We left off from Episode 36 with a good dose of magic elixir otherwise known as Steel Seal tipped into the cooling system of the Proton Jumbuck. 107 miles covered, and a good four hours of running time. You may well be wondering if, since then I have ended up in a cloud of steam beside the road, and taken to beating the Proton in a Basil Fawlty style fashion with a branch, freshly plucked from a roadside tree? Well... No, I have not!
Infact it has been running very well, I would even go as far as to say that it is running better than it did when I got it? I've actually started to wonder if the head gasket was on it's way out when I originally bought it. But even if it was, once I'd taken it away from the previous owner it would've been my problem, and not theirs! Since tipping the Steel Seal in I have covered nearly 1000 miles, and to be fair, it's been pretty good. It doesn't seem to be using any oil, or water. The coolant is still looking good, and the oil, despite starting to turn a darker shade of brown is still looking like oil, and not like mayonnaise! This is good. For the most part I have been driving about town, although it has had two or three motorway jaunts, at motorway speeds, and as I said, all is well with the world of the Proton!
The thing is, when you have a small ute, or pick up it would appear that you will never be short of work, somebody, somewhere will always want you to collect something for them, or to take stuff away for them. I didn't buy this little Jumbuck with work in mind, oh sure, I know that people would be asking me to help out, they always do. But Since owning the Jumbuck I have probably been asked to do stuff for people far more than when I was tooling about in the Caddy. For some reason people accepted that with the Caddy I didn't want their rubbish in my bed. But with the Jumbuck they don't seem to accept that, and won't take no for an answer. I'm guessing that this is because the Jumbuck is newer, and is also a bit used and abused looking.
The other day my Dad phoned me, and asked me if I would be able to run some garden rubbish to the tip for him. I said, yeah sure Dad, what is it you need dumping? Oh he said, I've been pruning the trees back, and getting a little bit of landscaping done, I just need you to run the greenery to the tip for me. I thought that sounds ok, and I turned up with the Jumbuck to take the bits of trees and bushes that he'd pruned! Now I'm not really the complaining type, and I'm happy helping people out, but if you're looking at the photos above and thinking that that’s quite a lot in the bed of the Proton, you're right. That is a lot of pruning in the bed of the Proton, and this was the first of four loads like that! Still, on the plus side whilst I was driving this lot down to the tip for my Dad I was continuing to put more and more miles on the thing, and further proving that the head gasket problem is probably sorted! The further I drive this thing the more confident I feel that actually, this is a permanent repair. I'm almost at a point now where I don't wonder if wherever I decide to drive to that day my journey will end in a cloud of steam by the side of the road! Yep... Almost! But anyway, back to my point about never being short of work when you own a pick up. Another of my 'regular' customers is this lovely little old lady that lives down my road. In the grand scheme of things I've not lived in my road long, and infact some of the elderly inhabitants of my estate won't even talk to me, as, in their words, they don't like out-of-towners! Nevermind that my Nan lived here all her life, and my Mum was born in what is now known as BelongaClint! But they don't like out-of-towners, anyhoo, when I moved into BelongaClint, which was formerly known as BelongaToACoupleOfPolishFamilies, it was pretty evident that the elderly atleast, don't like to mix with new people! However, I had a lovely Dodge Dakota pick up at the time, and before long, people were asking me to dump stuff for them, and collect stuff for them too. Ten years on, I'm still not wholly excepted, but atleast some of them now talk to me. Anyhoo, this lovely old lady, upon seeing my Dodge Dakota asked if I wouldn't mind taking some rubbish to the dump for her. I, ofcourse said yes, and have been sporadically taking stuff to the dump for her, and occasionally collecting stuff for her ever since. But earlier this week I seriously considered that enough was enough, and I was gong to use my ute for my purposes and my purposes only. This is what happened. The lovely little old lady knocked the door of BelongaClint and said that she had taken down her shed, and would I be able to take it to the dump for her. It was a slow day at work, so I told her that wouldn't be a problem, and I could do it straight away if she liked. She liked this very much, so I put my overalls on, grabbed the keys to the Jumbuck, and headed down the road to her house to collect her garden shed. This woman must be in her eighties, but she had taken this shed down, and it was pretty much ready to go, of course, she had neglected to mention that the contents of the shed also needed to go to the dump, but I guess that’s by the bye. As I was loading the shed and contents into my ute this fella pulls up in a fairly tidy 2008 Ford Ranger, and goes into the house. About twenty minutes later he comes back out, climbs into his Ranger, waves out the window and says "See you later Mum!" I stood there tying down the remnants of this shed in the pouring rain thinking, see you later Mum!! If he's got a pick up, why isn't he taking his Mums stuff to the dump! Later on that day, as I was tying on the second load as the cold rain ran off my bald head and down my back the little old lady came out to thank me for taking her rubbish to the dump for her. So I asked her, If her Son has a pick up, why does she ask me to take stuff to the dump for her, why doesn't her Son do it? Her response was that her Son wouldn't take rubbish in his pick up, because he didn't want to get it dirty! I was livid, not to mention very cold, and wet, and I almost said to her, well, if he won't do it, then neither will I!! But before I said that I thought, well, if I don't do it for her, who will help her out? Clearly won't be her so called Son! I must admit, I felt quite sorry for the old broad, so I said, well, let me know if you need anything else picking up, and headed off to the tip with her rubbish!
The thing is, when I bought this little ute I had in mind using it for personal use only. yes, I was going to use it for picking stuff up, I mean, it's a pick up, that’s what its designed for! But in my mind the stuff that was going to be picked up was going to be for me, my stuff, like bikes and other junk like that. Other than that I was going to use it as my personal transport, for haulin, my big ole ass, and taking my littlest monster to school. That was all, but it seems that since having it nearly every weekend I'm helping to take someones stuff to the dump for them, I'd say its almost a full time business! Except for one thing... I don't charge them for taking their crap to the dump. I wonder what would happen next time someone asked me to take stuff to the dump for them, and I turned around and said, OK, no problem, it'll be a tenner! I mean nine times out of ten it takes me a couple of hours, if not the whole afternoon, so a tenner is very good value! Hmm... I can't help feeling that I'd pretty soon find myself relegated back to out-of-towner status again! I guess it's better to just carry on regardless, it's probably for the greater good! Although it is fair to say that I have been thinking that an estate car might make a nice change from a pick up lately!