Michael Phillips, The Airstream Chronicles - It's Chilly In The Airstream...

It's Chilly In The Airstream...

Wow, is it chilly in the Airstream tonight! Of course, that may have something to do with the fact that we had to move her today, and about two-thirds of the floor fell out in the process. You see, Bell had a big idea (they always scare me), so he came pounding on the door this morning saying, "MJB, we gotta move this here trailer right away!"

Turns out he wanted to drill for oil on the very spot the Airstream had been comfortably resting for so long. So we got a couple of jacks and jacked her up off the blocks and took turns filling the tires with Bell's old hand pump. The air was leaking out of the rotten old tires almost as fast as we could pump it in, but Bell kept saying, "Keep pumping MJB, I have to get to drilling by early afternoon, or else the predictions of a gusher may not come true!"

It seems a psychic had read Bell's palm and filled his head with visions of instant riches. He brought the psychic out to the dirt farm, and they used dousing rods to pinpoint the exact location of the mother lode...right under the Airstream.

Finally we got enough air into the tires to move the Airstream, but while we were pushing it out to the patch of dirt behind the chicken coop, the undercarriage scraped against an old iron bathtub that Bell had failed to bury completely, and that's when the floor of my lovely home was demolished. Bell ignored my cursing and bellowed, "Keep pushing MJB, just keep pushing!"

A few minutes later he was setting up his drilling rig, which consisted of an old Black & Decker 3/8" drill with a two foot long paint stirring attachment. "Jeez Arty, you aren't going to be able to drill very deep with that set-up you have there." I said.

But Bell ignored me, saying, "I don't reckon the oil is any deeper than a couple of feet...this is the beginning of a wondrous era, MJB! I'm gonna be rich! Black gold! Texas tea!" His extension cord couldn't reach out to where he was trying to drill, so he'd also dragged an ancient diesel generator out to the "site." The generator was as loud as a freight train, and spewed huge clouds of noxious black smoke, but Bell was undeterred.

By nightfall he was exhausted, having torn about a hundred two-foot deep holes in and around the area the psychic had specified. He was filthy from the dust and the smoke as he slumped down dejectedly next to the generator. "MJB, I jest don't know what went wrong...I drilled and I drilled, but no oil came up at all! I know that was a good psychic what perdicted the oil...hell, she set me back twenty bucks! But lookit all these here holes I dug, and didn't nothing happen!"

"Well Arty," I said, "Maybe the oil is further down than you thought. Maybe you need a professional to come out here and set up a real drilling rig to get the oil out of there..."

"Hmm...nah. You know what MJB? I don't think that psychic told me the right place to dig. I think she's planning to come back here late some night and dig up all that oil for herself! it's a god damned conspiracy is what it is...I'll bet she's just a front for some kind of conumist (that's the way he says it) group!"

Bell angrily maneuvered his way to a wobbly standing position and promptly fell over, smashing his cheek on a sharp corner of the diesel generator, opening up a three inch cut on his face and losing consciousness yet again. I dragged him over to the double-wide, propped him up against the old busted toilet that sits just outside the door, and headed back to the Airstream to cook up a lovely traditional Thanksgiving spaghetti dinner.

From the "Holey Land"
mjp
11/24/95

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