The Collected Friday Follies of Unca Joel Walker (Type2 Poet Laureate)


Depictus??? by Billie Ernie Hindleg
Elegy Written on a Country Junkyard by Thomas Gray Metallic
Tales of the Workshop by Robert W. Service-Advisor
Jabberwagen by Screwloose Feral
Mother Bus Rhymes
Gunga Van by Junkyard Keepling
The Craven by Edgar Allenwrench NoMoe
A Bus by Someone-other-than-Joyce-Kilmer
When I was Young and Pretty by W. H. Awfuldin and his dog, Spot
Tales of the Workshop: The Speedometer by Robert W. Service-Advisor
Plurality by Noahcount Webster
Tales of the Workshop: Mechanics that Vanish by Robert W. Service-Advisor
My Favourite Things sung by Julius Andrews in the hit musical, "The Sound of Mufflers"
Ole Man Highway from the musical "Showbus!"
Hitchhiker's Lament sung to the tune of Streets of Laredo, or Cowboy's Lament)
Tales of the Workshop: The Cruise Control by Robert W. Service-Advisor
Big Joe
An Old Tale from the Deep South
Manifold Destiny
Don't Tent Me In
Tales of the Workshop: The Voltage Regulator by Robert W. Service-Advisor
Jingle Bells
The Night Before Christmas
Otto the Automatic (to the tune of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer)
Rusty the Syncro (to the tune of Frosty the Snowman)
For Those Who Take Trips in the Winter by Robert W. Frostbitten
Sonnet xviii
Sonnet xxix
Stopping by a Bus on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frostbitten
Sonnet #43 From the Portugese Man-of-War By Lizzie Barrel Browning .50 cal.
Jabber-Jabber List by Screwloose Feral
A small collection of Haiku
Only for St. Patrick's Day
Blowing in the Wind by Bob Dylan Thomas Wolfe Blitzer & Dasher & Prancer & ...

Klassical Po'try (for those of you who remember English Literature, in its many forms ...)

by Billie Ernie Hindleg

Under the bus that carries me,
    Black as the grease on CV balls,
I thank whatever gods may be
    For my decrepit overalls.

Smudges from axles, loosely gripped;
    I have not flinched nor cried aloud
As blood from my knuckles (socket slipped)
    Has colored the surface of this shroud.

Above these spots and greasy smear
    Are streak-ed paints of different shade
And stains of ketchup, mustard, beer ...
    I wear them proudly, unafraid.

It matters not how loud the gripe
    From friends or neighbors, wives, et al ...
I will not wash, though they be ripe,
    These funky stinking overalls.

ok, how about another one? :) perhaps a bit more elevated in subject matter?

Elegy Written on a Country Junkyard
By Thomas Gray Metallic

The setting sun defines the end of day,
    As doors and windows close against the night,
When tools and parts are left just where they lay,
    For easy use tomorrow at first light.

The cursing fades, the laughter ceases now,
    In ones and twos, the men are gone away.
Old Sol is slow to take his final bow
    As insects tune themselves and start to play.

It matters not the model nor the year
    Nor cost of purchase when the cars were new,
For like a graveyard, all will enter here
    To rust beneath the sun and morning dew.

But there are some whose Karma reaches out
    To kindred souls, for help to cheat the grave,
And whether whole, or whether parted out,
    Extend their lives upon the road they crave.

For these, the kindred few, this yard is not
     A place wherein their dread should make them shy,
Not like a graveyard, with decay and rot,
    But more a warehouse, open to the sky.

and one of my favorites ... ;)

Tales of the Workshop
by Robert W. Service-Advisor :)

            The Rules

When they step up inside, as you go for a ride,
And the first thing they see are the tools,
Then they'll ask with a smirk if you do your own work,
Cause they have no idea of The Rules.

For it's Tried and it's True: What you carry with you
Will help you get back; and it's certain
What you leave back at home, as the country you roam,
Will not help on the road when you're hurtin'.

As you go through the years, you will learn from your tears
All the tools you will need on the road,
And you increase the weight, in attempts to cheat fate,
Adding more and more tools to your load.

So the bus weighs a lot. Even more when you've got
All the spare parts your money can buy
Hidden under the seat, stacked so careful and neat,
In the hope Murphy's Law won't apply.

Now, it's sad, but in trucks, fuel economy sucks,
And gets worse with all that piled aboard,
But the point we make here is that gas ain't so dear;
Don't let tools and spare parts be ignored.

But since Murphy still lives, and he seldom forgives,
No matter how much you have pleaded,
The Rules make it plain, but we'll state it again:
Carry with you whatever is needed.

unca joel

English Literature (the ones they never showed you) ...
Klassical Po'try

by Screwloose Feral

Twas brilliant, and the propane stoves
    Did frye and syzzle in the van;
All sparkle were the splits and loaves
    And the idle thoughts outran.

"Beware the Jabberwagen bus!
    "The rattles that ne'er cease their speech!
"Beware the Bus-Bus chorus line,
    "And listen not to what they preach!"

He lifted up his greasley tools,
    Long time the irksome rattle sought ...
Til slumbered he by the Half-Fast Tree
    And rested eyes in thought.

And as pretended he to sleep
    The Jabberwagen squeaked again,
Still certain of abilities
    To do its wants and when.

One, Two! Three, Four! And ratchet more!
    The hex-side socket felt his heft!
And with the rattle dead and gone,
    He gathered up his tools and left.

"And hast thou silenced now the bus?"
    They said as closer came he still;
"Oh, Happy Day! Hot Damn! Hooray!"
    And then he handed them the bill.

Twas brilliant, and the propane stoves
    Did frye and syzzle in the van;
All sparkle were the splits and loaves
    And the idle thoughts outran.

Mother Bus Rhymes

Jack and Jill went up the hill
To test a Vee-Dub Syncro.
Jill smashed trees, and just to tease,
Crushed poor old Jackie's ego!

Hickory dickory dock,
The chickens are all in a flock.
My bus struck one, as it tried to run,
The rest got away without injury.

This little bus went to market,
This little bus stayed home,
This little bus had premium fuel,
This little bus had none,
This little bus went Beep, Beep, Beep,
All the way home.

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How goes your Vanagon?
With coolant leaks, and throttle tweaks,
And a temp light that's always on!

Little Miss Muffet
Sat on a tuffet
Fixing her bus's fuel pump.
Along came a spider
And sat down beside her
And said, "You gonna eat the rest of that donut?"

Jack Sprat, he wore a hat,
    His wife, she wore blue jeans.
They drove their Vee-Dub bus around
    Just hoping to be seen.

As I was going to Spokane,
I met a man with seven vans,
In every van were seven seats,
In every seat, a wife with feets,
On every feets were socks and shoes
Embroidered with the Daily News.
Shoes, wives, seats, and vans,
How many were going to Spokane?

Gunga Van
by Junkyard Keepling

You can talk of being stuck
    As you're sleeping in your truck
In campgrounds with a water pipe that flows;
    But when you're way out here,
'Neath the stars and sky so clear,
    Well, it's something else again when traction goes.
Now in Arid-zona's clime,
    Where I used to spend my time
On weekends off the road, in desert sand,
    Of all them off-road crew
The finest one I knew
    Was my old Volkswagen Camper, Gunga Van.
          He was "Van! Van! Van!
          "You can make it, yes, you can!
          "Just slip the clutch,
          "And stick it into Low!!
          "You blunt-nosed old Vee-Dub, Gunga Van."

The paint scheme that he had
    Was really pretty bad,
And less than what he needed, that's for sure.
    But though he lacked for paint,
In his engine, what there ain't
    Were only things my money can't procure.
He was made of stronger stuff
    Than that plastic modern fluff,
And if a goat could make it, so could he.
    And I'd often see surprise
In the young kids' widened eyes
    As we puttered past them, stuck as they could be!
          It was "Van! Van! Van!
          "You're not worth the sweat of Man!
          "Use your grip, and grab the dirt!
          "Don't sling it out behind!
          "You worn-out rolling junkyard, Gunga Van."

But the steel can't stand too much
    Of the desert's tortured touch
A'fore the metal gives it up and has to go.
    Yet, holed right through the case,
We still made it back to base,
    A'bleeding as we crawled along dead slow.
The damage, though severe,
    Looked worse out there than here;
Still it's a cost to bear when'er I can.
    And though he's dead for now,
I'll build him back somehow,
    And I'll ride again in hell with Gunga Van!
          Yes, Van! Van! Van!
          You faithful-hearted Gunga Van!
          Though I beat you and I flayed you,
          By the German steel that made you,
          You're a better bus than any, Gunga Van!

(last one. pay attention, kids .... there'll be a quiz on Monday :)

The Craven
by Edgar Allenwrench NoMoe

Once upon a midnight frozen,
    As I drove the route I'd chosen,
        Sitting at the wheel until my butt was sore,
Suddenly, there came a tapping,
    Tapping, as if someone rapping,
        Rapping gently at my sliding door.

"Tis the wind, " said I to me,
"Tis the wind, and nothing more."

Onward through the night I traveled
    As my confidence unraveled,
        Thinking of the noise, the ill it bode.
Was it just a stone in hubcap?
    Perhaps an unrefastened gas cap?
        Or something worse to break and leave me stranded on the road?

"Tis the wind," said I to me,
"Tis the wind, and nothing more."

In the headlights, snow was falling,
    Still that tapping noise was calling,
        Calling all my senses back from whence it came.
Perhaps the cv joints need greasing,
    And newer boots would make it pleasing.
        Yes, that's the ticket! That's the one to blame.

"Tis the joints," I sagely muttered,
"Tis the joints, and nothing more."

Then, as if it heard my speaking,
    The noise was silent ... my ears still seeking
        Could find no trace of what I'd heard before.
On I drove, in silent waiting,
    Waiting for the noise, restating
        In my mind the causes I had thought ... and more.

"Tis my mind," said I to me,
"Tis my mind, and nothing more."

Throughout the trip, no noise resounded,
    But always now my thoughts are grounded
        In the causes of that noise I heard before.
Like a shadow cast by sunlight,
    My wraith-like fears will follow; and might
        I, from out that shadow, e'er be lifted?
.... Nevermore.

A Bus
by Someone-other-than-Joyce-Kilmer

I thought that I would never see
    A bigger fool than I could be,
        Someone whose tastes are sim'lar strange
            In transportation speed and range.

Who, like me, instead of speed,
    Choose cargo volume as a need;
        More room to sleep, perchance to dream,
            With all within, beside a stream.

And like the Tortoise, not the Hare,
    Who won't be hurried getting there;
        But when arrived we are, we think,
            Have kit, caboodle, and kitchen sink.

Who, like me, instead of miles,
    Would rather count the grins and smiles
        That come from driving day to day
            Four wheels beneath a cargo bay.

And sit up high above the street,
    To wave at every bus we meet,
        As down the highway and the lanes
            We truck along with sweet refrains.

I thought that I would never see
    A bigger fool than I could be,
        But lots of folks make quite a fuss
            That only Volkswagen makes a bus. :)

I think that I shall never see
An auto that appeals to me,
In shape or form, for beast or man,
As much as a Volkswagen Van.

It goes Where None Have Gone Before
And does it with just speeds of four;
It goes, and with you takes it all
For creature comforts, big and small;

It carries on, and ne'er complains
In Winter's snow or Springtime's rains,
Or Summer's heat, or Autumn's breeze,
Although at times, your butt will freeze;

It lasts the ages, passing down
From Old to Young, who've newly found
The sheer delight and sect's appeal
Of driving in a box on wheels.

When I was Young and Pretty
by W. H. Awfuldin and his dog, Spot

When I was young and pretty,
    I heard a Wise Man say:
"Give Marks and Pounds and Dollars,
    "But not your Bus away."
But I was young and pretty,
    No use to talk to me;
A Bus was just another car
    And traded frequently.

When I was young and pretty,
    I thought I knew it all;
I had been driving, don't you see,
    For years in Traffic's crawl.
I'd had my education,
    As much as I could stand
Why, I knew all there was to know,
    As much as Any Man!

I'd had so many autos,
    I can't remember them;
I'd bought, and sold, and bought again,
    With Credit, Cash, and Whim.
Sedans, Two-doors, Convertibles,
    I'd several Buses, too ...
And when I tired of what I had,
    I'd go get something new.

But now I'm older, sadder;
    No longer Wise Men speak;
And if they did, I couldn't hear
    Unless they really shriek;
And Buses that I once enjoyed,
    Remembered from the past ...
If only I'd hung onto them ...
    I understand at last.

When I was young and pretty,
    I heard a Wise Man say:
"Give Marks and Pounds and Dollars,
    "But not your Bus away."
Since now I'm old and ugly,
    I pass this on to you:
Remember what those Wise Men say;
    It's true, it's true, it's true.


<boredom is a cruel mistress ...>

Tales of the Workshop: The Speedometer
by Robert W. Service-Advisor

        Oh, the stories we hear, like the stars in the sky,
            Have all been encountered before,
        But just when you think that you've heard of them all,
            A new one will drive through the door.

He brought in the car, said it didn't work right,
    And he wanted it fixed by tomorrow;
Said the speedo was bad, it was reading too low,
    And was causing him no end of sorrow.

So old Tom took it on, checking all of the faults,
    That might cause anyone such of a terror;
Even minor mistakes, lack of grease or a screw,
    No matter how small of an error.

Pull the dash, check the head for gears that were broke,
    Find anything there that ain't able;
And then follow the line as you move to the wheel,
    See if anything's wrong with the cable.

But the tests came up short, no fault found at all,
    So Tom drove it out on Route Nine,
And a stop-watch was used just to doubly make sure ...
    And it showed that the speedo was fine.

When he came for the car, and we asked him again,
    Just where was it bad, and how long?
He sighed, and complained, like you'd speak to a child,
    That the needle just had to be wrong.

Because, he explained, as I drive home from work,
    And I drive at the speed-limit posted,
All the cars on the road zoom by, faster than me,
    So the speedo just has to be toasted!

        Oh, the stories we hear, like the stars in the sky,
            Have all been encountered before,
        But just when you think that you've heard of them all,
            A new one will drive through the door.


I hope that I shall never see
    Again those clods at DMV,
Those cretin-brained misfits of life
    Whose job it is to cause you strife,
Who stand behind that armored wall,
    Protected, as they spout their gall
To people, queued in long slow lines
    To register or pay their fines.

So many hours, stand, and wait,
    The irritation turns to hate;
But hate must hide behind a grin
    Or else you will not ride again.
Those words, I fear, will do no good,
    Will make no changes where they should,
For poems are writ by fools like me,
    But mutant genes made DMV.


There was a young man from Nantucket,
Who kept in his bus a big bucket
Which he used to dig clams
(Great big ones, like hams)
But they'd make him so sick, he'd upchuckit.

There was an old hermit named Dave,
Who kept an old bus in a cave.
When traffic went fast,
He was always the last,
But think of the money he saved!

There was a young fellow from Kent,
Whose bus in the middle was bent.
With the steering he fiddled,
So he drove from the middle,
And it caused quite a stir down in Ghent!

(Part A.1.i)

by Noahcount Webster

Upon the List, it's often said
That dictionaries should be read ...
That proper nouns and plurals, too,
Are oft misspelled by one or two ...
That in the pages Webster wrote
Is found the proper spelling note
To guide the errant Busophile
In proper English form and style.

But even Webster is unsure,
And so two forms we must endure
When plurals of our bus we write
Into our email, day and night.
To me, it's simple, without fuss:
Where there is one, you spell it "bus";
Where two or more? it's easy done ...
The plural form is simply "fun"!! :)

(Part 2te Teil)

Tales of the Workshop
by Robert W. Service-Advisor

          Mechanics that Vanish

    Oh, the stories we hear, like the stars in the sky,
      Have all been encountered before,
    But just when you think that you've heard of them all,
      A new one will drive through the door.

Strange tales oft repeat, when you talk of the heat
In the summers down South, I am told.
'Bout the hot steady glare from the sun way up there
That makes you crazy for anything cold.

When the lack of fresh air being moved anywhere
In the shop makes the walls seem to close,
And the sweat streaming down, cross your furrow-like frown,
Runs like water from the end of a hose.

On one hot summer's day, at least so they say,
There came in a bus, a Volkswagen,
To the shop for repair, something broke under there,
But the poor mechs were now really dragging.

They were white as a sheet, but this job they'd complete,
That they promised the owner who waited.
Then they staggered and swore, as they opened the door,
Cranked the bus and drove in where it's shaded.

Well, the hours went by, til the closing drew nigh,
And the owner grew twitchy and nervous.
So he spoke to the boss, as he now was quite cross,
And inquired 'bout the length of his service.

"Well, it shoulda been through," said the boss through his chew,
"And I don't know what's taking so long."
So they walked through the door to the shop's working floor
And found the bus, as if nothing was wrong.

The ticket was there on the floor, which was bare
Except for a very large puddle.
But the mechs were not found anywhere near around,
Though the boss had searched all through the muddle.

Then the bus owner paid for the work that had made
All his broken parts mended again,
And he happily drove to his home in the grove
With no thought of the missing repairmen.

So the boss never knew what had taken his crew
From their jobs, which they left and deserted,
For they never returned for their tools or pay earned
Which in storage has since been inserted.

But the story that grew, from the people that knew,
When with beers in a bar they'd get belted,
Was those mech's didn't stray and are still there today:
The poor bastards had simply just melted.

    Oh, the stories we hear, like the stars in the sky,
      Have all been encountered before,
    But just when you think that you've heard of them all,
      A new one will drive through the door.


whatzat? one more? oh, awright. :) most of you don't know that lots of famous people wrote musicals about buses and vw's and such..unfortunately, none were ever made into productions that we get to see. however, some were adapted to less interesting subjects and became instant hits. one such example is The Sound of Music, which was a watered-down version of the original The Sound of Mufflers, a musical about a southern german family who invented volkswagens and drove them around the Alps, bringing joy and happiness to the people of the region. never made it into production. change the central character from a Calamity Jane type of mechanic/inventer to some frilly nanny, throw in some love interest and a few nasty Nazi's and it became a box-office smash.

well, little did you know that some of the original music was saved! (before it was corrupted by hollywood). and here's one of them ...

My Favourite Things
sung by Julius Andrews
in the hit musical, The Sound of Mufflers

CV joints greasy with new rubber booties,
Bright shiny bumpers for busses' patooties,
New Mahle pistons and new piston rings ...
These are a few of my favourite things.

Driving with foglights in rain when it drizzles,
Breakfast at campouts with bacon that sizzles,
Washing my bus and the shine that it brings ...
These are a few of my favourite things.

    When the gas drips,
    When the wrench slips,
    When I am feeling bad ...
    I just have to think of my favourite things,
    And then I don't feel so sad!

Driving cross-country on roads never taken,
Traveling on instinct, while maps we've forsaken,
Watching a hawk with the wind in his wings ...
These are a few of my favourite things.

Long conversations 'round campfires in autumn,
Watching the kids when they use what you've taught 'em,
Ignoring the phone while it rings and it rings ...
These are a few of my favourite things.

    When the gas drips,
    When the wrench slips,
    When I'm feeling bad ...
    I just have to think of my favourite things,
    And then I don't feel so sad!

and then there was Showbus! about a fellow who drove a spiffed up split-window bus all around the country, carrying cargo and people hither and yon. couldn't sell the idea. but change the bus to an old wood-burning stern-wheeler riverboat, add a bunch of silly star-crossed lovers and some civil war stuff, and it was a hit (as Showboat). once again, some of the

original music survived ...

Ole Man Highway

    There's an old man that we call the Highway,
    That's the old man I want to be ...
    What does he care if your car's got troubles,
    What does he care if the toll ain't free?

Old Man Highway, that Old Man Highway,
He must know something, but don't say nothing.
He just keeps rolling,
He keeps on rolling along.

He don't haul taters, He don't haul cotton,
And them that hauls 'em is soon forgotten,
But old Man Highway,
He just keeps rolling along.

    You and me, we sweat and strain,
    Windshields all smeared up with bugs and rain,
    Climb that hill, at convoy's tail,
    Go a little fast, and you lands in jail.

I get weary and sick of driving,
My legs are aching and my eyes are crying,
But Old Man Highway,
He just keeps rolling along.

(last one, folks!)

remember to take notes! there'll be a quiz on Monday!

Hitchhiker's Lament
(sung to the tune of Streets of Laredo, or Cowboy's Lament)

As I was out driving one morning for pleasure,
My bus and me riding one morning so fair,
I spied an old geezer beside of the highway,
A pack on his back and his thumb in the air.

There was something about him that gathered my notice,
A something familiar, and yet still unseen,
A spirit so kindred, I felt in a moment
That here but for god's grace was easily me.

I pulled to the shoulder and waved to him friendly,
He walked to the bus and he slowly got in.
I asked, "Where you headed?" He answered, "Out that way.
"And I'm later than usual," he said with a grin.

In talking while riding, he told a sad story
Of trading two morrows for one yesterday,
And then he admitted that he once had buses,
And like his tomorrows, they faded away.

"I once had a camper, a nice sixty-seven,
A neat little Microbus rolling along.
But the wife and I split up, I needed some money,
So I sold it to strangers for nearly a song."

"My fortunes rebounded a year or so later,
But by then the buses lost most of their charm.
Still I bought me a Breadloaf and learned that I love it,
For it still was a Bus and could do me no harm."

"After that, there were others, in lengthy succession.
A Vanagon camper I had for a while;
A Pickup, a Kombi, a Double-door Panel ...
I had always thought I'd be riding in style."

"But fortunes and favors don't stay long at my house.
They find better lodging with others some day.
When I lost all my money, my job, and my buses,
That's when I packed up to try traveling this way."

"As the years added to me, I wandered the country,
Searching and seeking and moving along.
Unsure of the way that my destiny pulled me,
I changed my direction like changing my song."

He talked for a long time to tell his life's story,
I listened intently to his sad refrain,
For his tale was spell-binding, no matter the sadness,
And he spoke as if knowing he'd rebound again.

My exit came up as we rode down the highway
So I pulled to the shoulder and bid him farewell.
He thanked me profusely and wouldn't take money
And waved at me til I had turned down the dell.

And as I was driving, my home road returning,
His last words were ringing around in my brain:
"Enjoy this nice bus for as long as you have it,
You just never know if you'll have one again."

FFFrrrrydaye Fearless Follies ... only 10 cents!!!

hurry, hurry, hurry, one thin dime, one tenth of a dollar .... :) some more foolishness for Frydaye. ...

Tales of the Workshop
by Robert W. Service-Advisor

            The Cruise Control

    Oh, the stories we hear, like the stars in the sky,
      Have all been encountered before,
    But just when you think that you've heard of them all,
      A new one will drive through the door.

Old Bill's truck arrived, dragging closely behind
A huge Winnebago in tow,
And the RV was smashed in the front and the side,
With three windows all broke in a row.

So we asked what occured to cause all this harm,
And Old Bill just said with a smile,
"The owner was driving on I-25,
As he clicked over mile after mile,"

"And long about sundown, he got somewhat tired
And decided he'd rather go eat.
So he got up and went to the kitchen in back,
Leaving no one up front in the seat."

"You see, they had told him, when he purchases the thing
That the Cruise Control made quite a show:
You just get up to speed, push the button to set,
Then it handles it all, don't you know!"

"So he pushed in the button, and went to the back,
Thinking Cruise Control was now in control.
And just about time he had reached in the fridge,
His world began to unfold."

"The cops shook their heads after reaching the scene,
Amazed at the damage so slight,
But to pull all the cars that he ran off the road
Required all the rest of the night."

    Oh, the stories we hear, like the stars in the sky,
      Have all been encountered before,
    But just when you think that you've heard of them all,
      A new one will drive through the door.


In a junkyard, on a mountain,
    Rusting there beneath the pines,
Sat a sagging old Volkswagen
    Camper bus named Clementine.

Born a German, over yonder,
    Made her way across the foam,
Not at all the life she wished for
    In this new land, her new home.

There she sat, among the rusting
    Bones of cars from Yesterday,
Left alone and here abandoned,
    Waiting for her dying day.

        Oh, my darling, oh, my darling,
        Oh, my darling Clementine,
        You will soon be lost forever,
        Awful sorry, Clementine.

Years ago, she took a family
    Way out West and way back home;
Never once had any problems,
    Through the countryside they'd roam.

But the family grew much bigger
    Than poor Clementine could hold,
So they sold their loyal camper
    For a measly bag of gold.

There she sat, out in the weather,
    On the dealer's used car lot,
Through the snows of winters freezing,
    Through the summers burning hot.

        Oh, my darling, oh, my darling,
        Oh, my darling Clementine,
        You were sold and left abandoned,
        Awful sorry, Clementine.

No one looked or asked about her,
    And the dealer didn't care,
So he sold her to the junkyard
    And for years she's been out there.

Then one day, there came a youngster
    Looking for some parts to buy,
Saw her rusted, faded body,
    Bought her from the junkyard guy.

Towed her home and started fixing,
    Taking time to do it right;
Worked a long time on her engine,
    Stayed up late into the night.

        Oh, my darling, oh, my darling,
        Oh, my darling Clementine,
        You were lost but now I've found you,
        Not to worry, Clementine.

Brand new tires, and brand new braking,
    Stop the rust, renew the paint,
Rid the field mice from the cabinets,
    Cause a Mouse Hotel she ain't!

Mend the canvas, and the fixtures,
    Make the pop-top work just fine.
When she's finished, she'll be pretty,
    A Beauty Queen, my Clementine.

Now she rides upon the highway,
    Just like when she was brand new,
With a grin between her headlights,
    And she purrs, like kittens do.

        Oh, my darling, oh, my darling,
        Oh, my darling Clementine,
        You were almost gone forever,
        Now you're fixed and you're all mine!

a little story for halloween. ;)

Big Joe

It was a dark and stormy night. The wind howled like a love-sick dog, as the rain beat a nervous staccato on the windshield. The tires on the road made an angry hissing sound, trying to keep my little bus securely on the asphalt. The wipers strained and moaned against the flood, pushing one way and then another. The road could barely be seen in the dim glow of my headlights. I hadn't see it this bad in many years.

As i rounded a curve, my headlights reflected off the back of an 18-wheeler driving slowly ahead of me. I slowed down and kept back from his trailer, wishing to avoid the spray from his wheels. I could see the lights clearly and the large letters on one rear door, spelling "Big Joe" with a cartoon character underneath. The sight of this made me laugh and cheered me considerably.

Driving behind the truck was much easier, as his big tires moved most of the water out of the way. And I soon learned to trust his instincts as he braked for curves or swung wide for large puddles or fallen rocks.

We drove on for what seemed like several hours, until the rain began to slacken and the wind died to just a steady breeze. The truck began to pick up a little speed, so I tagged right along behind.

We hadn't seen any other traffic in either direction since I met up with the truck, and pretty soon, I could see the lights of a truck stop ahead. I decided a cup of coffee would be just about perfect right now, so I pulled into the parking lot. "Big Joe" hit a couple of blasts on his air horns and kept rolling down the road. I guess he had known I was back there, after all.

It was still drizzling as I made my way into the coffee shop, so I got a little wet. The smell of the food brightened my spirits. The folks sitting around inside looked at me a bit more than curiously, however, and I asked the waitress about it when she came over.

"Oh," she said, as she poured my cup of coffee, "They're just surprised that you made it through in this weather. Highway 41 has been closed now since three o'clock."

"Well," I replied, "I'd have never made it if it hadn't been for that trucker, Big Joe."

And with that, she dropped the coffee pot, smashing the glass on the floor and spraying hot coffee all over her legs and my feet. Her face was the color of the napkins, and her eyes were the size of half-dollars.

"I'm sorry," I said, trying to wipe as much of the coffee off my shoes as I could. I looked around at the other folks in the coffee shop and they looked pretty much the same as she did.

"I'm sorry," I repeated, "Did I say something wrong?"

By this time, another waitress had recovered and brought a broom and a mop to clean up the mess. "No," she said, "It's just that we haven't heard anything about Big Joe in a long time. He's dead, you see. Years ago, he was leading some cars down the road, in a storm just about like the one tonight, when a rock slide carried him and his truck over the edge and down to the river at the bottom."

This time, I was the one who dropped the coffee.

another story for All Hallow's Eve .... :)

An Old Tale from the Deep South

It was a dark and stormy night. The strobing flashes of lightening darkened the already deepening shadows inside the old Volkswagen camper. The flames of the small campfire flickered, like the tongues of snakes, as the soft moaning of the wind increased. The trees bent over the campsite, their limbs draped in Spanish moss like old scarecrows in the tattered remnants of clothing long gone out of style.

The little camper rocked slightly in the wind. The old fellow at the gas station hadn't mentioned any storm. He only spoke about how this campground was haunted by the spirit of Jean Pierre Bapaume, one of the original explorers of this area, who accompanied Iberville on his trek through the swamps of Louisiana, Mississippi, and lower Alabama. Somehow the story didn't seem quite so laughable out here in the dark.

What was it he had said? Bapaume had been hung by the others from one of these very trees, and swore vengenance on any who dared seek refuge here? The old fellow never did say exactly what it was that Bapaume had done to deserve hanging.

I looked at my watch. It was nearly midnight. I hadn't realized it was so late ... the sky seemed strangely light, almost like twilight. Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I saw an armadillo walk out of the bushes along the road and head straight for the fire and me. I threw a rock in its direction, but it kept coming. As it reached the light of the fire, its eyes glowed greenish-yellow, and their gaze seemed fixed upon me.

"Are you to be here when Jean comes?" The voice startled me, a high-pitched squeaking voice, with a terrible accent. I stood up from my lawn chair and looked around, wishing I had brought some sort of weapon. There was no one. Only the armadillo and myself. Then the armadillo stood on its hind legs, looked straight at me, and the voice again said, "Are you to be here when Jean comes?". It was the armadillo speaking.

I stared at him for a few seconds, then decided the storm and the beer were playing tricks on my mind. I threw a beer can and hit the armadillo on the snout ... he vanished. No smoke. No noise. No nothing. He just wasn't there anymore. The beer can went right through him ... or rather, where he had been ... and rattled down the dirt road.

Now I was sweating. I got the flashlight and walked around the campfire, shining the light on the dirt, looking for tracks of some sort. There was nothing there. No sign that anything had walked over that ground in the last two hundred years. I didn't like this turn of events. I looked at my watch... it was exactly midnight. The wind was now only a soft whisper in the trees, stirring the tatters of the Spanish moss.

I turned off the flashlight and started to walk back to the camper, when I noticed a rather large possum, sprawled out in my lawnchair. Like some bloated lifeguard at the beach, but with eyes that were glowing red in the firelight. His eyes flickered somehow, as if glowing from within instead of reflecting the light of the campfire.

"Are you to be here when Jean comes?" The voice was deeper than before, but the accent was just as bad. It was definitely the possum speaking ... I could see his mouth move as he struggled with the English words. And he shifted his weight in the chair as he gestured with one of his forelegs.

He apparently took my shocked demeanor to be misunderstanding, so he repeated his sentence, pausing slowly at each word, and speaking louder than before. I swallowed, and replied, "What do you mean?"

"I wish to know you still be here, when Jean comes", he croaked. "Jean do not like you to camp here. Jean do not like people at all." As he said this, a twisted sneer of a smile played upon his features. If a possum can smile, that is.

Geez, I thought, now I'm talking to a possum in the swamps of Alabama! How old was that beer? I picked up a stick and walked around the campfire, intending to defend my lawnchair, when the possum just faded out of view. He hadn't run away, or even moved ... he just faded out of sight. I carefully felt all over the chair, but there was no warmth, no smell, no hair, no nothing. Only me, the crackling of the fire, and the whispering of the wind.

"Are you be here for Jean?" This voice was deep, very deep. My spine grew goosebumps the size of golfballs. The voice was behind me, on the other side of the fire. I looked at the windows of the camper, to see any reflection of what was speaking, but there was nothing reflecting but me, the fire, and the woods beyond. I turned slowly around.

An alligator, about ten feet long, was lying on his side, picking his teeth with a claw. He looked at me with bright blue-green eyes that seemed to steal all your willpower to resist. I looked away quickly and stared at the fire. The gator raised up on his rear legs, and sort of sat there, using his tail as a prop. His pale white belly glistened in the firelight.

"I mean," he said, "Do you stay til Jean comes?"

"Man, if you ain't Jean, I'm GONE!!" I shouted over my shoulder as the Land Speed Record was broken by a 1971 Volkswagen Campmobile.

I don't drink much anymore. I don't camp at places without at least three other campers there ahead of me. And I NEVER stay up past ten o'clock.

Manifold Destiny

Why, I recall, 'twas just last year,
Around Thanksgiving time,
I went to see my buddy Joe,
And rang his doorbell chime.

His wife came to the door and said,
"He ain't home right now.
He's out a'driving on the road
In that Vee-Dub bus, The Cow."

So I took myself and headed home,
Along the coastal road,
When who'd I see, but that old Joe,
On the shoulder where he'd whoa'd!

Old Joe was back behind the bus,
A'poking round the rear,
He had that engine hatch propped up
And was pouring something clear.

I stopped in front and walked on back
To see if he was broke,
But he had close the engine hatch
And was sipping on a Coke.

He said he couldn't stop to talk,
Important was his quest,
With miles to go before he quits
For dinner and a rest.

He pulled out in the traffic lanes
And hurried up to speed,
I tagged along behind his bus ...
Some help he might yet need.

In about ten miles, he stopped again,
And behind the bus he'd go,
Where he pulled that same old pouring stunt,
On what, I didn't know.

Then off he'd roar, back on the road
For another ten miles more,
Where he would stop and run around
Behind the bus to pour.

He kept this up back to the house,
Where he called out to his wife,
Who came on out and walked right back
To the engine with a knife!

She poked inside, then poked some more,
And then she said, "I'll bet
You need once more around the block ...
The turkey ain't done yet." :)

("Manifold Destiny" is the name of a cookbook, about using your car's exhaust system to cook meals while you drive. really. check it out)

Don't Tent Me In
(to the tune of "Don't Fence Me In"). :)

Oh, give me room, lots of room, with a camper top above,
   Don't tent me in,
Let me ride in my pride through the countryside I love,
   Don't tent me in.
Oh, let me sleep near the deep, on the sandy beaches,
   All those other places that my camper reaches,
      Cause I don't like lying on the ground with leaches!
         Don't tent me in!

Oh, make my ride big inside, big as rooms in houses,
   Don't tent me in.
Make it large as a barge, so there's room for spouses,
   Don't tent me in.
And put a top that will pop and will raise the ceiling,
   With a bed in back to help that sleepy feeling,
      Add some kitchen cabinets and we're really wheeling!
         Don't tent me in!

Oh, let it sell really well, so the dealers love it,
   Don't tent me in.
So the farts back in parts don't tell me to shove it,
   Don't tent me in.
But let it not be so hot that the Yuppie princes
   Make it sell for prices that will make me winces
      Cause I can't stand Porsches and I can't stand Benzes!
         Don't tent me in!

Oh, give me zoom, lots of zoom, in a hurry slowly,
   Don't tent me in.
Let me roll at a stroll through the traffic lowly,
   Don't tent me in.
Oh, let me sit where I get all the view that's needy,
   Sitting way up high is better, yes, indeedie!
      Even though at times I might not be so speedy!
         Don't tent me in!

Tales of the Workshop: The Voltage Regulator
by Robert W. Service-Advisor

It was late, he was tired, and the light was now fading,
As the darkness was growing in the shadows' deep shading,
The work wasn't going as well as expected
So his spirits were down, he was feeling dejected.

And the shortcuts he'd taken, although he knew better,
Were quicker than following rules to the letter.
A new regulator, to make headlights brighter,
A simple replacement: screws loosened, then tighter.

A slip of the fingers, and down it was dropped,
To hit on the chassis and there was it stopped.
A spark, bright as lightening; then, to his surprise,
That great big red wire disappeared fore his eyes.

At first it just glowed, then got brighter and brighter,
As part of his body grew tighter and tighter.
It was gone in a second, a foul puff of smoke,
Replaced by that feeling that something just broke!

So let this be warning, as you work on your bus,
Before clumsy wrenching gives reason to cuss:
If electric repairs are what you've selected,
Make the battery ALWAYS be first disconnected!

Jingle Bells

Crashing through the snow,
In a Westy Camper bus,
Over the fields we go,
Raising quite a fuss!

We're looking for a tree,
To take with us back home,
We hope we find one that is free
As through the woods we roam!

Oh, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells,
Making lots of fuss,
Oh, what fun it is to drive
In an old Volkswagen bus!

A day or two ago,
The Wife said, "Get a tree!",
And soon we're riding round,
The bus, the dog, and me.

I took the old back roads,
To see what I could see,
And hope that I would find out there
The perfect Christmas Tree.


We passed a lot of folks,
The snow had made them cowed,
'Cause they stay on only roads
That were already plowed.

The snow was white and deep,
But Bus has lots of pluck!
And though we slipped and slid around,
We never once got stuck!


The Night Before Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas, and all round the house,
Not a Vee-Dub was running, I felt like a louse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
In hopes that St. Wolfsburg soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds
While visions of Campers danced round in their heads.
And Mama in her flannel and I in mine, too,
Thought a cross-country bus tour was a neat thing to do,

When, out on the lawn, there arose such a clatter,
Like sounds of a bad clutch; you know how they chatter;
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
I loosened the locks and threw open the sash,

And what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a Volkswagen bus, of the earlier years,
With a little old driver, so pudgy and round,
That I knew in a moment St. Wolfsburg I'd found.

And pulling the Bus, through the snow and the cold,
Was an octet of Beetles, so proud and so bold.
More rapid than turtles, they strained as they came,
And he yelled and he screamed and he called them by name,

"Now, Sunroof, now Oval, now Super, and Sunbug,
On, Verti, on, Kuebel, on, Karmann, and Goldbug,
To the top of the carport, to the top of the wall,
Drive away, drive away, drive away all!!"

So up to the rooftop this convoy then flew,
The Bus full of car parts and the Beetles were, too.
As I drew in my head and was turning around,
From the chimney St. Wolfsburg came out with a bound.

He was dressed as mechanics, from his head to his foot,
And he reeked of old motor oil and ashes and soot.
A huge bunch of car parts he had stuffed in his sack
Marked VeeDub and Bosch ... I was taken aback!

His face was all wrinkled, his eyes so dejected,
Like parts that he'd ordered were more than expected.
His feet were all covered with oil, which was dripping
All over my carpet where he had been tripping.

He was rotund and jolly, a competent mech,
But my room now was filthy, a horrible wreck.
He spoke not a word but went straight to his work,
With his butt-crack all showing, like some plumber, the jerk!

Then putting his finger aside of his nose,
With a wink and a nod, up the chimney he rose.
He sprang to his Bus, fixed his seatbelt, and farted,
Then hit the ignition and up they all started.

He pushed in the clutch, shifted gears with a grinding,
They all started moving, their engines were winding,
But I heard him exclaim 'ere he drove round the side,
"Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a good ride!!"

apologies to Mr. Moore (original author)
and Jim Finn (who adapted it for British Cars, 1992)
(and from whom i shamelessly stole the idea :) )

Otto the Automatic
(to the tune of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer)

Otto the Automatic
Shifted gears without a clutch,
And if you ever drove him,
You might say he wasn't much.

All of the other buses
Used to laugh and call him names.
They never let poor Otto
Join in any highway games.

Then one day their clutches broke,
And they could not shift gears.
Otto towed them one by one
To the Mech who fixed their rears.

Then how the buses loved him,
As they shouted out with glee:
Otto the Automatic,
You'll go down in Bus-Story!!!

Rusty The Syncro
(to the tune of Frosty the Snowman)

Rusty, the Syncro,
Is a big old happy van,
With his extra gear, you need never fear
Going four-wheel cross the land.

Rusty, the Syncro,
Has this extra stuff, you know,
So his front wheels grip if the rear ones slip
And you mush right through the snow.

There must have been some little gnomes
That built him underground,
Cause when he gets into the woods,
He begins to dance around.

Rusty, the Syncro,
Loves to play in mud and snow,
And to climb those hills, just for extra thrills,
Go where buses shouldn't go.

Rusty, the Syncro,
Is a stable sort of van,
While the others slip, his four wheels will grip,
And he'll muddle through again.

Down through the village,
He will drive with little doubt,
Over ice and snow, anywhere he'll go,
While the others slide about.

He'll drive right through the streets of town,
All axle-deep in slop,
And he only pauses, if at all,
When a red light makes him stop!

Oh, Rusty, the Syncro,
Had to hurry on his way,
But he waved goodbye, saying, "Don't you cry,
I'll be back again someday!"

For Those Who Take Trips in the Winter
by Robert W. Service-Advisor

from the old days of aircooled buses and weak heaters ...

Strange tales are told, 'bout the Winter's cold,
In Volkswagen buses so true,
When the wind's fierce howl drowns the tranny's growl
And there ain't enough heat for you.
When that very same wind is trying to bend
The steering wheel out of your hand
And your muscles all ache when you step on the brake
To slow the Velocity Van.
With the numbness that spread from your butt to your head
'Cause the feelings gone out of your toes,
And you're wondering where, in that junk pile back there,
Are those warmer and woolier clothes.

For the three hundredth time, you receite the rhyme
And the reason that caused you to go
On this journey through land made dead, white, and bland
By the hands of Ol' Winter and Snow.
But you arrive there on time, in the arctic-like clime,
And relate to them all of the pain
Of the bone-chilling cold, and the driver so bold
To have beaten Ol' Winter again.
Through the window you stare at the bus parked out there,
Covered now all over with snow;
And next time, for sure, you swear now to cure
Those heater boxes down there below!

Sonnet xviii

Believe It ... or Don't Department
Willy "Bill the Bard" Shakesbeer drove a vw bus!

Shall I compare thee to the summer's days?
Nah, for thou art too ugly and too fat;
No lines of grace nor speed thy form displays,
More like the Snail, with speed akin to that;
But when the showers of April are forgot,
And darling buds of May do grace the land,
Are thoughts of camping given rein to trot
Within the wintered hearts and minds of Man,
For it is then thy use belies thy form,
As catepillar turns to butterfly,
From cargo's bus to camper's little dorm,
You turn whenever weekends happen by.
   So long as campers camp, from sea to sea,
   So lives a Bus, and those who camp with thee.

Sonnet xxix

When, in this race of Fortune and men's lies,
I often sit alone and contemplate ...
Where might I be, had I been much more wise
In choice of cars with which to link my fate?
What might I drive to work, to play, to cope
In rageous traffic, more than some can bear,
Were I to let someone decree my scope
In what to drive, to say, or clothes to wear?
How more in profit might my time be spent
Than nursemaid to some broken old auto?
A smile replaces brow with troubles bent
As to the wheel I climb and off I go ...
   And though my drives through rolling country end,
   I love this bus, this one that makes me grin.

Stopping by a Bus on a Snowy Evening
by Robert Frostbitten

Whose bus this is I think I know.
His home is 'cross the river though;
He will not mind me stopping here
To watch his bus be topped with snow.

My little bus must think it queer
To stop each time we get so near
To other buses that we see
Parked at the malls or stores, like here.

Its little engine idles rough
To ask if I have had enough.
The only other sound I hear
Is wiper blades on snowy fluff.

His bus is lovely, clean and bright,
A pleasing note of all that's right.
But I have traffic still to fight,
And miles to go this winter's night.

Sonnet #43
From the Portuguese Man-of-War
By Lizzie Barrel Browning .50 cal.

How do I drive thee? Let me count the ways.
I drive thee to the length and breadth and height
My bumpers reach, when feeling, not by sight,
For the ends of other Cars in parking space.
I drive thee by the headlights glowing trace
At Dusk, and Dawn, and yawning dead of Night.
I drive thee slowly, in the lanes upon the Right;
I drive thee quickly, when in Rushing Hour's Race.
I drive thee for the passion, somewhat loose
Like comfy briefs, that will restore my faith.
I drive thee with a verve I seldom choose
In other cars! -- I drive thee for the Smiles
And Tears and all the Strife --- and if I choose,
I shall but drive thee more, for years and miles.

Jabber-Jabber List
by Screwloose Feral

'Twas Frydaye, and upon the List
  Were Minds of fetid thoughts so bent,
Toward Topics of the rankest Grist,
  That admins cringe, but Rules relent.

"Beware the Jabber-Jabber List!
  "Of emails flowing without end!
"Of Subject: Rust and Heat and Tires,
  "That like the Seasons come again!"

He paused his fingers o'er the keys,
  In thought he lingered, half asleep ...
Then slow and painful typed the words
  As came they bubbling from the deep.

And from the keyboard, one by one,
  The clicking noise disturbed the Night,
Drove out the Silence of the Lateness,
  Sounded like a cricket fight.

Vee, Hay! Enn, Hay! Gee, Oh, Enn!
  The keyboard groaned beneath his strokes!
Til grabbed he mouse and with one click,
  A message sent to email folkes.

"And art thou finished yet, My Love?"
  Said Wife while filing on a nail;
"About damned Time! Then go to bed!"
  But said Computer: You Have Mail.

'Twas Frydaye, and upon the List
  Were Minds of fetid thoughts so bent,
Toward Topics of the rankest Grist,
  That admins cringe, but Rules relent.

A small collection of Haiku

71 Volkswagen bus,
some rust but good shape.
used to carry chickens.
smells bad.

Wheels of Time roll on,
Buses pass to History
and still we love them.

If you don't succeed
at first attempt, then go get
a Bigger Hammer.

Junkyard yields a view
rusting hulks of yesterday;
organ donors now.

Everything on wheels,
including the kitchen sink.
Volkswagen Camper.


A little tank, beneath my floor,
  Contains a gas that some deplore ...
A gas that smells like Eau d' Skunk
  Or rotted cabbage in a trunk.

And yet we use it every day
  For cooking, cooling in some way;
Throughout this land and countryside,
  It's used in homes, both far and wide.

Why, even in our homes on wheels
  It's often used to fix our meals.
It can your food, both heat and cool,
  As long as you don't play the fool.

A bottled bomb, Pandora's box,
  A genie's boon, or cursed pox?
It all depends on how we treat
  This gaseous source of traveling heat.

Our comforts hinge on this, we find,
  So much we can't leave it behind,
And there bespeaks dependency
  On this so-called Propanity!

Only for St. Patrick's Day
(Sung to the tune of an Irish jig, like Irish Washer Woman)

As I was out riding, just riding along,
A'steering my bus and just singing this song,
When what on my dashboard should sudden appear,
But a green-looking Santa with tiny green deer.

So I says to this Santa, "Here, aren't you quite wrong?"
"You're all the wrong color, and Christmas has gone."
To which he replied, "Son, just lend me your ear ...
And if you have got one, could you give me a beer?"

Well, I had just a six-pack, right there on the seat,
So I gave him one quickly; he finished it neat.
Then he sat back, and burped once, then burped once again,
And he started to tell me this sad, sad refrain.

Of how, in the world of the Fairies and Witches,
The tele had put them in serious stitches,
Cause kids had no reason to give them belief,
So half of the Fairies were off on relief.

And one of them who was just laid off last week
Was the Leprechaun fellow with the green little cheek,
So now Santa's working on St. Paddy's Day,
With his green little reindeer a'pulling his sleigh.

"But I've not got it right yet", he said with a frown,
"This gold pot malarkey is wearing me down.
"The people are chasing, and grabbing, and snatching,
"And they hope that it's me that they'll soon be a'catching."

Then he sighed, and he got up, and went to his sleigh,
Said, "Thanks for the beer, but I'm off on my way."
Then he poofed out of sight, as he said with a sneer,
"To all a good night, and to all a green beer!".

Blowing in the Wind
by Bob Dylan Thomas Wolfe Blitzer & Dasher & Prancer & ...

 Why does a bus weave all over the road,
 And never seem to stay in one lane?
 Yes, and why does it slow down so much on the hills,
 And make your job of driving it a pain?

The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind,
The answer is blowing in the wind.

 And then why do those trucks seem to fly past your van,
 As you rock back and forth, side to side,
 And then why do the muscles in your arms and your legs
 Seem to ache at the end of your ride?

The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind,
The answer is blowing in the wind.

 Why do you think, as you drive down the hill,
 That your speed is a bit more than norm?
 And then why do you think that rain jumps around
 On your windshield as your drive through the storm?

The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind,
The answer is blowing in the wind.

 As you drive in your bus on the freeway at rush,
 How do you keep your anger subdued?
 Yes, and how do you calm all your innermost fire,
 When those boneheads are right in front of you?

The answer, my friend, is driving with the Zen,
The answer is driving with the Zen.

 And so how do you make up these silly old songs?
 And then how do the words find their way?
 Yes, and how does this happen each week after week,
 And always it seems on Fri-day?

The answer, my friend, is going round the bend,
The answer is going round the bend.

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