It’s only grass!

Published 5:19 pm Wednesday, February 14, 2024

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Several people of late have asked, tongue firmly in cheek, if I mind Paul spending most of his free time in the garage with his vintage Morgans.

(That’s right: there are two now, but I think there’s something wrong with his latest acquisition as it only has three wheels)

“Doesn’t bother me a bit,” I said stoutly. “Better than a brunette with big boobs.”

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The truth is that Paul is in love with these vehicles: their classic appearance, history and tradition. That whole ‘bimbling through the English countryside in search of a pub lunch’ romance around them—although we weren’t really in Yorkshire when we took one of them out for Mexican last Saturday. And yes, he was obliged to park it on the far side of the lot, completely by itself, and insist that we be seated in a booth that faced it so that he could cast a protective gaze over it while consuming his enchiladas Acapulco. 

“So we’ve become those people,” I laughed, rolling up a fajita. “Wrapping a car in bubble wrap and parking it in the next county so it doesn’t get scratched.”

“After what that paint job cost me, you bet,” he retorted.

And really, compared to the way I look after my horse and equipment, I do empathize. Plus, I grudgingly agree Paul’s car is cheaper. As he pointed out while covering it for the night, “When I turn off the key, my car stops. When you get off your horse, it keeps eating.” 


Truth be told, both equestrianism and auto enthusiasm has dovetailed quite well here at the Funny Farm. My stable is on one side of the property, Paul’s garage on the other. I’ve welcomed his car club (like-minded fellows in open roadsters) twice when they’ve descended slowly down our long dirt and gravel driveway, wheels carefully balanced on either side of the grassy median. I’ve attended a couple of events and the club picnic. And as long as Paul remembers his throaty 4-plus-4 with its glittering silver chrome can easily spook a nervous horse, we’ve gotten along well with our pursuits with mutual respect.

Until last week.

“Can you clean up that pile of manure near the street?” he asked casually, loading his driving gear into a duffel bag before heading out on a drive with the club. “It’s in the median.”

I was in the middle of unloading hay and it took me a moment to catch on.


“Yes. I guess when you were leading Damon up and down the driveway when it was too muddy to turn him out in the paddock the other day, he left a pile while he was walking.”

This is not uncommon. It’s essentially just grass and breaks down, especially when it rains.

“In 25 years I’ve never cleaned the odd pile of manure left in the driveway. And I’m not going to now. I’m busy. I’m not going to stop what I’m doing to walk all the way up the driveway with a pitchfork and wheelbarrow.”

“Well,” Paul replied, becoming slightly peevish, “I can’t take Siegfried (the Morgan) out until you do.”

“Drive around it.”

“It’s not that. It’s the clearance. The bottom will scrape over the manure.”

I exhaled sharply. “HORSE farm.” I said pointedly. “This is a HORSE farm. Not a Morgan farm. Not a ‘I-bought-a-vintage-car-that-sits-so-low-that-it-can’t-clear-a-3” tall-horse turd-and-now-you-have-to-stop-everything-and-clean-up-the-pile,’farm.”

Paul turned on his heel and left. I finished unloading the hay. 

In the end he managed to drive around it, although I think Siegfried might still be in therapy.