Tractor Tire Technicians Without Borders

I was contemplating deep thoughts the other day when it dawned on me that nothing good and pure and wholesome in this world ever hisses. Can you imagine a fair young maiden hissing? No, I don’t think so: hissing is what wicked witches do, as well as rattlesnakes and possums and rapidly deflating rear tractor tires. In fact, if you ever want to ponder the mysteries of the universe, I suggest you skip the Tibetan meditation music and greatest hits of Enya and instead add “Sounds of Hissing Tractor Tires” to your playlist. With the cost of tires now, you’ll be in an existential crisis in no time. 

And rear tractor tires are more than just a financial encumbrance–they’re a half-ton encumbrance. If while changing them, they happen to fall over on you, someone will need to scrape you off the ground with a spatula. In bygone days, this problem was easily solved by requesting the services of a professional tire man with a boom truck and good liability insurance. Apparently, however, most professional tire men these days have determined it’s not worth the possibility of getting crushed to death by another man’s tractor tire to make money. Even Dan the Tire Man has gone soft and given up tractor tire calls. Dan said, “Ain’t got the staff to do farm calls no more–nobody wants to work.”

And that got me thinking: where are all the altruistic millennials when you need them? It appears they’re so busy creating pie-in-the-sky nonprofits that they can’t be bothered to help farmers with real nonprofitable endeavors, like manhandling a rear tractor tire. I was at a conference this past weekend, and there was actually a young “aspiring” farmer walking around the conference barefoot (the conference was in Asheville)–I kid you not, he was shunning footwear in public to help save the world somehow. When Bilbo Baggins came up to my booth, he bandied about all the common alternative agriculture catchphrases like “regenerative methods” and “food sovereignty” and “ecological production” and I just tried my best to keep a straight face and not make eye contact with his feet. In hindsight, I should have invited him to help me change my rear tractor tire, at which point he would have learned an important lesson: aspiring farmers should own a pair of steel-toe boots. 

That said, if you know of any millennials out there who are still searching for their life’s purpose and are thinking about starting a nonprofit, may I suggest: “Tractor Tire Technicians without Borders.” It would truly be a worthy cause.

13 thoughts on “Tractor Tire Technicians Without Borders

  1. Good one. Sorry about the tire though. No advice either. I’ve had two ‘aspiring farmers’ come to ‘help me’ — one complained he didn’t have good enough internet service here in order to learn how to do it. I said ask us. He said he didn’t want to bother us. The other, by some poor deal with the devil I guess, drew scorpions to him like a magnet. Never had personally any regular problem with them before he came, or since he left, but the few months he was here ‘helping’ he managed to get bit by one (so he couldn’t work for a week), collect one per week in a jar, and complain regularly how I wasn’t fixing the problem. Then he invited his lover to stay here with him for a week (a younger male of questionable age) for a week and expected me to serve them breakfast. I actually tried one more time to get help, from a young woman this time, of 33, who was a real basket case and a few months after I kicked her out she committed suicide. So yeah, no one wants to work, to the extreme, or something else is desperately off.

    1. Yeah, aspiration only lasts so long before reality sets in that farming isn’t easy. It usually doesn’t take long to separate the wheat from chaff.

  2. I love all those alternate agriculture catch phrases….so devoid of the hard-core solutions you need as a farmer 🤭🤭. Especially in tropical semi arid Africa where I am farming.

    1. Oh, gosh, I can’t even imagine farming in an arid area, where drought-like conditions are more or less the norm. Whereabouts in Africa is your farm?

  3. We must speak up in defense of the youngsters as a generation. They run a few farms hereabouts successfully and do tend towards organic, regenerative, and all the good buzzwords but do not eschew hard work and science. They may be principled and idealistic but they are not stupid.
    We could go on at greater length but there are electrons to herd and those clouds won’t yell at themselves.

    1. No, if I’m being honest, you’re absolutely right, there are a lot who do not eschew hard work and science. Thankfully, they greatly outnumber those who eschew footwear in public.

  4. A couple of years or so ago, my flirtation with semi-hippyness lead to my eschewing of traditional footwear (at least when I wasn’t at work for the man), in favor of those barefoot shoes popular in the early 2000s. When my brother invited me to one of his 24 hour death marches in the Appalachian mountains where we load ourselves down with mostly unnecessary gear and do lots of hiking and a night of camping, I thought “what could be more awesome than hiking in the mountains with my barefoot shoes?” The weekend was nice, but the resulting stress fractures reminded me that proper footwear is very important, and I was never hippy material in the first place.

    1. In some ways, I do admire hippie idealism–i guess my closest flirtation with hippieness is when I tried to do a worm composting bin in the house. FYI: never use nightcrawler fishing worms for composting cause they’ll crawl out of the bin and shrivel up on your floor at night.

      1. Haha, I also did the worm composting thing during my brief flirtation with hippiness. Every rain would result in numerous dead dry worms in the garage around the bin. The idealism is something to admire, indeed.

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