He went out and then came right back in, "What time zone are we in?" He stood in the open door to ask and I quickly answered, all the while hoping he would not come back into the store!
I have been listening to this little old white haired gent for the past 45 minutes. I think he is a little hard of hearing and all I have to do was nod every now and then. I smile until my face feels frozen. He went into intricate detail about the difference between a Dodge engine and a Ford engine. He waxed eloquent on things like fuel injectors and some kind of ring on something and regulators. I pretended to listen as I searched frantically for my cell phone. I wanted to call myself on the store phone. But, no, I left it in the house.........
On and on he talks about having to remove the pan to get to the whatever and finally taking the whole engine out. Am I being punished for forgetting to stock milk? He came in for milk. I am out of milk. He assures me that he will let his wife have all the milk they have left and they will have breakfast at either McDonalds or Burger King tomorrow. This led to a discussion of the breakfast items available at each place. Then from that he shifted to what can be had at the gas stations along the way. From there he got to the price of fuel and the mileage in each engine and now we are taking said engines apart.
He is on his way to Alaska. His wife has never been. He thinks she will enjoy it. I agree wholeheartily and say so, hoping to end the conversation. No such luck. He has taken his hat off to wipe his brow from time to time and has snow white curly hair. I bet he was quite the lady's man. He reminds me of Pop-Eye, the sailor man, as he talks out of the side of his mouth. I am no longer listening to his words, just watching him.
Finally the engine lesson is over and he moves on to telling me about living in Alaska as a young man before he married. He should really take up blogging or maybe write his memoirs. I am listening again as he tells me the cost of a cold glass of beer in 1963. There were no women to speak of in Alaska at this time and you could rent a room in a boarding house for a dollar a day. The rooms were equipped with twin beds and you never knew who your room mate would be. He said he was never lucky enough to bunk with a woman, then laughed. I laugh with him, thinking that I was only 10 when he was living this adventure.
He pauses and I think he is done.... I want to get all this down before I forget or get too busy with overnighters checking in. But now he goes on to tell me about retro-fitting his fifth-wheel with a big freezer. He removed the couch for this. He plans to fill it with Alaskan salmon and king crab. Lest anyone think that salmon only comes in two or three varieties, I can assure you that this is not the case. He had a 'Forest Gump' moment as he recited all the kinds of salmon and their traits. He counted them off on his fingers. So cute! Oh, no, he is back to truck engines!
Why doesn't the phone ring? It has been ringing every 15 to 20 minutes all day. I wonder if I should open my blog and start writing. No, that would be rude. Solitaire? Maybe , it doesn't make any noise with the mouse................
He is done and off to give the wife the good news about the breakfast in store for her tomorrow. I tell him he is now in the central time zone and bid him farewell.