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Tim the Dairy Farmer: Tough wash

Tim Moffett for Progressive Dairy Published on 25 August 2021
Tim Moffett

My grandpa always said, “Boy, if you’re gonna be dumb, you better be tough.” I always believed my grandpa to be tough as nails, but did that mean he was dumb as a box of rocks? He definitely wasn’t a philosopher.

My grandpa was missing two fingers on his right hand. As a kid, I asked him where his fingers went. He told me when he was my age, he was picking his nose during church and some tough booger ate his finger. That might be where I got my sarcasm from, but at least I wouldn’t have stuck a second finger back in there for more.



He actually lost his fingers to a single-row corn chopper and could never count higher than eight. One of my readers sent me a story of a teenage boy who had a mishap with a PTO shaft. Apparently, this young man lost his pants and one testicle. Now, he’s 50 and has several grandkids from his four children. His family said he was half nuts, but he was tough.

I think the toughest of people are the farm wives and mothers who tend to kids, feed everyone, run the finances, pick up parts and wash clothes.

Washing clothes may seem simple to some of you, but have you ever thought about what someone doing farm laundry must endure? Stains and blotches are the least of their worries. Downy fresh? Nope, the goal is “cleaner than it was.”

Think about pulling clothes out of the dryer and realizing some idiot left a paint marker stick in their pocket. “Mom, why are my tighty whities pink?” “Because your dad’s a buffoon!” Silage and hay always do wonders to make clothes soft yet itchy. If you’re ever wondering what happened to that 9/16-inch wrench, just check the laundry. Imagine if every time you unloaded the washing machine you found nuts and bolts, flat washers and screws. You’d think the washer was falling apart.

If a normal person found needles, syringe wrappers, alcohol wipes in the washer, they’d think somebody in the family was an addict. Most spouses would be upset if they found a piece of paper with a strange number on it. Not on the farm. What can cause anger is crumbles of what used to be a sale barn check. The only compensation for doing laundry is when someone actually leaves bills and coins in their pockets.


So what I’m trying to say here is: You need to thank the person in your life who does the laundry. And it ain’t that tough to reach in and empty out your pockets. Even if you don’t have all your fingers. end mark

A special thanks to all of you who have emailed me some great topic ideas and stories. If you have a topic or a real-life “it’s funny now” story you’d like me to write about, please visit Tim the Dairy Farmer or email Tim Moffett.