A Midsummer’s Range Dream
By Aaron J. Brown
* With apologies to William Shakespeare
Oh ya, d’ya hear aboot the four moons and such. Ya, four moons. People ‘round here ain’t been sleepin’ well.
Name’s Muck. I’m a dump truck. I got the name Rob Goodfellanen painted on my side, but that’s my driver. He’s not working tonight. Got a wedding to go to. Some big shots. Open bar, so I won’t see him ‘til Tuesday. He parked me here by the Enchanted National Forest. I like it over here. Beats workin,’ and I can have some fun.
See, summer is a tricky time for dump trucks. On one hand we keep busy. On the other the days are long. Engine gets hot. People got all kinda problems for us, most of ‘em related to dirt. Well, it’s pretty much all dirt, when you get down to it. Dump truck like me does his job, the dirt ends up where’s it’s supposed to go.
Give ya’ a fer’ instance. They got trouble with the Highway 53 over Eveleth way. It goes over the wrong kinda dirt. Or the right kinda dirt, depending on how you look at it. I’d get going on that, but seems like they can’t decide where to put it. So I gunned out some magic exhaust at a highway engineer who was walkin’ by. And so he says, “Hey, maybe we can put it over the pit instead of ‘round the whole dang kingdom.” Probably cost some, but who knows. That’s Oberon’s deal, not mine.
Last Monday I drove by the IRRRB and blew out some more of my enchanted exhaust. Saw a buncha sleepy big wigs kissing a donkey wearing a pinstripe suit. Not sure what was going on there, but when they wake up I figure they’re going to have some regrets. So quick bright things come to confusion.
Hold on now. I gotta back into yonder forest whilst this young couple approaches.
BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP!
Hush, they are nearby. (After backing up, Muck turns off engine)
HERLEY MIATICH: “OMG, I can’t believe my dad wants me to go out with that Brad guy just because he has a job or whatever.
Like, he won’t accept our love.”
LYLE SANDERS: Yeah, I got a job. Or I had one. I could get one. You’re so hot.
HERMIA: Tee hee hee. You’re so sweet. But seriously, like, what are we going to do?
LYLE SANDERS: I don’t know. Let’s make out here behind this tree. (They conceal themselves).
(Muck returns from hiding).
Ya, pretty much these kids have problems. All kinds of problems. You might be asking yourself, what can a dump truck do to help them here in the Enchanted National Forest? Well, I tell you what, I can do some. Ya, some.
First thing, I can go sign up this kid here with the union. We got highway work. Second thing I can do is go fill this Brad guy’s car with Class 5. I don’t exactly know what that will accomplish but it feels right, and you gotta go with your gut. I figure it’ll all work out from there.
‘Cause, you know, the course of true love never did run smooth.
But hey, you know what? You do what you wanna do. It’s summer. It’s hot. Stuff going on all over the place. Do your own thing. This all shakes out.
You, ah, need any sandbox sand or some gravel for the corners, head on down to the pit on 8 and tell ‘em Muck sent ya.’
Aaron J. Brown is an author and instructor at Hibbing Community College. He writes the blog MinnesotaBrown.com and hosts the Great Northern Radio Show on Northern Community Radio (kaxe.org). The show will be rebroadcast on July 4.