old bearings growled as if they were full of sand as he was off to the safe zone, away from traffic.
I found the trencher idling, in perfect working condition, a few hundred yards away after walking over from the street, but the long haired man was gone and nobody around the job site had seen him or knew anyone fitting my description. As I ran my quarter mile of pipe that day, it crossed my mind a few times that I may had been one of the rare chosen few that was blessed by the presence of Turbine Jesus.