Denis Lehane: Machinery addict’s latest speed fix

If there is one thing I am noted for in farming, it’s for the purchase of new or nearly new machinery.

Denis Lehane: Machinery addict’s latest speed fix

Yerra, my hand is constantly in my pocket, to pay for one machine after another.

Back in 1987, I purchased a nearly new fertilizer spinner. And again in 1993, I pounced, this time snapping up a roller with very few miles on the clock.

I’m simply addicted to machinery, I can’t help myself.

Anyway, last week I struck again, this time purchasing a machine made for the road, and one which I feel will supplement my farming income no end.

“What is it you bought?” you might ask. “Was it a round baler or a mower?”

No, of course not. You have to work like a slave to make money from them yokes.

I purchased a secondhand speed van, like the ones you see strategically parked in overgrown ditches along straight patches of road.

I purchased a second hand speed van, for it’s the only vehicle I know that makes money while being totally idle.

It’s not in the best condition, it blows a bit of smoke, has some rust and the tyres are lacking in grip, but it has the all-important camera and, really, that’s all you need.

So, the first morning, I freewheeled down the lane, perching my speed van in an ideal spot to catch my neighbours as they went to get the paper. Alas, all drove with no great speed.

What I really needed was to ditch my bus along a main road someplace, that’s where the real money is. I soon discovered of course that all the good spots were taken.

For example, on the outskirts of Coachford village, there is a mighty spot for the speed van, and again along the only good stretch of road between Cork and Macroom, adjacent to the village of Crookstown. The greedy money van is almost always in residence.

Anyhow, while prowling the straight roads of Cork last Sunday morning to find my perch, didn’t I spot that the Cork to Macroom location was vacant. I did a handbrake turn on the road and swung in there like Mario Andretti himself.

I was delirious with excitement as I set up the camera. It’s an old speed van, sadly the camera has to be worked manually, which means you have to grind a handle constantly.

And as the windows of the van are tightly closed to prevent one from hearing the stream of abuse being hurled your way, ‘twas the terrible morning of heat I endured.

So much so, that I soon fell asleep. I had the most wonderful sleep altogether, with dreams galore.

Anyhow, sometime later, it could have been three hours later, I was rudely awoken when I found my poor old speed van taking a terrible pounding.

I peered out, only to see another speed van outside, like a cuckoo, attempting to remove me from my nest.

I held my ground, pulling my old hand brake for all it was worth.

Eventually the ramming stopped, and off the other speed van went, tearing on down the road toward Cork.

I would have nabbed him for speeding too, but alas I wasn’t quick enough with my camera.

I was simply too slow in my speed van.

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