There are a lot of farm stories on here, for which I do not apologize in the slightest. YOU try to come up with enough stuff to fill up a weekly blog. It’s a lot harder than it looks! Plus, these pipe stories are among the funniest things I have ever witnessed. My life would be pretty dull otherwise.
From the top:
You remember the South Field, correct? This particular tale comes several years after the Horrific Rock Chuck Dismemberment.
I was sent to move a rather short wheel line in the northeastern section of the field, while my sister Emily was sent to move its twin at the northwestern end and Kevin to move another line entirely.
A little bit of background: everyone hated moving pipe at the time, but Emily (age 14) hated it more than most.
She had a tendency to not complete tasks, which drove my uncles to distraction. End plugs were not opened, plugging sprinklers; she walked like an old lady with a bad hip, taking FOREVER to walk through the field; for every three pipe my uncles moved, she might, on a good day, have managed to undo her pipe from the rest.
As a consequence my uncles had started relentless interrogations once she got back up to the truck.
Emily was dropped off at the end plug, and Kevin drove down the road to the hydrant. He shut off the wheel line and walked away to move the other wheel line by himself. Emily sat at the end, picking dandelions and harassing butterflies.
If truth be told, I was watching her too, making sure that she was going to open the plug. I didn’t want to spend the entire day watching my uncle force a bawling Emily to walk back to the end plug and open it.
I watched Emily dutifully open the plug and drain the line, a little speck in the distance. Kevin, however, did not see her because he hadn’t finished his line.
He never finished his line. Some terrible thing happened to the motor, and after thirty or so minutes of banging, clanging, swearing and temper tantrums, Kevin gave the line The Finger and stormed off, a tempestuous teapot in a sea of green barley.
He stalked back up to Emily’s line, and watched her frolicking in the barley, singing to cows.
Thinking she hadn’t done what she was supposed to do, Kevin snapped. Like a volcano blowing its top, he erupted in a glorious fountain of indignation.
There was only one problem. At the south end of the South Field runs a couple of railroad tracks. There was a train rumbling by, with a conductor oblivious to the carnage he was about to cause. The conductor, in accordance with various laws, was preparing to honk as the train approached an intersection.
So Kevin began screaming, but was interrupted.
No one likes to get yelled at, but Emily’s mind was still on the cows. She was like a dog getting yelled at by its owner; she knew, she just knew that something had gone terribly wrong, but couldn’t figure out what.
I was an entire field away, powerless to focus on anything other than toning down my laughter enough to not pee my pants. It was all in vain. What I witnessed next was easily the most stupendous temper tantrum in the history of the universe.
I grabbed ahold of one of the wheels on my line to remain upright, wheezing like an asthmatic in an iron lung. Across the field Emily began backing away slowly, but still had no idea what Kevin was upset about.
Most of Kevin’s brain cells had been killed off by the hundreds of strokes pillaging their way through his brain. The two surviving cells, however, came up with an idea.
So Kevin, still shrieking epithets and insults to the heavens, began rampaging through the field towards Emily, waving his arms like a drunken red windmill. I was too far away to make out expressions, but I’m pretty sure Emily looked like someone one a beach watching a gigantic tsunami roll towards her.
Fearing bloodshed, I raced like a jet to Kevin and his terrified prey. I was able to calm Kevin down when I got there by explaining that I had seen her open the end plug. I might have saved lives that day. We moved the other lines in an embarrassed silence, with Kevin still steaming next to us.
Roughly once a week at the end of pipe Kevin would drop us off at our house and would feel guilty enough to go knock on the door. My dad would answer, and Kevin would quietly say, “I yelled at your kids again.” He was too slow this time, though. By the time he got to the door, Dad had already heard the story from me. Dad threw it open as Kevin came up the steps, and through tears of laughter said,
On occasion, Dad was known to wear Mom’s bathrobe.
All I have to do to make my family dissolve into fits of laughter is say “Trains.” We recreate the scene every week at my Grandma’s house, while Kevin sulks in the corner.
My Grandpa eventually installed a pivot (a gigantic, totally automated wheel line that moves with the swish of an app), making it impossible for such a wonderful scene to be repeated. At least outside of a therapist’s office