The Safety Bumper

     So I’m talkin ta one a my neighbors who was pointin out ta me
thet I ain’t got no bumper on the front a my Jeep Truk. So I says,
“an jest what tipped ya off Hank?”
     “Well an idjut kin see thet it ain’t got no bumper Jim.”
     “Well Ah didnt notice. Seeins how yer the first idjut ta notice,
got any ideas?”
     “Well--we could put one on.”
     “Ya got one?”
     “No, but I got a bunch a scrap sheet metal an sech out b’hind
my barn thar what we could use ta build one.”
     So now that I know that I got some neighborly help with a bumper
--Ah’m a thinkin. So I says ta him that I was thinkin about some a
them new fangled safety bumpers that they got these days. So I
explained that one a these hyar new bumpers is dee-zined ta ubsorb
the shock a anything what hits it. So even though my truk is over
sixty years old--we ought ta take advantage a some a that nowadays
think in. Cause if I did hit one a them modern vehicles, I’d want ta
take avantage a that so nobody got hurt--“ya think we kin do it Hank?”

     “You bet.”
     So we head out behind the barn an find a piece a angled sheet metal
that might jest do the job. It was strong, but bent easy. So we
grabbed us a hunk about long enough ta go clean across the front
a the rig. Then we set it up onta the frame what was stickin out
under the grill. Fer some odd reason tho, we wondered if it would be
heavy enough ta hold up a jug a shine in case a man got thirsty whilst
he was a workin on it. Bein conscious citizens tho we wondered if
havin a jug sittin right there whilst we was a workin right thar
would be a good idea. So we finally dee-cided that the right thing
ta do, an safer too, would be ta set a jug thar ta use fer holdin
that lightweight bumper steady whilst we measured an sech.

     So from the cabin, one a them women folk yells out, “How come you
boys need another jug out there? What happened to the one ya had this
mornin?”
     “Got spilt,” I told her--“that’s what--an besides, we’re jest
usin this hyar one fer weight.”
     “Ya know, we could use some help up here shellin these beans."
     “Do ya know how ta build a safety bumper?” Hank hollered back.
     “Well--no, not exactly.”
     “Then why don’t ya jest leave this hyar ta us less’n ya kin weld?”
     So that got us ta dee-scussin that we might jest need some help
from the other neighbor fer good reason. Ya see, one woman’ll leave
a man ta his own doins most a the time an only pounce on ‘im occasional.
Two women’ll watch ya close an talk about ya constant. Three women
don’t even know whar yer at er what yer a doin. An, speakin a safety,
another jug on the other end a that bumper would help ta balance it
out. Besides, cause a this bein a modern bumper it could take us all
evenin with all a the computin an sech. So we gave ‘im a call an told
‘im ta bring his wife along what would help ta distract the other
two when they dee-cide ta pester us some more.
     So they showed up directly on their four-wheeler an whilst them
women was a sayin howdy we snuck us another weight outa the shed.
So me an Hank asked ‘im, “Whudaya think?” Well, Lonny was the Mayor
of our ridge cause thar’s only three of us what lives up hyar an he’s
got the biggest tractor an it’s a four-wheel-drive. An he told us flat
out that he thought the piece we had was a tad light. So we dee-cided
that if the bumper was gonna be a tad heavier, that we’d best lighten
them jugs a tad more so no extra weight was pressin down on the
subspension. Sides, a bigger bumper would have enough room on it
fer a little winch if we decided to.
     Once thet new piece was sittin thar on the frame we sorted them
jugs out fer a mite longer ta be sure the weight was even. Then we put
one at each end a the bumper jest fer balance. Hank had a extra
winch sittin thar so we set it on the bumper ta see how it fit. When
we did, it tipped forward an dang near knocked the bumper off the
frame. So we dee-cided that we’d best go jeest a little mite heavier
on the bumper by gettin a hunk a bumper what was a tad wider on the
top. That way we’d have room fer the winch. But the wider hunk
that we picked wanted ta fall off anyway causa not enough frame a
stickin out ta hold it.
     So we welded a four foot hunk a half by four-inch channel iron
across the front ta give us more room ta set the bumper on nice an
level. Jest ta make room fer a strong weld across the top though we
welded it on a quarter inch lower than the top of the frame. But fer
some reason none of us could figger out--our figgerin was a tad off.
Fer some reason that bumper still tipped down at the front a quarter
inch before it rested on the channel bar. So we discussed the sitiation
an dee-cided that the whole problem was that them weights was too
light!

     Well after some more dee-scussin whilst we disposed a them
useless weights, we figgered that the only thing left was ta try some
heavier weights. So we got some fresh weights outa the shed an set em
on the back a the bumper what raised the front edge up offa that
channel iron a quarter inch an leveled it out front ta back on the
frame. What none of us could figger out tho was why leavin thet channel
bar a quarter inch lower than the frame made that frame a quarter inch
higher than the channel bar!
     Them new weights turned out ta be the best idea yet cause now that
bumper was level front ta back. So now we could figger exact as ta what
else was needed. So ta get back level, we found a piece a half by
four-inch flat bar about twelve foot long. Sure it took the three of us
ta bring it around from the scrap pile without a trippin too much on
account of all a that stuff back thar. I mean thar was places with
only four or five foot ta try an walk between stuff. But we got it in,
cut it down an welded it up level ta the frame. Then, the whole danged
thing was straight across an level both ways.
     We was aware a the fact that we had welded about a extra hunderd
pounds a solid steel ta the front a the frame, but it don’t count cause i
t was the frame, not the safety bumper. An besides--all was good cause
not one of us had no cuts er burns what a good rag wouldn’ take care
of. So we set that safety bumper on an it didn’t need no weights ta keep
it level. We figgered same as before tho that it wouldn’t do no good ta
abuse the subspension by leavin no extra weight on it. So after
lightenin the weights we was ready.
     So I says, “let’s set thet winch on hyar’n see if it fits.” Well
it did so I says, “good ‘nuff. Now let’s bolt on thet bumper’n bolt on
thet winch.”
     So Hank says, “What in tarnation would ya want thet winch on thar
 fer?”
     “Well so’s I kin winch stuff, thet’s what.”
     “But it don’t work Jim!”
     “Well what’d ya give it ta me fer?”
     “So’s ya could see if’n it was the right size--thet’s what!”
     “Wayell Dang!”
     So the Mayor jumps in an says that he’s got one over ta his place
what came offa one a his old tractors. So whilst waitin fer the Mayor
ta get back, me an Hank lightened them weights a bit more an dee-scust
that thar misunderstandin the best we knowed how.
     So the Mayor comes back an says, “what’s them wrenches a doin all
over the place?”
     So I says, “This hyar knothead was a throwin em at me whilst ya
 was gone!”
     “But thet ain’t fair cause you was throwin em at me first!”
     “Well Ah’ll be danged cause ya...”
     “KNOCK IT OFF!” yells the Mayor, “neow both a yuns help me ta
carry this hyar winch over ta the bumper.”

     It was bigger than the other one an took two of us ta put it up
onta the safety bumper. One thing was fer shore, we was gonna need a
safety bumper what was jeeest a tad bigger. So we had ta kind a stumble
around again behind the barn in the scrap heap fer a while til we found
jest the right hunk a safety bumper. Well after a few missed steps an
a couple a falls--from moles a diggin--we got that new hunk a
safety bumper centered perfect on that new safety modificated Truk
frame.
     After a few more rags we had Hank ta take a look at it from a
ways off. “Looks good ta me, but Ah thought we only put one bumper
on thar!” So the Mayor an me--still bein in po-session of all a
our dee-regularitys, crawled over an felt it ta make sure. So I told
the Mayor that thar was only one bumper thar that I could feel an he
said the same. So we jest figgered that Hank’d lost a few sticks a
fahrwood off’n his pile.
     We figgered that it’d be easier ta torch them
bolt holes thru that bumper ta save a lot a drillin, so that’s what we
done. Took a while too causa them pesky women a runnin out thar a
yellin, “FAHR--FAHR--THE BARN’S ON FAHR!!!”
     “WE KNOW THE BARN’S ON FAHR--WHUDAYA THINK--WE’S BLIND!”
     “BLIND DRUNK!”
     “NEOW--THESE IS JEST LITTLE FAHRS--AN IF Y’ALL TURN YER BACKS
AN GIVE US SOME PRIVISY WE KIN GIT BACK TA PUTTIN ‘EM OUT!”
     So they did in their own discusted sorta way an we did too an
thar weren’t no more problem, septin fer the smoke an steam, but we
could see thru that jest fine.
     An we decided too that we’d best bolt that winch onta that
bumper before puttin it on the frame cause of a tight fit thar.
Once we done that it looked real nice. Fer some strange reason tho
it took the three of us an two high-lift jacks ta lift that
safety bumper up ta the safety modificated truk frame an bolt it on.
So we dee-cided, that cause a all the safety modificatin what we done
that it was jeest a tad bigger than the o-riginal plan. Mehbe it was
the eight by eight by three-quarter inch angle iron we wound up a
havin ta use ta fit that twelve-thousand pound rated winch. Don’t
matter tho--the whole danged safety bumper couldn’a weighed more
than three er four-hunderd pounds er so. An if I ever do hit one a
them modern vehicles--it’ll still work good--cause between the
two of us thar’s dang sure gonna be some energy ubsorbed.

                               END

Posted in Short Stories
4 comments on “The Safety Bumper
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