May 6, 2014



I’ve told you before that I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Nor the brightest bulb in the light. And Shirley is constantly warning me not to think.
But the other day I was deep in serious thought. And I was thinking while I was driving a truck, and hauling a loader tractor, to a hay field to pick up last year’s hay that I didn’t have time to haul when I should have.
It is about a 70-mile haul. And the truck is short of power. So it seems like you have the brakes on as you climb every hill.
We did notice before we loaded that there was kind of a low tire. Well, maybe more than kind of. But I assured my son that I would go slowly so it would be alright. I was anxious to get to the field.
Driving a slow truck on a nearly deserted highway tends to give you plenty of time to think. So I was thinking about the weather. And politics. And cows. And articles. And golf. And whiskey. And horses. I was thinking that tractor sure is heavy as I downshifted on every hill.
Then, three miles from the hay field, KABOOM! And a cloud of dust flew up and that trailer damn near tipped over and pulled that truck to a standstill. My last tire had just blown! I mean last one on one side. And you see, there should have been four! I got out and gingerly walked around that truck to see what was left. Thinking I had blown a tire. And I had. Evidently I had blown three earlier. And two quite a while ago, because the rims were wore down to nothing. I bet that little bearing was really screaming when it had to go that fast to keep up!
Well I surveyed the situation. Then I swore at the truck operator. Which was I. And I realized why I had to shift down so often. Then I figured I had better get that tractor off that trailer and get that trailer off the road before someone pops over the hill and wrecks everything.
I got up on that trailer, which was tilted pretty dang bad. And figured that if the tractor tipped over as I backed it off, that is probably what I deserved. Well, it didn’t. So all I wrecked was four tires, four rims, maybe an axle, and a lot of my pride. Of which I don’t have a lot to spare anymore.
And I got to thinking again. I know I shouldn’t. But I was thinking about Herb, the prairie dog (pd) hunter. I wrote about him a few years ago. He drug that hay cutter around the field with a flat tire cutting a trench in the field. Because, as he explained to me, “the fricking mirrors weren’t set!” And I explained to him, rather sternly, that, “As long as you are sitting on that tractor, glance back once in awhile!”
Good advice. I should have listened to my speech.