Good Tool Sheds Make Good Neighbors

[An OLD FARMER chews the cud with a YOUNG FARMER, while both sit on benches in front of an Ann Taylor store at the mall. The two talk the finer points and intricacies of a farmer’s hardest task, tool wrangling. FYI, this bit of make-believe took place in the good ole days, pre-COVID, when husbands patiently sat outside of women’s clothing stores and made small talk to pass the time.]

OLD FARMER: “What type of tools you run?”

YOUNG FARMER: [his feet surrounded by bags of various shapes and sizes, full of great deals in the latest women’s fashion] A little of everything–Craftsman, some Kobalts, even a few DeWalts. Been trying to cull out the Pittsburghs, but I’ve got more of ‘em in my tool shed than I’d like to admit.

OF: Well, it takes a few generations to stock a good tool shed, but you gotta start somewhere. I remember when I was about your age: I had the wildest bunch of tools this side of a rodeo chute. Never would stay put.

YF: Sounds like my hammer. Get’s out, and I’ll spend half a day hunting it. Usually, it’s laying somewhere in knee-high grass, but one time I found it over in my neighbor’s front yard, hanging on some shrubbery.

Current state of my finger–nothing meaner than an old claw hammer.

OF: Some ole hammers are more trouble than they’re worth. Yep, it’s best to load the ornery ones up and consign them at a junk sale. Had one hammer I never could trust around a nail–a finger nail, that is. Turn your head for just a split-second, and it’d take direct aim for your thumb. I finally lost a thumb nail to it, and that’s when I said enough is enough. Yep, hardly anything meaner than an old claw hammer.

YF: Yeah, my granddeddy once got gored in the backside by a claw hammer. Really, he sat on it accidentally, but he said it had the same effect.

OF: It happens to the best of us. Last week, I got lassoed by a wild water hose, but really my feet just got tangled up. It’s hard to pick your feet up when you’re an old man like me.

YF: Well, if you ask me, water hoses are the worst. Never will coil right, and then they get lost in the winter and I never can find them come spring–unless I happen to be bush hogging and then I find them shredded and wrapped up tight around the bush hog blade. 

OF: That reminds me of the old saying: A good tool shed is ladder high, wrench tight, and hammer strong–and if you keep any water hoses, it best be water tight–they have a way of slithering through the smallest openings. 

YF: Ain’t that the truth. Never heard that one before.

[At this point, the YOUNG FARMER’S WIFE walks hurriedly out of Ann Taylor Store, bags dangling from her side, with a panicked look on her face.]

YF: What’s wrong?

YOUNG FARMER’S WIFE: Just got a call from Nell–several wrenches got out and are rampaging through her shrubbery. She said if we don’t get back fast and get them caught up, she’s going to pepper them with birdshot. I think you forgot to close the tool shed door again. 

[YOUNG FARMER jumps up from bench, scrambles to gather all the bags at his feet, then gives a little nice-to-meet-you nod to the OLD FARMER, who nods back.]

OF: That’s farming, son. Just remember: Good tool sheds make good neighbors. Now yall take care, and good luck getting the wrenches caught back up!

10 thoughts on “Good Tool Sheds Make Good Neighbors

  1. I have a few men (not farmers, engineers) that would love this! Lol. I agree, though. Those pesky tools need constant supervision when outside of their respected enclosures.

    1. Yep, engineers are not immune. I know one whose work truck looks like a tornado touched down inside it–kind of makes feel better, knowing even engineers struggle with taming tools.

      1. They really do. It’s not water hoses that trip them up but power cords. They love to cause bruises as they leap from their socket and others like to catch nearby items on fire if not properly supervised at all times.

        Entering the engineer’s workshop is not for the faint of heart.

      2. I bought some fire extinguishers a few years ago to put in different outbuildings, just in case. Finally, had to use one about two weeks ago when I nearly set an outbuilding on fire with side grinder.

      3. Lol 😂 I’m glad you didn’t lose your outbuilding! And thank goodness those fire extinguishers follow directions and stay in place.

  2. It was a couple of decades ago…a very wet year. Usually, my brother-in-law would split wood by the back door, but now that spot was in a couple of inches of standing water. So he moved his splitting log further up by the side of the house. But, either that axe had it in for him, or he misjudged how wide his swing was. At around his third swing, his axe got caught on the backswing in the clothesline, which pulled it right out of his hands and sent it many feet straight up in the air! He had no idea what had happened, until he turned and saw that clothesline flapping—right as that axe came back down and hit him in the back of the head. It was a bunch of stitches and the Docs in Emergency kept asking if he was gonna be safe back at home. They were sure my sister did it.

    1. What docs don’t realize is sometimes tools just seem out to get us, even when our wives aren’t wielding them. I was prying old clapboards off house to later put up hardie board. The board was over my head and wouldn’t come off, so applied a burst of downward energy on the crowbar, only to bust the board and gash myself in the head. Some tools just show no respect.

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