Our lives

The Machines Revolt

Here we go again.  Once more, the machines show their hatred for me.

Out of the goodness of my heart, and because I’m an all-round decent guy, as you well know, I volunteered to build a foundation for a friend of mine who recently got one of those horrible little steel sheds you have to assemble yourself.  Or in this case, myself.

Ah well.  Let’s do it with good grace.

Come on Bullet, I said.  We’ll collect the concrete mixer I left at the back of Parkenstein’s house two months ago when I was making room for the party.

All right, he grunted.

And then we’ll go and buy six or eight bags of cement to go with the gravel I very thoughtfully picked up three months ago and dumped there with the promise to dig and pour the foundation by Saturday.

All right.

Bullet has become very monosyllablic these days, in keeping with his sixteen-year-old image.  The bastard.

So we loaded up the mixer on the back of my trailer but as I passed the Bockmobile I noticed a peculiar smell from its engine.  The  kind of asphalty, tarmac odour that tells you this engine is running very hot.  Very, very hot. 

What the –? I grunted, the way they do in the comics just before they punch a mutant dinosaur-creature in the stomach and it goes Urk!

What the — ?

But there was no escaping the awful truth.  There it is on the ground: water, and lots of it.  The fucking radiator is leaking.  Well, shit anyway, this is a pain in the arse, but we have a job to do, so I top up the water and hope for the best. Come on  Bullet.  Let’s move, I shout from the moving vehicle and grab him by the collar as he tries to scramble aboard.  With any luck, this thing will keep going for a few miles.

Do you know what’s good for a leaking radiator? I’ll tell you.  Some people swear by a raw egg.  You can break it into the radiator and it’ll congeal in the leak.  Other people use nutmeg, and I believe the best running repairs are done with pepper.

Unfortunately, I had none of these things, so all I could rely on was hope.

Come on, I keep repeating.  Come on, you can do it, which proves that I’m both mad and stupid, talking to a mechanically propelled vehicle, but it’s the way we are.  You see, I’m used to this motor doing awful things to me, like the time it burst a high-pressure oil-hose and spewed out all the lubricant in a nano-instant, resulting in the cam-shaft blowing itself to bits with a soft Boom!  Or the time the turbo blew up on me and I had to search the country for a replacement that didn’t cost the price of a small hadron collider.  And then there was the time the steering thingy suddenly went fuckways and tried to fling me over a hedge at sixty miles an hour.  So, you see, I know a sinister mechanical sound when I hear one.  I’m an experienced driver and I’ve done more than the average amount of dismantling motor vehicles and putting them back together with just a few springs left over.

So that was why, when I heard a distant Thud! I knew something had gone wrong, but it wasn’t an engine problem this time, nor a steering problem, nor a constant-velocity joint suddenly falling to bits, nor a ball-joint tearing itself to pieces.

No indeed.

This Thud! was different.  This particular Thud! was the noise a concrete mixer makes when it falls off a trailer and crashes onto the road in the face of oncoming traffic.  A new noise for me.


Did you ever try to hold back a busy lane of traffic while at the same time picking up a concrete mixer and hauling it onto a trailer, while a sixteen-year-old watches you with his hands in his pockets until you scream ARE YOU GOING TO HELP ME WITH THIS FUCKING MIXER FOR FUCKSAKE!!!! ?

And then it started to rain. And it got very cold.  And we still had to dig out foundations and mix a load of concrete, so we’d better get moving, strap down the mixer tightly and drive on.  And then … well … what? 

What do you think happened next?

All right.  I’ll give you a hint.  The tightly-strapped-down mixer forced its way through the rotten floor of the trailer, gouging a long horrible groove in the road and there I am like a fucking madman, wrestling it back out of the splintered timbers and what’s Bullet doing?

What?  Go on — guess.  That’s right.  He’s standing with his hands in his fucking pockets looking at me hanging off the back of a broken trailer, trying to force a big bastard of a concrete mixer out of a hole in its floor, with purple veins bursting out of my temples and my eyes bulging like a crazed Sumo-murderer, and he’d possibly still be standing there if he hadn’t noticed me reaching for a rusty pipe-wrench and realised he was in serious danger.

For fucksake.


I brought the Bockmobile to the Laughing Mechanic this morning.

Well?  I said.

Fucked, he said.  I’d say you’re fucked.

Thanks, I said.

No problem, he chuckled.  That’ll be fifty euros.


You were wondering about the foundations we were supposed to build?  Yeah, well, see, we ran out of gravel.  They’re half done.



The Laughing Mechanic

Turbo Trouble

More Motoring Problems

When plans go wrong

Fear Not! Bock is Safe.

14 replies on “The Machines Revolt”

Never had a concrete mixer fall into the face of oncoming traffic, but had a trailer wheel pass me by on the same mission. “Fuck this”, it said, “I’m no trailer trash” and bounced across the median on the N7 carriageway in search of a better life.

Very, very funny, Bock. Reminds me I was once on the Ringsend Road in a Morris I’d been working on – giving it a trial run, like – and had got it up to a respectable speed, say 45mph, when the bonnet sprang up with the vigour of a young wallaby. It broke free of its hinges and took to the air like an oddly shaped rocket. It landed with a thunderous crash in the road behind where, Deo Gratia, there was no other traffic.

That was the funniest thing I’ve read in…forever. My eyes are watering. And you so have my sympathy, because….

This weekend, we go out hunting (no, not Palin style). We arrive to the hunting camp late. It’s dark, it’s been raining, and everyone is asleep. I really have to piss, and I figure it’s too much of a bother (and I’ve had to pee for two HOURS) to go all the way to our trailer, plug the lights in, and THEN pee outside, so I just go behind the jeep and pee in the grass.

So I think.

As I am peeing, I feel a stinging sensation. Great! I think, I’m peeing on nettles. So I attempt to stop peeing and standup and move…except I’m not peeing on nettles, no.

I don’t know what I’m peeing on. It’s dark. But something hurts. And you know, slapping yourself while squatting and trying to stop peeing and pulling your pants up in the rain just doesn’t fucking work!

So as I return rather quickly to the covered area where the fire is, I’m looking to see what is on me. I still think I hit nettles until the bf camly says “baby, you are COVERED in ants”.

Thousands of the little fuckers. All over me. Shoes. Jeans (which I’ve now pissed ALL OVER), everything. I’m slapping myself all over to kill them and flinging off my pants – and btw, we’re in the middle of a barn with no sides in the middle of a field in the middle of no where at one in the damn morning and thousands of ants are trying to eat me and I think I might have raised my voice just a little as I threw my pants and my shoes somewhere and ran back to the jeep in my underwear and socks frantically slapping myself. It might have even been comical.

It is now…five days later. I STILL have itchy ant bites on my ass.

little fuckers!

And the radiator Bock, did you put eggs and pepper and mending stuff in it.
And, oh sweet adolescence , that practised petulance and apocalyptic indignation.

So glad it happened to you.
And not me.
This time.
It’s coming soon.
To me.
I know.

BTW The queen should be barred for her insensitivity.

OMG Bock , i thought i has laughed all i could laugh and then i read formerly’s response, and now i am pissing myself laughing, (no pun intended) , but Bock??? how could you let that automobile you so dearly love get to that state of disrepair ????, time to flash the cash hun, and give this banger a good burial i think >>>>?? lol

I know this isn’t a competition but this reminds me of the time the brother in law decided to take up hunting. The red jacket, up on a horse, follow the hounds type of hunting.
Bought himself a horse box and the biggest hunter you’ve ever seen. A beautiful horse. Upper legs like Gerti Mueller, built for chasing and jumping and stomping on foxes. Beautiful.
Anyway. Coming back from the hunt late one Sunday afternoon, heard a thud and a rattle and a … quickly pulled in.
The poor horse had done a cement mixer. The floor of the box collapsed and our friend had gone to meet his maker.
Like Chevy Chases dog, kept up for the first gallop but broke down eventually.

God. I’m sorry for telling ye this now.

We’ll leave the concrete mixer aside and talk about Bullet.Was there dogs around the same day? If there was then that’s the reason he had his hands in his pockets. What am I getting at , you may ask? Well he’s afraid of dogs and that’s why he had stones in his hands.

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