What a guy, that Mr. Massey.
He puts me to shame. While I’ve been off doing other things, including stuff like this, and generally spending way too much time trying to figure out where to start with a to-do list that’s always too long – and then getting all down and discouraged about it – he’s been patiently waiting for me to give him some attention.
Those who read my weekly column in the Owen Sound Sun Times, and now readers of this blog, may know I have a special relationship with my faithful old Massey-Harris 22 tractor. That includes playing with the notion that he has virtual human qualities.
(Oops, better be careful how I put that, just in case he’s leaning over my shoulder right now, or otherwise picking up on what I’m saying about him here in print.)
Okay, Mr. Massey, I hear you. (I just heard him grumbling out there about me doing what I always do, taking too long to get to the point, rambling on.)
So, here’s the thing, I figure if Mr. Massey had human appendages, as well as an engine, gears and wheels that need my help to start up and get him mobile, he probably would have gone and got his battery out of storage, poured some fresh gas into his tank, and pushed his own start button long ago. It is spring after all, finally, officially here in Hope Ness, Ontario, Canada. I know I’ve said that before, a few weeks ago before March 21. But then the dreaded Polar Vortex swooped down with sub-zero temperatures and brought winter back. So, that’s my excuse, I guess for neglecting Mr. Massey.
Okay, okay, I hear you. (He’s doing that thing again. I guess that’s part of what’s meant by “alter ego.” Somebody has to remind me to stay focussed; and apparently, it’s him.)
I think part of my reluctance in not attending to my seasonal duties to get Mr. Massey going again was that I had a feeling he might not – go, I mean.
Oh, ye of little faith, he might say.
(Oh, did you? He just told me that’s exactly what he said quite some time ago; but I wasn’t listening.)
So, anyway, the sun was shining early yesterday afternoon; a gentle breeze was blowing from the west; and it was warm.
So I carried his freshly charged battery over to where Mr. Massey has been waiting patiently all through winter, and a few weeks of fake spring. And then he got a nice helping of fresh gas. I turned on the toggle switch, pulled back the choke, and pressed his starter button . . .
And Mr. Massey started up right away. I mean instantly.
A neighbour, Brent, who knows auto and tractor mechanics like the back of his hand, happened to be over, and I could tell from his double-take reaction he was pretty darned impressed.
That we had company may have had something to do with Mr. Massey’s almost miraculously fast start-up: he was probably showing off.
“He may not be that pretty anymore, but he’s quite a guy, my old Massey-Harris 22,” I said to Brent, as Mr. Massey fired smoothly on all four Continental, flat-head cylinders, with no tell-tale sign of oil smoke.
And then I thought, I hope he didn’t hear me say that – the part about not being pretty.
Oh, that’s alright, Phil, I heard him say later, in that way he has of communicating with me. “I daresay I’ll get over it.”
Yes, you will, Mr. Massey. I know you will.