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The Manure Spreader: Farm safety

Tim Moffett Published on 24 February 2015

There was a recent scientific study which stated that living in the city is much safer than living in the country. Apparently, they looked at all the relevant statistics from hospital records.

That’s simply not fair – because country people simply do not go to hospitals. My uncle’s philosophy was you only go to the hospital if, as he said, “You need to put it back on or pull it back out.”

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I saw where one of the things city folk went to the hospital for was food poisoning. Not to brag, but you are talking to a man who in biology class cooked his own frog legs with a Bunsen burner. And I only missed half the prom.

Driving might be a little safer. In the city, you might run a red light, whereas in the country, your car may not have lights. In the city, you might hit the occasional pothole, but in the country, you run the risk of hitting your neighbor’s cow. Hitting the cow isn’t that bad. The worst part is trying to convince your neighbor that his cow was not a rare breed worth $22,000.

I know riding the school bus must be safer. In the city, they have certified school bus drivers with CDL licenses. We had Frank Peterson. Frank was kicked out of the amateur NASCAR circuit for being too aggressive.

When we found out he started driving in the school bus races on the weekends, all us kids made a pact to walk home on Fridays. Frank liked to practice for the figure-eight race, so our school bus was missing half the windows on the right side. My cousin actually lost his retainer twice while gazing out the window.

The thing about bad weather – when it hits a city, they have a wonderful word called “evacuate.” It must be nice to go someplace safe while enjoying heat or air conditioning with cable TV, cookies and juice. Meanwhile, I’m throwing concrete blocks on the barn roof to keep it from blowing away.

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City folk drinking hot coffee while texting about how cold it must be outside. I am outside. Standing on my head in 6 feet of snow trying to get the generator to crank, only to hear my brother sarcastically say, “You know, these cows aren’t gonna milk themselves.”

Most cities today have major water treatment plants; they add fluoride to the water to aid in the development of healthy teeth. Growing up, I was lucky if I actually had a nozzle at the end of the hose. Our well water had so much heavy metal and minerals that one afternoon three toy makers from China showed up and said, “Hey, you might wanna slow up on drinking that.”

I’m not calling my mom an alchemist, but turning our water into lemonade was like making gold from lead. I was 18 and in college when I discovered Kool-Aid was sweet and I shouldn’t have the aftertaste of anti-freeze when I brush my teeth. To this day, even if I’m naked, I have trouble getting through airport security.

Even if the scientists are right, I still believe I will stay on the farm. I would rather take my chances relying on myself or my neighbors than on a lot of numbers and statistics. So take it from me, what’s gonna happen is gonna happen.

So jam that screwdriver in the fuse panel to keep the current flowing, throw the keys of the gooseneck trailer to your 10-year-old nephew – he’s tall enough now – take a big swig of a drink from the barn water hose, and enjoy living the dangerous life. PD

Tim is a Florida dairy farmer and stand-up comedian. Live dangerously and visit him at his website.

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