Obviously, I tried my best, but she refused to let go of the mallet until I’d promised never to look at a piston ring in quite the same way again. I couldn’t help it; I’d grown up in an industrial working class area. All my life I’ve been surrounded by engineering. When I was a boy I wanted a hat like Isambard Kingdom Brunel and I dreamt of trains entering tunnels and bridges and girders and constructing other massive erections.
After all, it was the way she pulled out her calculator that day in school that first attracted me to her. Up until then I’d been playing around with an old slide rule, usually under the bedcovers at night, but seeing the way her fingers stroked those keys as she calculated a square root brought back that glow of hot pleasures to me I hadn’t felt since I held the spanner of my first Meccano set in my hot eager hand.
I still remember rubbing away with my first bastard file with all the pride of one born to the sound of a shop floor and I will always remember the time I produced my first handful of swarf while thinking of her.
Now, here she was, many years later, naked in my workshop, standing over the Austin Maxi engine I’d rebuilt – mostly out of old cornflake packets and empty washing up liquid bottles, it’s true, but it still worked as well as the original – even better in the cold and the damp.
I told her to put the mallet down and step back, away from my piston. I could tell from the wanton look in her eye that she couldn’t wait for me to re-bore it. She licked her lips and put the mallet down, instead picking up a can of lubricating oil. Slowly, she tipped it up.
She hadn’t looked so sexy, naked, since the time I lost the nozzle from my WD40 can and had inadvertently sprayed her instead of my nuts as I worked to loosen them. Later that day we’d taught each other so much about the use of screw threads and the way she’d gripped my nuts had changed forever my view of the metric system.
‘Come here,’ she said, rubbing the oil into her perfect skin as she cleared the surface of my workbench and lay back, suggestively licking the tip of my favourite spanner. This was something I’d never seen in any workshop manual, and I’d read most of them – even the one for the Austin Allegro.
‘Service me,’ she said. ‘I need someone who knows how to use his tool.’
I stepped closer to her.
As she began to unbutton my overall, she whispered to me. ‘Later, I’ll show you some of my favourite blueprints.’
Sighing, I leant forward and kissed her as she took me in her arms, whispering dirty secrets about how she was overheating under her bonnet.