How to kill an old and ex­hausted bull­dozer

Zululand Observer - Monday - - ZO OPINION -

AND as his wife shouted, ‘Harder dear!’, Ron­nie straight­ened his back and gave it his all.

Like a Cater­pil­lar D9 bull­dozer, he thrust for­ward and while at it thought, ‘I will show her I still have what it takes’.

And he did!

So much so that he ac­tu­ally sur­prised him­self be­cause, af­ter work­ing on the mines for 35 years, his body was tired. A Cater­pil­lar D9 is a monster! He worked with them in the pit and knows noth­ing can match that ma­chine’s per­for­mance.

While thrust­ing his hips for­ward Ron­nie also roared like a D9 run­ning at full throttle.

A bull­dozer, and a man, al­ways roar when they give ev­ery­thing.

In be­tween all the thrust­ing and roar­ing and sweat­ing Ron­nie won­dered if his wife of 38 years was at least im­pressed with his out­put.

She must be, he thought, and felt proud of him­self as he imag­ined the big smile on her face at the church’s next ladies’ tea.

She will be as happy as a clam at high tide, smil­ing from ear to ear, and the other old bats will be jeal­ous.

Af­ter two min­utes of giv­ing it his all, it started feel­ing as if he was hit­ting a bit of an up­hill patch, but Ron­nie knew that if he lost mo­men­tum, it would be a tragedy be­cause there was no way he could start all over again.

So he leaned back a lit­tle more, pulled air into his 30-PaulReveres-a-day lungs, down to where there was last oxy­gen when John Vorster was still Prime Min­is­ter, and roared harder!

And as he thrust his hips for­ward he said to him­self, ‘I am a D9! I am a bull­dozer! I can do this!’

Can I stop now?

At that point Ron­nie couldn’t see what he’s do­ing any more be­cause the sweat run­ning into his eyes made them burn like dom­i­nee says hell feels, so he kept them closed.

On blind faith he kept go­ing, hop­ing that his wife, any mo­ment now, would say they were there.

And that she will tell him he can stop and rest be­cause he’d done well.

When he heard her talk, af­ter what felt like an hour, he didn’t hear her prop­erly be­cause he was still roar­ing.

‘What’s that my love, are we there?’ he asked, just to be sure he was al­lowed to stop.

She didn’t re­ply im­me­di­ately so he asked again, ‘I say, Fran­cis, can I stop now?’

De­spite the fire in his eyes and the in­ferno in his chest, he said it in such a way as to make it sound as if he still had plenty in re­serve and that the D9 was just idling through it all.

But the D9 had had enough be­cause when she replied, ‘Harder Ron’, it coughed twice, slipped a gear and lost all mo­men­tum right there, and died.

And that’s how Un­cle Ron­nie’s life ended.

His wife’s fault

The doc­tor said it was a heart at­tack, brought on by ex­treme ex­er­tion but dad said it was the dis­ap­point­ment that killed him.

Dad said you never say to a man ‘harder’, at 68, when he’s al­ready roar­ing like a Cater­pil­lar D9.

If Fran­cis had in­stead told him, ‘Just a lit­tle bit more’, Ron­nie would’ve still been alive.

At the fu­neral, dad said the wheel­bar­row with its load of stones, half­way up the in­com­plete rock gar­den, should be left there to re­mind mom’s sis­ter how she killed his fish­ing part­ner.

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