“Thanks for those parts,” Dave Winston told George Mackenzie when he sat down at the table for the morning coffee session at Mabel’s Grill.
“They work?” George asked.
“Like a charm,” Dave replied.
“What’s this about?” Molly Whiteside asked as she filled Dave’s cup and refilled George’s and Cliff Murray’s who had arrived 10 minutes earlier.
“I’m restoring a 1986 Pontiac Parisienne and I needed wheel covers,” Dave explained.
“And George had some?”
“My first new car,” George said with a touch of nostalgic pride. “The wife and I drove it on our honeymoon to PEI. I sure hated the night that deer smashed into me and I had to write it off.”
“A deer did so much damage you had to write off the whole car?” Molly wondered.
“Well that was 1998,” George said. “It had a bit of rust by then.”
“As in you could see through the floor boards,” smirked Cliff.
“George would still be driving that car if it weren’t for that deer,” said Dave, trying to hide a smile.
“Well you’d be out those wheel coverings if I was,” growled George.
“But you still had hubcaps from it?” Molly asked.
“He’s got all the parts from it,” said Dave.
“Well I figured it was a waste just to send it to the junkyard,” said George. “Figured I could use some of it someday.”
“And have you?”
“From time to time. When people need a part, they come looking for me,” said George.
“You should see his machinery shed,” said Dave with a touch of admiration. He’s got parts from everything – old tractors, old hay balers, old manure spreaders. The place is full to the rafters!”
“I pity your wife!” Molly said.
“She hasn’t been in there for years,” George sighed. “Says the greatest invention ever was the cellphone so she can just text me to say dinner’s ready, instead of having to come in there to find me.”
“You’re a hoarder!” said Molly. “They make TV shows about guys like you.”
“He’s Scotch,” said Cliff.
“Hey, I’ve been hearing cracks all my life about being cheap, but not anymore. I’m an environmentalist these days. What’s that saying they have – reduce, reuse, recycle?”
“Yeah, Greta Thunberg meant to visit George when she came to Canada but there was no train to get her here,” laughed Dave.
“Good thing,” said Molly as she turned to go back to the kitchen. “Sounds like if she’d gone into his machinery shed she might never have found her way out!”
The conversation turned to the weather and the corn crop for a while before Dave asked, “Have either of you been to a movie lately?”
“Nah, I never even know what’s on anymore,” said Cliff. “They never advertise in the newspaper and I don’t go online much.”
“It’s just easier to stay home,” said George. “Wait a couple of months and you can see the movie on Netflix.”
“Well we were visiting friends in the city on the weekend and they took us out to the movies. They’ve got recliner chairs just like your living room!” said Dave.
“Yeah, I read somewhere that the big movie theatre chains know that’s what they’re up against so they’re trying to upgrade the experience of going to the movies – make it as comfortable as home,” said Cliff.
“Yeah, but you can’t have a cold one while you’re watching,” grumbled George.
“Oh you can buy beer or wine there,” said Dave. “I haven’t a clue how much that would cost. It was bad enough paying more than four bucks for a pop. And apparently making it seem like home means showing ads before the movie. I counted nine of them! And one way they don’t make it like home is there’s no remote control to change channels to miss the ads!” ◊