Sometimes when I’m hanging out with my lifelong friends I feel like I’m at a tourist attraction. They start talkin’ ’bout cars and box head wrenches and I go, “I believe you.”

Take the fun I had with Prophet n ‘Country last night for instance:

I called Prophet as I was getting in my two-year-old Mustang GT and heading up to his place in Duneland – as I often do. Sometimes I’ll pick up that last bit of resources for the evening – in this case, a 7 lbs. bag of ice to keep the liquid nourishment cooled.

Prophet’s original plan for the day was to help his brother-in-law, Rainman, replace the engine in Rainman’s 12-year-old Caviler. That plan went to Hell Friday night when Rainman decided to skip out and go fishing again. 7 consecutive weekends of fishing is what you want to do when your unemployment is running low, you’re looking for a job in the toughest job market this side of World War II, and your mode of transportation needs an engine replaced. Not the smartest of decisions, but given the stress the economy has put on the victims, a little slack can be cut. We help him with the garage and parts to get him back on his feet and then he’ll help us when we get in a jam again.Besides the difference between Rainman helping and me helping is that he’d go, “how much does that cost? How long does take?” and I’d go, “What does that do?”

So, as known with Prophet, he said last night’s plans will consist of hanging out, playing Wii, and maybe watching a movie since Rainman wasn’t around. And this is why we call him, “Prophet” because his predictions for the evening came true in that “nowhere close” sort of way. In this case, when I called as I was driving he said that we were going to drop the new engine in after all – “we” as in “him and ‘Country and I play gopher.”

We got some Wii in as we waited for ‘Country to scour the county for the right gasket on a Saturday night. I did one more beverage run as they ran to the shop the equipment needed to tow the car down the back alley via 3-wheeler to ‘Country’s garage, a little more set up, and we’re hard at work by midnight.

When we’re at ‘Country’s garage, I really feel like we’re at “Big Country’s Garage State Park,” because the construction/auto repair/outdoorsmen lifestyle is so foreign to me.  My version of an outdoor life was on the blacktop courts or the baseball fields – or the beach or jogging paths. The wood slicer, the cherry picker, the scaffolding, the Harley Davidson’s – they’re like theme park rides when I go there. “Learn to ride the Harley. Climb to the top of the garage on the scaffolding. Learn to heat yourself all winter with ‘Country’s Wood slicer.” Not to mention the theme park music with classic delights including Alan Jackson’s, “Where I Come From,” and Tim McGraw’s, “Where The Blacktop Ends.” I’m in another world.

And I absorb it.

And they really get into it as well. I do the beer run and stuff the cooler with ice just for the ambiance. When the project gets going, they forget about the vices. We only went through a couple rounds the whole night. And they spent most of the project gnawing on but a couple cigarettes. And they’re heaven, surrounded by the things the treasure most.

What I learned the hard way was that the only engines Prophet’s pulled were from 70s MOPARs and the only engines ‘Country’s pulled were from GMC and Chevy trucks. They’d never pulled the engine out of a little front-wheel drive before. The three hour drive took them six hours. I even was able to Beeblebrox a couple ideas that lead to solutions. And that’s why we saw sunup, again, this time.

Long to short, when doing your first front-wheel drive engine removal, remove the start to get to the last group of bolts.

They’re such colorful, identifiable people, wonderful to hang out with and adventures with them often lead to hundred’s of different story ideas. In the last three trips, we dropped an engine for a brotherinlaw who decided to go fishing, a buddy saved up 3k to get his internet girlfriend/wife and her daughter over from the Philippines, and we’ve had a bonfire higher than the fireworks ceremony we were watching…and that’s just this month.

More excitement to come…

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