Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Scents of Humor

While it is evident that we can get a whiff of my sense of humor (such as it is) during the Summer months, as can be seen by our first and second posts regarding our pea crops.  But, it becomes clear to me that humor during the peak of the growing season is more often embedded in more serious topics most of the time.  On the other hand, once we get to November - all bets are off!  Suddenly he writes about cats rolling up fences and unknown authority figures inspecting okra.

But, what you all might not know (or maybe you do) is that Tammy and I will often share a humorous observance with each other (often as we are traveling from one place to another).  Many of those show up in our blog posts.  Most of them are forgotten (sometimes this is good, often it is kind of sad).  And, some few are remembered, but we struggle to find places or times to share them.

So, today we share a couple of our odd or mildly humorous observations from the past year.  Please remember, farm humor can sometimes seem a little less kind, but it does reflect certain realities that we witness and deal with that many other people do not.

The Fork of Damocles
This one came up as we were observing to each other that we only had a week or so left for one of our batches of broiler chickens this year.  Just to fill you in briefly, broiler chickens are cute when they are chicks and can be mildly fun to watch as they grow.  But, the bigger they get, the less fun they become as far as we're concerned.  They eat more.  They drink more.  They tear up pasture more, so they have to get moved more.  And, they just get more irritating and less amusing.  So, by the time we hit the last week or so of their time on the farm, we're ready for them to go.
the 'Nuggets' in and around their trailer home
We strongly considered fashioning a large fork and hanging it over their trailer and call it the "Fork of Damocles."  We'd do that just as a reminder that the cushy existence they live in at our farm always has that constant threat of being ON the dinner table rather than next to it.  After all, we can just stick a fork in them when they're done!

But, upon review, we determined that the humor would be lost on them.  That, and fashioning a large fork and hanging it securely seemed a bit too much like it would resemble work before we completed the project.

Sometimes, just building a picture in your head is enough.

The First Squinny of... Oh
First, we should fill you in on what a Squinny is.  You can certainly go with the recent Des Moines Register article that claims it is a term used primarily in Des Moines, Iowa.  And, since I grew up in Newton (just 30 miles away) you could argue that my use of it came by me honestly by virtue of my residence in the region at that time.  Tammy, on the other hand, had to learn to use the term properly since she grew up elsewhere.
13 lined ground squirrel = SQUINNY
Squinnies are fairly common in roadside ditches throughout Iowa and they usually start appearing in April after sitting out the Winter months.  These critters do burrow and they do cause some problems on our farm with root crops.  They can (and do) burrow down a carrot row and eat the roots from the bottom up.  It can be pretty disappointing to pull a batch of carrots that look good and find most them shortened significantly or hollowed out.

And, like many small critters that live by the side of the road, they will dart across the gravel (or pavement) every once in a while.

This April, while Tammy and I were going down our gravel road, we took note of a squinny.  The conversation went something like this:

Tammy: Oh, look!  The first squinny of....
***squinny darts across the road and directly under one of the truck tires***
Tammy: Oh.

Let's just say that the lines on that particular squinny got a bit wider and it was a bit shorter than it had been.... and a lot less active. 

But, the thing that made this so humorous for us was the tone of voice Tammy used.  She started with the normal tone you might hear from anyone who observes a sign of Spring for the first time each year.  She was mildly excited to take note of a critter we hadn't seen since October (or thereabout) and was brightly pointing it out to me.  But, when the little critter made the fateful decision to direct itself - with perfect timing - into the path of Chumley the truck, her toned changed to the normal "Oh.  Never mind" tone that people use

Perhaps you had to be there.  But, if you hear us reference the "First Squinny of Spring," you now know the reference.

Have a great Tuesday!

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