Who Drives a Tractor in City Traffic?
You might remember old mate saying I ought to have a go on the tractor that Chip drove. Chip was a sausage short of a barbecue type of guy. Not too much on top, but good hearted through and through. Besides which, the Leading Hand hath spoken. And the lad (me) needed a lesson.
Well, being a big, busy city, I was a bit wary of cranking up the tractor. But they told me to stay on the estate. Fair enough. Health and safety and all that.
Once aboard, Neville the Leading Hand pointed with his rifle arm at the ignition. Then Chip registered that I probably needed to stick the key in. To get started. Wise move. Well, it was, until I did.
No sooner did I turn the key that the tractor, which was in gear, yanked into action. Jerking forward, I held on for grim death, as it picked up speed and headed across the lawn.
Clenching onto the wheel with my right hand and my left held up in the air like a rodeo pro, I was getting into it. That’s when the tractor somehow managed to jump a gear or three. That made me feel for the brake pedal.
This turned out to be the accelerator, so off we went.
Chip and Neville couldn’t keep up as I snaked around the estate and pulled out onto Lennox St. All good but it was busy.
Actually it wasn’t that bad. I only clipped a couple of cars in the end. And, most people gave me all the space I needed. Even going through red lights.
Cutting back into Elizabeth St, I cleaned up a street sign without any effort. Tractors are actually good in city traffic.
But talk about bumpy! When the cops appeared, I was nearly flying out of my seat. Probably out of fright. Probably because I mounted the kerb and crashed into a post and rail fence getting back into the estate.
Still, it was a good experience, and it was pretty exciting having Neville jump onto the tractor back. He reached over to the ignition and grabbed the wheel. Like in the movies. Just before we got intimate with the side of a 22 storey apartment block.
So, in the end there’s wasn’t much damage and nobody knew I was terrified. The cops were really good about it too. When they heard it was “the lad’s first lesson” they slapped shoulders and called it quits.
I dreaded Neville’s pig shooting I’m-gonna-punch-your-head-in lecture when Chip finally left. But he was pretty good too. He even laughed (Something he did once every six months, while still keeping his one and only expression).
Chip didn’t mind much either. Just sucked his teeth inspecting the damage to his beloved tractor. Then suddenly announced, “Oh yeah. She’s tough. By crikey yeah. You’re a lucky boy, by crikey. She’s as good as gold… Bit of a ding here and there… But she’s right by crikey. Oh yeah crikey yeah”.