He heard an approaching engine, turned around—walking backward now—and stuck out his thumb. What he saw was a lovely combination: a dirty old Ford pickemup with a fresh young blonde behind the wheel. Ash blonde, his favorite blonde of all. Barbie offered his most engaging smile. The girl driving the pickemup responded with one of her own, and oh my Lord if she was a ticktock over nineteen, he’d eat his last paycheck from Sweetbriar Rose. Too young for a gentleman of thirty summers, no doubt, but perfectly street-legal, as they’d said back in the days of his cornfed Iowa youth.
Question 1: What's the meaning of 'pickemup'? ( pickup? )
Question 2: What's the meaning of 'she was a ticktock over nineteen, he’d eat his last paycheck from Sweetbriar Rose'? ( ticktock? what's the meaning of it in this case? )
Question 3: In this case, what's the meaning of 'cornfed'?The truck slowed, he started toward it … and then it sped up again. She gave him one more brief look as she went past. The smile was still on her face, but it had turned regretful. I had a brain-cramp there for a minute, the smile said, but now sanity has reasserted itself.
And Barbie thought he recognized her a little, although it was impossible to say with certainty; Sunday mornings in Sweetbriar were always a madhouse. But he thought he’d seen her with an older man, probably her dad, both of them with their faces mostly buried in sections of the Sunday Times. If he could have spoken to her as she rolled past, Barbie would have said: If you trusted me to cook your sausage and eggs, surely you can trust me for a few miles in the shotgun seat.
Question 4: 'If he HAD spoken to her as she rolled past...' is better than 'If he could have spoken to her as she rolled past...', right?