There we were driving down yet another back road of middle America in 1969.
Hang on, were we really in middle America? Where is middle America? I’ve only ever heard the term used in the movies, I’ve never actually looked it up to see if there is an actual location. Maybe it’s like the Aussie Outback, it’s not actually a location but a really, really big area that just gets collectively dumped together as ‘the outback’.
Anyway I think I just digressed into something that wasn’t important. Well it was kind of important, you need to know where we were don’t you? Okay I’ll try again.
We were travelling down some back road in middle…umm…We’d just left some estranged off shoot of Téa’s grandmother’s clan of gypsies. We weren’t on the run but we were moving.
“Turn left up here!” Téa said, I slowed down and did as she requested.
When Téa returned to the borrowed truck I was waiting in she revealed two things. One, that she had the item she’d gone into the camp looking for, and two, that the old lady who had been following us since Woodstock was standing behind the truck while I was having a wee little kip in the driver’s seat.
We’d been through the whole ‘old lady’ thing, and like a bad smell she was going to just keep turning up whether we liked it or not. Now I know what you’re thinking, Téa should stop making bad smells…oh maybe that’s just my thoughts.
“Turn left again up here, onto the dirt road.” Téa said.
So what was the item Téa retrieved from the gypsy camp? Well that was easy it was a wrist watch.
“I know we kind of get used to modern technology, like clocks in the dashboard, but I’m sure we didn’t need to hunt down a mob of gypsies just so we could tell them time.”
“Shuddup and turn right up here!” was the response I got.
“Alight no need to get defensive, I didn’t mean any offence by calling your ancestors a mob. Kangaroos and sheep come in mobs, not gypsies. I think gypsies come in gangs, or maybe gaggles, yeah I’m sure it’s gaggles.”
“That’s geese, you goose.”
“Your ancestors come from geese? That can’t be right.”
It was at that moment I got a thump in my right arm, which I thought was a bit unfair. I didn’t even get a chance to drop the clanger of a line I was working on, the one where I was going to suggest she had the waddle of a duck not a goose. Actually thinking about it maybe it was for the best that I didn’t get a chance to drop such a line.
Where was I? Oh yeah, Téa got herself a new watch.
Turns out Téa’s new present was actually the entire key to everything we needed, well everything we needed to get our butts home anyway. I know not long back when I explained Téa’s story to you, the one about how the dial worked, I might have suggested that the dial was the be all and end all of everything. Well I think I probably assumed a bit more than I actually knew.
I know, I know, you’re thinking I listened to Téa’s story with a set of man’s ears and filled in the blanks rather than waiting for the full story. Well that maybe be a little bit true, but enough of me, let me explain Téa’s new wrist watch.
As it turns out the watch is our only way home, it works in the same way the dial does but instead of sending us to a different time zone it actually returns us home. Because I went into such detail about the way the dial worked I wont rehash it all again now with the wrist watch, it would be just like doubling up on the information and I know you wouldn’t want that.
The big difference between the dial and the wrist watch, other than the size of course, because we all know size does matter and in this case I had the big one, was that Téa had to take the wrist watch with her when we jaunted across time and space, where as me wearing the dial just made me look like a try hard rap singer.
In Téa’s words the separation of the two items was actually very important. If the old lady somehow caught up with us and we had both items with us for her to steal she could gain instant control. Keeping both items far enough apart that they couldn’t fall into the same person’s hands was our insurance policy and with the old lady having no idea where I lived, our insurance policy became worth so much more.
We’d been driving for ages, don’t look at me for any idea of time, Téa had the watch, and I really didn’t have any idea where we were. In amongst the chatter about the watch Téa continued to give me directions so I assumed she knew where we were going and saw no reason to ask until the discussion about the watch was over.
“Where are we going?” I asked.
“Yeah. Why? Don’t you want to?”
I looked at Téa like she was some kind of crazy lady. “We I was kind of enjoying your crazy company, but I guess going home wouldn’t be that bad either.”
“Gee thanks for the compliment. Turn in up here and park the truck.” Téa said.
It was at that moment I realised however we’d gotten there we were about to return to the scene of the crime.
“What are we doing? We’re going to get caught in a stolen truck.”
“Of course we aren’t, we are returning the truck like a couple of good natured citizens.”
I wish I could have felt as confident as she seemed to be, but the police car sitting out the front of the diner made that hard to do.
Previous episode here.