“What do you think, Mum?” asked Callum , eager to give me a guided tour of his new vehicle.
“Well…It's... big... and... is that rust?”
“Only surface rust, Mum,” he reassured me. “Look at the bull bar. It’s bigger than the one on your van.”
“I bet that ute has been used to hunt kangaroos. That could be the reason for the bull bar,” I said.
“Or pig hunting,” said Callum.
“That ute has probably been to a number of bachelor and spinster balls, and rodeos too. You’ll have to get yourself an akubra and some cowboy boots.”
“How old is it?”
“It makes my van look new,” I remarked, as I walked past my 24 year old vehicle, and into the house.
Callum followed me. His eyes were sparkling as he continued to tell me about his new vehicle and all the plans he had for it.
“You sound like a happy boy with a new toy.”
“I am!” Callum grinned.
Then Andy arrived home, with the girls who’d been swimming. Callum had to give him the grand tour too.
“How did you get it home?” Andy asked. The ute is a manual. Callum has only ever driven automatic cars before.
“I drove it. I didn’t stall it as often or kangaroo hop, like I did the other day when I took it for a test drive. On the whole I didn’t do too badly. I admit I almost ran over Mr and Mrs B at the shopping centre because I couldn’t find the right gear.”
“Did they realise it was you who was driving?”
“I think they did. They waved at me.” I hope it was a wave and not a shake of the fist.
“ And I had a bit of a misunderstanding with another pedestrian at a junction. I put my arm out of the window to indicate right, and she didn’t realise that meant I was about to make a right hand turn.”
“She probably thought you were waving hello,” I said.
“Why didn’t you use the indicator?” asked Andy.
“The right indicator stick is missing. At the moment, I can only go left… unless I indicate right with my arm. Wasn’t it lucky it is the right one and not the left one that is missing? I wouldn’t be able to put my left arm out the window. I guess I’ll need to get that fixed .
“I’d make that a priority,” advised Andy.
Callum nodded. “I’ve already priced a new indicator stick up.”
"So what else needs fixing?"
"There's no inside door handle on the passenger side, so you can't open the door from the inside. I could always climb through the window though... Did you see the sun visor? All it needs is screwing back in position."
"Sun visor? Not many cars have sun visors! Didn't they go out of fashion?" I added, "It seems to me, you've got a lot of work ahead of you."
“I admit the ute doesn't look very good at the moment, Mum,” said Callum, "but when I’ve restored it, it will be worth a lot of money. Holden Kingswood utes are classic cars.”
A little later, Callum said, “I didn’t know what you’d say about the car, Mum. I was a bit nervous. You took that much better than I thought.”
“What did you expect me to do, Callum? Jump up and down and say, ‘Why on earth did you buy that?’”
“Well, no. You aren’t the sort of person who does things like that.”
“It’s your life and your money, Callum. As long as you realise you're only allowed to park two cars on our driveway…”
“Yes, Mum! I’ve got another idea about how to sell my Commodore…”
What do I think about Callum’s new ute? Not much really in its current state. But if he restores it… I just might ask him if I can take it for a drive.
What do I think about Callum? I don’t understand his passion for cars. If I had his money I'd spend it differently... but I do admire the way he accepts challenges, his sense of adventure, his willingness to try new things. I doubt many people would take a manual car out for a test drive and then drive it home alone, when they’ve never driven one before. Callum never worries about making mistakes and appearing foolish: “I’ll give it a go. I’ll soon learn.” That seems to be his motto. He should go far.
"That's the very last car I will ever buy, Mum!"
Somehow I don't really believe that. I wonder why.