How to kill an old and exhausted bulldozer
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.