Denial never solves anything. (A fact that also applies to the fiscal contortions emanating from DC.) So the tractor was stuck…after all that hard work I had to admit it.
What to do? I’d screwed something up. What? How to fix it?
I rolled the poor, old, dead, stuck, tractor back into the garage, cracked a beer. I stared at it. It’s important to stare at stuff. And beer…that’s just a given.
Then I explained the situation (yeah – I talk to my tractor. Didn’t you read my tag-line?):
“Listen buddy…I don’t like this and you don’t like it either. But you’ve got to run for me. If I can’t coax you to life I’m going to have to buy something new. I’ll probably finance a twenty grand Kubota from the ads in Mother Earth News. You know the ones I’m talking about? The ones where some bobblehead trophy wife uses a brand new diesel bucket loader to move a 50 pound bale of hay to a to a quarter horse and thinks she’s ‘farming’? Where they show a yuppie poser jackoff mowing a meticulously landscaped irrigated lawn surrounding a 3,000 square foot log mansion and call it ‘the simple life’. Hydrostatic drive! Heated seats! Is that what you want!?!”
“And then once I buy it I’m going to realize that I sell eggs from a homestead. That eggs would never ever in a million years pay for a pricey new machine. And I’ll have to give up homesteading and become a rat on a wheel. I’ll devolve into an amoral lawyer. I’ll probably find some guy who sells eggs and sue him into the stone age for a big egg conglomerate that’s based in Dubai. You’ll wind up painted bright colors and used as a yard ornament. With flowers growing all around and your engine sold for scrap. I’ll be filthy rich with a new plastic tractor that’s never had mud on it’s tires. I’ll hire an illegal alien to use it to mow the lawn while I’m busy looking for lemonade stands to shut down and Homeowners Associations that need a hired gun. I’ll spend my days hanging out with hedge fund managers, making companies do ISO9000 reviews, foreclosing on orphanages, and consorting with politicians. You don’t want that do you?!?”
The tractor spoke; “Stop! Stop! You’re killing me!”
“Ah ha!” I knew you weren’t dead yet. I was delighted to hear my tractor speak!
“Far be it for me to disrupt your revere but you’re over-thinking this.” Spoke the tractor. It’s calm and measured voice was reassuring; as it always had been. A voice of wisdom. One that had worked hard and long and (assuming it ever gets re-assembled) fully intends to outlast generations of people who’ve cared for it and then moved on.
“Really?” I pondered “What’s the obvious solution. Did I over-torque the crankshaft bearings? Mess-up the piston rods? What happened?”
“Pick up some tools, find out what you screwed up, and un-screw it.” Came the wise reply.
“Hmmm… that makes sense. Can I make a joke about politicians now?” I chuckled.
“No! And for your information, you’re going to really need me soon.” It threatened.
That weekend my auxiliary backup plan B second in command tractor died. I knew it was coming. It’s missing so many parts that it’s more like half a tractor. The Ford, speaking through the ether (and the beer) had known.