I Worked On A Peanut & Cotton Farm For Two Weeks

Working on the farm, for the first time since I was eighteen, was a success. I didn’t die. The hours are long and the pay is on par with wages of non pirates in Somalia. But I do it for the experience and the bitches.

Day one, I sprayed herbicide all over the place. The spray rig drives itself via GPS and some sort of wizardry I’ve narrowed down to either magic beans or prayer circles. Farming has become a highly technological field and in the process has stopped using slave labor. Who knew?

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Starfleet has acquired John Deere in what’s being called a “real coup” for the intergalactic upstart.

The amount of skill required to do farm work would shock the average city dweller. Most urban jobs are one or two skill intensive. Sales? Talk people into buying burden. Computer Tech? Fix glitches caused by people who spit in the face of NSFW. Chef? Make other peoples recipes and feel like a rebel when you go heavy on the cumin. Of course I’ve downplayed the work of others to boost my case for farmers.

Farmers fix every goddamn thing because all of it will break and break hard. Weld it, nail, glue it, duct tape it, whatever it takes to keep moving. Driving a tractor for 12 hours straight is considered downtime. Selling product to an obscure buyer who will back out at the last minute or renege on a deal in an effort to get the crop at a lower price is commonplace. Weather of all kinds can erase the past weeks work in a matter of hours. Weather will make or break you. Too much rain, you’re screwed. Too little rain, you’re broke. The rain must be spread out and time perfectly.

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The first job I was stuck with, after they baited me in with the spray rig built on alien tech, was seedman. A great job if you can get it…. in the porn industry. As far as farming goes, it’s bitch work. The seedman will park his ignorant self in a pickup truck pulling a flatbed trailer loaded with five pallets of seed. The pallets have roughly forty eight bags of seed each. The bags weigh fifty pounds apiece. He will open up bags and align them along the edge of the trailer in eager anticipation of the tractor drivers need for fill up. He will then open up the planter boxes on the planting implement, swiftly fill each box while trying not to spill seed or fall to his knees while screaming to whatever deity he wronged to deserve this lot in life. The temperature hovers around a hundred. Air conditioning isn’t part of the benefits package either.


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The next step after shooing the driver away is to burn the empty bags of seed. Starting fires while sweating your tits off makes for pleasant feelings. After the bags have been burned and no pasture has caught fire (it happened twice), he’ll take a fifteen minute break, of which he’ll spend eight cussing and seven hoping the tractor blows up. The day will average out at 14 hours.
Here are a few pictures of my misery and it’s tools.

More, Keg, more. Don't shiest me, you lazy bastard.

More, Keg, more. Don’t shiest me, you lazy bastard.

A standard planter runs between 8-12 boxes. The farmer custom made a 16 box because he's an efficiency queer.

A standard planter runs between 8-12 boxes. The farmer custom made a 16 box because he’s an efficiency queer.

The wind picks up randomly which throws flaming bags screaming in whatever direction the wind is blowing. It's hell on s'more prep.

The wind picks up randomly which throws flaming bags screaming in whatever direction the wind is blowing. It’s hell on s’mores.

On occasion I’d have to go do a menial chore such as picking up parts from John Deere. I’d live for those. I’d get to drive a truck with A/C. I’d leg wrestle a high functioning leper to get the chance at cool air. I felt like the one person who got away from the villain in a horror movie. I’d laugh manically and think about all the things I’d do with my new lease on life. Such as learn how to use Twitter, pen a letter to Robin Thicke asking if he understood wrapping girls in plastic makes you sketchy but kudos on turning the final steps of a well thought out murder sexy, form a drug addiction and blame it on my time farming, play one on one with a little person, ride topless in the sidecar of a motorcycle driven by a burly biker and stare down EVERYONE, and lastly I’d sleep until my depression healed itself. The feeling was short lived. For prides sake, I’d return and submit myself to the torture normally reserved for ones with low education or questionable citizenship. I had to complete it. Quitting is for people with better things to do.

I stayed on as seedman for about ten days. The Farmer eventually moved me to tractor driver ,which was a horrible decision on his part. He immediately regretted his talent evaluation skills after watching me drive like Amy Winehouse on a sad day. I got scolded. It was uncomfortable. He apologized after he realized that the tractor was improperly weighted. I was embarrassed and pissed off. We moved passed it. I only worked a few days after that. Hell, maybe we didn’t move past it. I wasn’t fired but planting season was coming to an end, and my bitch skills weren’t needed.

I learned more about farming than I ever thought possible and I left with a gratitude for the amount of work it takes to bring raw materials to the masses. If you ever have the chance to work on a farm, do it. You”ll regret it and be glad about the experience all the same.

P.S. Side story
One day, we were blessed with a land owner spending the whole day watching and evaluating. He was in the medical field so his expertise on farming was astounding. I snapped a picture of him. I was about ninety percent sure he was gonna pass away right in front of my eyes. His breathing was labored, and bending over took the effort of running a 16K on horse tranquilizers while wearing a bee keepers outfit.

He ingested enough booze in is day to keep Coors Brewing out of the red.

He ingested enough booze in his day to keep Coors Brewing out of the red.

I feel a bit mean by posting that but I can’t stand meddling with an air of superiority. He was nice in his own way. He also thought he was greater than the people working. He shouldn’t have done that.

 

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Soak Up The Best Parts

A long time ago I was told, or heard, read, or made up that the only concepts people deeply care about are love and death. Therefore, the only art worth a damn either dives into these subjects or glides by them enough to force the observer to feel their presence. Different variations of the two shine through in many ways, including sex (truthfully, I tend to think sex is stronger biologically than love but when taking into account a mothers love and the need for strong bonds within a human pack in order to survive, love might win out.) overcoming insurmountable odds to cheat death, sacrifice for the lives of others, health, learning ways to enjoy life more so that death will seem distant and irrelevant, and any other number of plot lines of stories, still pictures or poems.

I’ve chewed on this idea for many years and tried to achieve ways around it. I’ve read books, watched movies and seen other mediums that don’t fit into either category. While these might have their moments of magic, they fail to touch the spirit. They might make you think a little or laugh a lot but you won’t walk away feeling overwhelmed by life. Which begs the question of what’s the point. Considering our time breathing is minuscule and not guaranteed, it would seem to be a waste of it to spend it letting our minds grow mold around lesser matters.

Over the years I’ve spent obscene amounts of time pondering love & death. In my experience, I’ve seen love live a temporal existence, while death is of the more permanent variety. The changing tides of love never made sense to me until I finally realized that love everlasting is not sustainable in an ever changing life. People change, things change. My eureka moment wasn’t pleasant or welcomed. I didn’t want to think of a world where “I love you” meant now, not tomorrow. My heart did its battle with my head, and as per usual, my head won out. It all came together when I accepted that human nature was not built to perceive relationships in huge amounts of time. Death could be coming right up. Subconsciously we know it and make decisions based on its constant hovering.

After the initial shock of this love revelation, I wrapped it up into a tiny box and set it in the furthest reaches of my brain. I’d open it later when I had acquired the proper tools to make it work to my advantage. Without death, I may have never touched the subject again. I would have kept on forcing myself to either believe in a love doomed or I would have given up on love and become a terrible person. Alas, the promise of death formulated the proper thoughts to give me the proper perspective. Fear has always been my staunchest supporter. I can say with absolute certainty, without the level of fear I carry, I would have met death well before any lessons, whatsoever, could be learned.

Surely, I’m not alone in this exercise, I know a few people can relate to my morbid ways. I on occasion will close my eyes and imagine I have a deadly disease of some kind.  I’ll do my best make believe of all the feelings one might feel with a known deadline. I can only last for so long. My breathing gets heavy and I begin to panic. The intensity is too much. After my heart has slowed and my brain has cleared, I see what, if any, clarity I’ve achieved. Normally, the good stuff won’t show up for a few days or longer. The resining lasts for a good while. It was in such a time where I finally understood love in the most profound way.

Death is coming and love is here. At this moment I have love. In the present I have a gift. I must continue to focus on the current to understand the magnitude. Today, I have love. Death is for tomorrow.

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The Fridge Won’t Fill Itself

Cris and I went grocery shopping yesterday. We have to travel a decent distance to receive reasonable prices on goods. The journey for budget pretzels is about an hour round trip, and is lacking in scenic views, unless you find visual serenity in the world of sheet metal buildings.

building2“Look at that one, Martha!”

Upon arrival at our destination, Cris needed to take a wiz. I stood at the front of the store, cart in hand, looking like a child who’s mother had given up on the traditional views on raising your own children. I pretended to be interested in the new brand of Sriracha Pringles, praying no one would notice my fear of abandonment by way of the tried and true method of break-up “I need to take a wiz”. I’m left leaving the store with no girlfriend, no food and no answers. I waited just long enough to create a profile on match.com, before I see Cris eyeing the produce. She had hoped to meet me there because true love.

grocerystorelove“If you like our sensual strawberries, you’ll love our lettuce panties.”

When I reached her, she was distraught. The look of worry made me realize that she missed me as much, if not more than I missed her. I told her I loved her, and quickly stopped composing my About Me section on okcupid. She stared me straight in the eye and said “The women’s restroom smells like a pile of rotting vaginas. You, as a man will never have to deal with that.”. I concurred and knew the grocery bill would be substantially lower because I no longer wanted to eat, ever.

Through nothing but sheer will and determination were we able to complete the shopping list. Between her dealing with the stench of unclean women and my new found interest in the same sex, we had a lot to sort out.

Our checkout lady, cashier person was our final challenge. I had stepped away to look at something when the initial scanning process started so I don’t know how it came up but I heard her mumble something about Dallas.

Cashier: “Dallas must have like a million people. Maybe more!”

Cris: *defeated* “Yes.” *smile*

Me: *blank stare*

Cashier: “Dallas Cowboys! I don’t like em’ but some people do.”

Me: *defeated* “Yes.” *smile*

Cris: *blank stare*

We wanted to run out the store but instead we lightly jogged. Driving home was as exciting as the ride there.

sheet2-022“I can’t stand all this beauty, Martha. Look at it.”

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A Rehab Story

Spending time in an adolescence rehab facility will give you stories for a lifetime. It’s like summer camp for fuck ups and future felons.(They should have put that on the brochure and I wouldn’t have gone kicking and screaming.) Taking a bunch of rebellious drug addicted teens and removing their only source of happiness, leads to giggles of the strangest variety. The place I was sent was an extra special type of bat shit crazy. It was a converted dude ranch. The place was built to resemble an Old West town. Trippy shit. We had horses, the whole nine. Almost all of us were city kids detoxing on a Tombstone set for clowns.

Phillip was the new kid, full of life and not a shred of innocence, although, you couldn’t tell it by his looks. A curly headed, pasty white 14 year old just trying to make a name for himself. He stood about 6’2″ and weighed close to 250. He was big for his age.


“I’ll eat this locker for a bump.”

I can’t say I knew Phillip well. Phillip didn’t last long enough for us to get a good grip on what made him tick. If I had to guess, I’d say Tetris and date raping himself randomly.

We knew Phil had a temper, he’d get worked up and get sent off to the Lock Treatment Unit or LTU. The LTU was a shed of sorts with massive metal doors that took 1000 lbs of pressure to open once they were locked. The building had four parts. Two housing units with three sleeping areas each, a holding area, and a middle section that was plexiglass and held a staff member. You had your clothes taken away and replaced with white scrubs. It was demoralizing in a “Hey, this is what I’d look like in Huntsville!” kind of way. I’m pretty sure that was the point. Phil was on his own kind of high. He seemed to enjoy the place. I hated it. Once, I was there for about five days and by the end of it I was stark raving mad. Nothing made any sense. The only thing I had been allowed to do was read the AA books and stare at pink walls.

The LTU is where the genesis of this story really begins. Phil had been sent there, yet again, for God knows what. We all knew who was in the LTU at any given moment, even though it was outside of our boundaries. All of the staff had walkie talkies, and as soon as someone was put in, we’d hear it over the radios. Phillip couldn’t have been in the LTU for more than an hour when an S.O.S type of call went out over the radios. “Phillip has escaped the LTU! All staff! Phillip has escaped the LTU!”. At the time, I was having my lunch in the cafe. The cafe was on the main strip of our little Deadwood type of hell. It had massive windows overlooking the main courtyard. All of us future winners looked at each other in amusement because to our knowledge this was the first breakout of the LTU. We had all tried, only to be beaten into submission by hard plastic and strong magnets. Turns out, the main LTU door had been left slightly open and Phillip carpe diemed that shit.

A minute or two passes and we pretty much went back to eating because young drug addicts and short attention spans are the ying & yang of bleak futures. To our shock we hear a loud thud emanating from the front of the cafe, by the windows. I whip my head around to see Phillip in his underwear, with the largest grin I had ever seen. He had thrown his large body onto the glass, face smushed into it, arms in the air, and a beaming pride that I imagine any prison break participant would give a stamp of approval. Within a few seconds, we see a male staff member try to tackle poor Phillip but he bounced off and Phillip kept running. We ran to the window to see the whole staff chasing Phil in his tighty whities. It took about five grown men to subdue the man child. Phil was smiling the whole way down.
“Where’s your God now?”

Phil was transferred to a local mental hospital and we never saw or heard from him again.

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Coyote’s & Chicken Shit

You know what happens when you live in the boonies without a soul for miles around, besides your gf who is sick and tired of your shit, and you’re chatty? You post irrelevance on the internet.

I’m pretty sure my punctuation is so jacked in the above text, What can you do? Fifth grade was a rough time for me.

A strange occurrence has been going on for the past couple of months. I’m losing weight without trying. I move less while eating just as much. I’ve been mulling over a new diet plan for the masses. I’ll call it “The Biggest Loser”. It requires you to quit your job and to stop seeing your friends. I know I’m stealing a title. Maybe I’ll change it to “The Biggest Looser”. I’ve noticed a common misspelling of the word on the internet so it works. Third grade was a rough time for some. I get it.

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On to the bad news. I think I have arthritis. My left hand is giving me fits. I’m too young for such an ailment. It hit me that I turn 35 in a few months. Halfway to 70. Perhaps that’s why I have half the arthritis. I’m not a fucking doctor.

When I gave my pit bull/American bulldog a bath the other day I did so in the nude. My reasoning is solid and is based on not getting my clothes wet. My reasoning for mentioning it is to let you know how Cris has become immune to my ways. She didn’t even bat an eye as I chased him around naked. It’s nice to have someone get you.

We were offered fresh chicken shit to help our yet to be worked on garden. It was quite the gift. The gentlemen who wanted to give it to us, gave very detailed directions to his mounds of chicken shit. I found the spot but alas no chicken shit was found. He must have moved it. I didn’t know chicken shit was such the commodity that it required strategic hiding spots and black ops type of movements. I haven’t called him to find out its new location because that just seems like an awkward conversation.

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“I sold the shit, Keg. Flu season is over. Walgreens needed a gimmack.”

Have I told you about Cris’s collection of beetles? No? Okay. Cris has managed to acquire two colonies of beetles that are of the eating dead flesh variety. They clean bones. We feed them leftover drumsticks and deli meat. The beetles make homes and breed in styrofoam. We feed beetles leftovers. I’m not sure where my life is headed.

I’m the worst hunter in the region. First off, I’m not a huge fan of killing. I don’t have the heart for it anymore. I do however need to keep the coyote population in check because they don’t share my stance on killing. I think they would if they had their own grocery stores. Secondly, hunting takes dedication, patience and stealth. I’m none of these things. So, what I do is grab my coyote call, set it up at way too close of a distance for any coyote not stricken with schizophrenia to get near, sit in the bed of my truck and play on the internet. I occasionally look up. I’m not distraught about it. I enjoy nature amongst the backdrop of dying jackrabbit sounds in the distance. I’ll play with the call features here and there by simultaneously playing dying bunny with female coyote howl. I feel like a DJ for a redneck rave. I imagine a bunch of camo’d up bearded men having spasms to the sweet melodies of my stellar nature mixes.

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“You have a mighty fine erection, Carl.”

“DJ Buckshot gets me real amped up, Peter.”

I’m done being chatty now. All this socializing is mentally draining.

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Release My Way

Deciding to start a blog was not the easiest decision for me. I, perhaps out of ignorance or maybe stubbornness, viewed blogs as a low form of attention seeking, a public diary for all to mock. My habit of writing mile long Facebook posts led me to research different avenues and to give blogging a shot. I tried a few other websites in my search but all were too restrictive on content or structure. I’ve never done well in being told what to do in creativity. I cuss, I make socially weird statements. Basically, I make written doo doo.
The normal schematic for attacking a blog is identifying your message, articulating and sharing. Most successful blogs are technical in nature, in that they tell you detailed ways to perform a task. Anything from raising a baby, playing cello, playing a baby cello, kidnapping in the modern age, or building a PC with witchcraft & kitty litter. I have no technical skills, even if I did I couldn’t use up what little energy I have into trying to position myself as an expert. The internet is chocked full of “experts”. I’m not thick skinned enough to deal with the ridicule of the web. I deal more in philosophical matters and human interactions, where right or wrong are subjective and debatable. Essentially, I’ve created the least likely to succeed form of blogging. No tips, plenty of opinions and no filter.
I went back to my Facebook news feed to find subject matter to write about. My desire was to find a snippet here or there that would inspire me to expound upon it’s seed. What I took away was my attention seeking ways were shit. My writing was low grade and reaching. I folded my laptop up. I ate dinner. While chewing my food, I beat the piss out of myself and digested my foolishness.
A big influence on my life has been the late Joseph Campbell. If you’re not familiar with his contributions, he spent his entire life studying mythology and how it relates to the human condition. A marvelous intelectual. He was discussing the symbolism of the dragon in certain cultures and how it represents fear. My dragon has always been my own creation. My own head. After a good bit, I decided to give in to the positive thoughts and proceed with this blog. My message is me. My goal is to articulate my meaning of life. I promise honesty and nothing else.
It better make a million fucking dollars.

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