Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Farming while drunk

TC told me a funny one a few minutes ago...

Seems that this ole boy what was a dairy farmer over in Whitfield County had hisself a drinking problem.
It got so bad that he just stayed in the bed all the time, drunker than Cooter Brown (I've heard that for years, but who in the hell is this Cooter Brown feller?).

He had a two story house and slept (and drank) in an upstairs bedroom. One summer, when it came time to chop silage, his hired man couldn't get him out of bed, let alone out to the fields to help him.

I reckon this must have been in the days before air conditioning, 'cause the hired man would go up to the house with an ear of corn and chuck it through the open window into his boss's bedroom. He'd look the corn over and tell the hired man whether or not he thought it was ready to chop. If it was ready, he'd holler out for his hired help to go on to the field and start chopping.

Drunks and tractors don't mix. I'd say the hired man was probably glad his boss stayed in the bed.

I've seen first hand what can happen when a feller has a few too many while he's baling hay....

Back when I was in high school, I was piddling around the house one hot summers day and heard a knock at the door. When I went to the door, I saw a tractor pulling a big New Holland round baler sitting in the driveway and realized that it was one of my neighbors, FG.

FG asked if my daddy was home, I told him no, but could I help him with something?

"Well, I need to borry his chainsaw"

About this time I caught a whiff of FG's breath... if they'd been an open flame, he'd have burned the house down.

"It's here in the basement, whatcha need with it?"

He says "Waaal, I reckon I hit sumthin out thayr in the field"

I went back through the basement and came out the front with the saw and stopped dead in my tracks. FG had ran down a fence row with the baler and baled up a couple hundred foot of bob-wire, T-posts and a couple of 5 inch locust fence posts...

The locust post was what had stopped him, I believe if it weren't for them getting caught in the bars that he'd have kept on baling without ever knowing he'd dropped a bale full of bob-wire. This baler is an old New Holland 851 chain baler and believe it or not, it's still in working order today (we borrowed it to bale with last fall).

Luckily for me, daddy came home 'bout that time. The three of us spent the rest of the day with a torch, wire cutters and the chainsaw.

He was back in the field baling the next day.

Ole FG is still alive and kicking, but it's a wonder he didn't kill hisself.