Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Dream of Watching Trucks Forever

They are cutting out a chunk of the park near our house to make more spaces for cars at the local shops. Lots of trees have been torn down, huge mounds of earth have risen from nowhere and now the Tonka trucks have arrived.

They appeared on Monday and shortly afterwards dozens of small boys began emerging from the houses round about, drawn by the mysterious attraction of heavy machinery. Even my neighbour's three-year-old, who has insisted, since the birth of his baby sister six months ago, that he is a girl called Melissa, has been unable to resist (to his parents' secret relief).

He and his fellows cluster together at the fence, their tiny hands clinging to the heavy mesh, their eyes peering through, following each scoop and lift of the digger, every slow inching movement of the steamroller. The intensity of their concentration gives their faces a fierce almost angry look.

Behind them, their mothers wait patiently. Some sip at cups of takeaway coffee. 'He likes it more than when we went to Disneyworld,' I heard one say this morning. 'How much did that trip cost you?' 'Don't even ask.'

Needless to say, there's not a single little girl in sight.


  1. Your neighbour's three-year-old boy wishes to be called "Melissa"? I'm rather impressed at his determnination and bravery in this boys-only environment.

  2. I think Melissa is something he insists on at home - the other chaps round the fence know him by his real name.

  3. Perhaps they should paint the Tonkas pink?

  4. I was going to do a post about the very same subject! Its quite funny isn't it, the way that us chaps are hard-wired to be impressed with diggers and trucks. In my early 20's I worked on a big building site, and I was put in charge of driving a dumper truck. I am not exaggerating when I say that that summer job was one of my best ever - I used to walk to work with a spring in my step feeling that I was somehow priviledged above other men in offices because I was getting paid to drive a big yellow truck full of rocks around all day!

  5. Gaw - pink, forsooth
    Worm - you are needed in Western Australia. The miners over there have really huge trucks and they don't have nearly enough people to drive them. If I were you, I'd stop off on the way to pick up your curatorship in Goulburn. They pay well too, I've heard.