Title: The Gunk Machine
Date: 18 Nov 14 (Tuesday in the AM)
Time: 2 minutes
Replies: 9
Revisions: 7
Publicity: Workshop

It took me around a year to build the gunk machine. The skeleton is constructed mainly from an old refrigerator, the controls from an old air conditioner. Two of the wheels came from a bicycle, three from a tricycle, one from a unicycle. It’s a six-wheeled gunk machine, though that wasn’t my original design. It needed two extra wheels just to stay upright.

I never intended to build a gunk machine, but that’s what came out of everything. I started off out in the old detatched garage, tinkering around a bit, cobbling things together. I tried my hand at welding. I soldered a few things. Mostly I used a hammer and nails and some strong glue.

I didn’t really have a plan, though I’d had a dream that I should build something. It was a cool fall evening when I fell asleep on the couch and dreamed what almost seemed like a great voice commanding me to build something. Though it didn’t specify what exactly I should build, or why. But I’ve been a pretty decent guy and felt it was probably in my best interest to listen to the voice. So I went down to the junkyard and picked up all of this stuff and started taking it apart and putting it back to together in the only way I knew how.

There have been some modifications. I added lights. I redid the upholstry. I took off some of the paint with a scraper and replaced some plastic appendages with old rusty metal pieces. It’s not pretty, but it’s a pretty good gunk machine.

For a whole year, I didn’t let anyone see it. Not even my wife and kid. I just told them that I was building something and that it was going to change our lives. The voice had told me that it would. When I unveiled it, my wife was pretty disappointed. My son thought it was great. He’s the one who coined the term gunk machine. It stuck.

It really has changed our lives. I take it everywhere, even to Target. People don’t really know what to make of it, it barely fits thorugh the automated doors. When it leaks oil, I just apologize.

People respond pretty well to apologies.


Bear » April 22, 2015 @ 14:29:46 [Current Revision]
Elk » November 20, 2014 @ 13:02:12
Elk » November 18, 2014 @ 10:17:57
Elk » November 18, 2014 @ 10:17:16
Bear » November 18, 2014 @ 10:07:49
Bear » November 18, 2014 @ 09:08:17
Bear » November 18, 2014 @ 08:07:54

The Thread (9)

 Author's voice in grey. 

  1. A ready metaphor for the book-writing process.

  2. Plus a little Noah’s Ark sans a world-destroying flood.

  3. I’d say you’ve got your flood: Target.

  4. Well, yeah.

  5. I can’t shake the feeling that the gunk machine is made up of people from Spare Parts, vulcanized, galvanized, and given a purpose.

  6. A compelling theory. Though I’m uncertain of said purpose. To what end?

    This piece is a miniaturized version of a longer one I’ll never write about a family of cogs in some huge complicated machine, grinding across the continent for no specific reason, destroying the land as it goes. The cogs wouldn’t understand anything beyond their basic functions and the machine would be like a beast without consciousness. Sort of An Orwell meets Kafka meets H.G. Wells thing. The symbolism is exceedingly obvious.

  7. Exceedingly. In fact, that short reply just about covers it.

  8. Hence my not writing it.

    Or maybe I just did.

  9. The last line gets me, and it strikes me as a perfect writing prompt for more pieces. Right now, I’m already trying to come up with some people who could squirm in a place, apologizing.

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