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Annual dilemna: What to get a farmer for his birthday?Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2012, at 12:09 PM
I never know what to get my farmer for his birthday.
After all, the only things he seems to want are shiny new tractors complete with the appropriate accessories. Of course, I can't get those; they'd be too hard to wrap.
So what do you get the man who wants nothing unless it costs six figures and fills a machine shed?
Through the years I've given a lifetime supply of pliers, handkerchiefs, sweatshirts, coveralls and insulated mud boots. One especially romantic birthday I gave him long underwear. He wasn't particularly thrilled, but warmer nonetheless.
This year I decided to come up with a few original ideas:
--A farm-proof cell phone, which could withstand not only being dropped in water but being banged with a hammer, melted with a torch, fed through a combine, eaten by a cow (and successfully passed through the other end) and dragged through a field still attached to the disk rim, where it was inadvertently left.
It would need to be able withstand months under ground, but still have all his numbers available when he found it after fall field work. It also needs a tracking device, so he can find it even if falls out of his pocket somewhere between our house and the National Farm Show.
--An aerial photograph of our farm completely weed-free. In the picture the corn must not only be as high as an elephant's eye, but the ears must be so big they look like a seed company test plot. The beans must look like pole beans weighted down with pods.
--A tape recorder so he can tape and play the same old complaints year after year. "Wish it would rain," "It seems like we can't buy a rain," "We must not be livin' right," and my personal favorite, "How come it always rains there (1/2 mile down the road), but never rains here?"
Next, he can tape the complaints for the next year or month (maybe even the next day). "Wish it stop raining," "It seems like we couldn't pay enough to get the rain to stop," "We must not be living right," and my other favorite: "How come it never rains there, but always rains here?" I'll bet a lot of husbands would go for that gift, with just a little work pre-recording, they'd never have to talk to their wives again.
--A 24-hour, weather-radar radio station reporting exact rain percentages for each farmer's specific fields. "Farmer Brown's corn field is now getting a slow and steady rain that looks like it will last about three hours. But what's this? Oh this is bad. Just ½ mile north over at Farmer Gorrell's corn field, the skies are partly sunny with only a 10 percent chance of rain." The station must give up-to-date forecasts every two minutes. Hubby would listen again and again just to see if it changed.
Besides those four, I came up with a few bonus gifts.
--A farmer's wish book reminiscent of Sear's Christmas catalog, but full of all those machines farmers love to browse.
--A lifetime supply of chore gloves (which also have a tracking device.)
--Jeans and overalls that are won't tear or stain no matter where he goes or what he does. (Maybe that gift would be for me?)
--Caller-ID which could automatically identify the caller. That way, he would be able to miss those constant ag research company calls, wanting to know whether he will plant seed company A or seed company B soybeans next year.
So with all these great ideas guess what I got hubby for his birthday? That's right, two sweatshirts, a pair of pliers and new mud boots.
They say it's the thought that counts anyway.
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