Losing Tools - What Do You Reckon 448

By: Glenn Torrens

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tools tools

Losing tools sucks. Particularly when they are your favourites

Last school holidays, I went camping with a mate and his kids. We went to a farm where we could chill, and have a fire, cook terrific tucker in a camp oven, catch yabbies in a dam, hunt rabbits and even have a beer at lunch if we wanted to. (Me and my mate – not the kids!)

Like at many farms, there was an assortment of battered old cars – a Hilux, two Suzukis, a Rodeo and a Falcon – for the grown-ups to use for collecting firewood and for the kids to have some fun in while getting some driving experience.

But one of the Suzukis didn’t work, so being the resident car boffin, it was my job to try get it going. After fixing a few things, a jump-start had it happily gurgling at a fast idle so I decided to show-off my amazing farm-find resurrection skill with a ‘victory lap’ in the Suzuki past where the others were working on a fence.

I dumped my spanners and pliers onto the Suzuki bonnet – to easily return them to my Pajero as I drove past it on the other side of the shed – brushed the spiders’ webs from the steering wheel and drove away. And yes I forgot my tools plonked on the bonnet until I returned from my bush cruise.

Ohhhh. My pliers were gone. Sitting in the car, I couldn’t see the bonnet below the Suzuki’s high windscreen scuttle.

These pliers were only cheapies but they’re part of the tool kit I assembled more than 10 years ago for my race VW, so have been to all the motorsport events I’ve participated: Hill climbs all over NSW from Cooma to Bathurst to Grafton. Airport sprints in Gunnedah and Cooma, too. Sydney Dragway Wednesday nights… Leyburn Sprints in Qld. That time I went to Vic for the Geelong Revival and the Australian Hill Climb Championships… and all the times I’ve been chasing V-Max at Australian Speed Week in Outback South Oz. Those pliers have been everywhere, maan… they are even yellow like my race Bug.

I won’t say I was devastated, but I was rather pissed off for losing them from the bonnet of the Suzuki. I jumped in another of the utes and idled along the route I’d just driven in the Suzuki: Down the bumpy track, through some trees, along a fence for a bit, a U-turn at a wood pile and the same course back to the shed.

I didn’t find my pliers.

The next day, the kids took a little longer than I to drop tents and roll swags to go home so with some time to spare, I went for a walk.

Sipping a mug of coffee, I again retraced the Suzuki’s path with my gaze swinging left and right over the terrain like a dictatorship’s border guard. As I came to the place where I’d U-turned the Suzuki, I resigned myself to those pliers being mysteriously but absolutely gone. Feeling cheated and defeated, I started walking back to the shed to begin the four-hour drive home.

But something in the universe prompted me to take a last backwards glance… There, poking out from under a piece of stringybark, was my faithful set of yellow pliers.

Geez I was happy I found them!


From Unique Cars #448, January 2021

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