When I went to the lot early last week, I saw the trac hoe going and the bobcat racing around, smoothing out dirt. The trac hoe was taking extra dirt and filling behind the big retaining wall, making some terraces for gardening. As the bucket banged down on the dirt, packing it in, I thought I saw hair swinging back and forth. I had to come closer to look and I got my first glimpse of "Tink."
Now if you are like me and grew up with Sunday nights devoted to the Wonderful World of Disney, "Tink" is a girly fairy with a green miniskirt and wings. Right?
No, come closer and really meet Tink, the trac hoe operator.
Later I was formally introduced to him as Tinker. Before I could remember my manners, I said to him, "Your name is Tinker? Then your mother must be a Tinker's dam. I've always heard the expression and wondered what it was. Now I know."
Unfortunately the retaining wall crew was there marking where Tinker was supposed to dig next. They all fell out laughing and Gary said it would be all over Jasper before nightfall. I was incredulous that no one had ever mentioned it before. After all, haven't you always wondered what on earth a Tinker's dam was?
I suppose another option is this:
an earth work made by a fellow named Tinker could also be termed a Tinker's dam.
Now that we know what one is, I think everyone is going to want one, don't you?