Well, I’ve been tagged again. This time by Chimera, with the “Four By Four” meme thing (why are these tag games called “memes” anyhow?).
Four vehicles I’ve owned:
1. 1974 Datsun 710. My very first car. I bought it from my dad in 1982. By that time, it was quite the rust bucket, but it had a motor that I could work on when it needed fixing. My father painted it Tremclad yellow before I got it. I had a lot of fun in that car though.
I had a friend in high school named Hugh. Hugh had a girlfriend that went to the Roman Catholic high school, which was located on what was a gravel road back then. Anyhow, Hugh had gotten into some dispute with the g/f the night before, and asked me if I could drive him to the florist to pick up flowers, and then drive to her high school so he could give them to her. We didn’t have much time to make it to the florist shop AND the high school before her school bus departed the school.
We got the flowers and then drove to the school only to find that the school bus was pulling out. Hugh was disappointed. I told him not to worry. I chased the bus up the gravel road and when there was no on-coming traffic, pulled alongside it as Hugh looked through the bus windows to see if he could see his g/f. He saw her, and as I drove beside the bus, Hughie got the girl’s attention, wriggled himself so that he could get his upper body out of my car’s passenger side window, and held up the flowers to his girl. She opened the window, grinned at Hugh, and took the flowers. The bus driver was not happy with us though.
2. Slim. I don’t know the year Slim was born, but Slim was a very large white steed, that I used as my vehicle while riding around the badlands of Alberta near Trochu. A retired barrel racer, Slim was an awesome horse, and I often lead trail rides throughout the lands of the ranch I worked on when I was 17. Ok, I didn’t own Slim, but while I worked on that ranch, Slim was “my” horse.
3. 1982 Datsun 200SX. I bought this car in 1986, I think it was, for $6,000.00. I loved that car, even though the electrical wiring of the fuel injection system had a tendency to corrode. I didn’t have much money, so I bought a service manual and for a few years, knew more than some mechanics about Datsun/Nissan fuel injection systems.
4. Haro Vector V1. I need to ride this more, but it’s a nice mountain bike that I’ve enjoyed getting myself around some of the “trails” near town here, especially when my oldest son comes to visit.
I’ve owned and own other vehicles of course.
Four Jobs I’ve Had:
1. As noted above, I was a ranch hand in Alberta.
2. A Filter Queen vaccuum cleaner salesperson. Believe it or not, I made some good money at this. It was back in 1981, when there were not many other jobs available for a high school student. If I recall correctly, a Filter Queen (without the Power Head) sold for $512.00 full price. If I sold a machine for its full price, I got $125.00 commission. If I gave a trade in, the manager of the office and I split the trade in and cut the difference. In other words, if in order to get the sale, I had to offer 25.00 trade in on another vaccuum, $12.50 was taken from my commission of $125.00. I was allowed to go as high as $75.00 for trade ins; above that I had to call the manager to get authorization. When that happened, the manager would huff and puff, and curse, and swear and tell me what a bad salesperson I was. Mostly though, this was done just in case the potential customer was listening to the conversation on an extension line.
I once sold a Filter Queen to a guy that had hardwood floors and leather upholstery. I ended up giving him a $25.00 trade in on his broom.
Although I was doing this part time, I never had a week when I didn’t sell at least one machine, and my best week netted me almost $600.00 in commissions. I got fired though, because after my best week, my manager demanded that I go to more “appointments” and try to sell even more. I just couldn’t do that at the time, so he fired me. I think in retrospect, he was trying to bluff me or something, but by that time, I wasn’t going to put up with that kind of shit from a manager. I went on and started my own business doing something else for awhile.
3. Dairy farm labourer. Worked at this for a number of years, and loved it. I always thought of it as getting a good work out, and getting paid for it. This is back when round bales weren’t in use – hay baling meant throwing up to 80 lb. bales of hay onto a hay wagon, where the bales of hay were already higher than I was tall.
4. Male stripper – ok, not true. I was offered money once, back in college, to do this for some party for some girl’s birthday or girl’s night out before her wedding or something like that. So.. yeah.. that’s not something I actually did… I turned it down because I couldn’t dance and believe it or not, was too shy anyhow.
4. Lighting salesperson – I worked for Living Lighting, as a sales rep in the store at the local mall. Being the only guy in the store, I got stuck with all the lousy jobs, like moving the chandeliers around that were hanging from the ceiling.
Places I’ve Lived:
1. Northern Ireland
2. A farm in Vaughan Township after immigrating to Canada
3. Trochu, Alberta
4. Waldemar, Ontario
1. Jamaica – a high school trip back in grade 10. I played trombone in an “orchestra” and we toured Jamaica.
2. Bahamas – same as above, only in grade 11.
3. Puerto Rico – Saltwater fly fishing, mostly for tarpon, in 2002.
4. British Columbia in 2005, where I spent a wonderful week in the company of a very sexy and attractive woman who showed me around Vancouver and then a drive to Tofino on Vancouver Island after my attendance at CanSecWest.