Wednesday, May 18, 2011

"Son of a ..."

So when I was just a lad of 12 or 13, I like many others my age, was not only pupating, but trying to prove my man hood through a series of various "real world" experiences.

I had the honor of working for a poor sheep farmer down the road who smoked on the sly and wore his hat just leaning to one side high on his head. He assigned me various tasks all Summer long not the least of which included castrations, disassembling broken sheds, feeding, hauling dead sheep and of course stacking hay. The hay elevator consisted of a single conveyor with large teeth meant to stick in the individual bales of hay and carry them to the top of the hay stack. One would typically stand at the bottom loading bales while another would stand on top and receive the bales and stack them in such a way as to tie the stack together under the cover of an open sided hay shed.

As the work required two, I was authorized to bring a friend on and Gary Willard was the most available. I believe he wore biker shorts to school on occasion after the manner of Axl Rose, a contemporary inspiration to us pubescent boys. But on this day he wore jeans and leather gloves.

It was required that we lift one side of the heavy elevator and lean it against the upper most bales of the existing stack. I relished the opportunity. With Gary as my audience, I chose to do it alone and planned my expletive accordingly. I grunted as I lifted the conveyor cautiously above my head leaning it first against the hay wall then with a final effort pushed the steel elevator to the top. I walked away with a dramatic fling of my arms and overtly exclaimed "Son of a ....." while looking down so as to seem sincere. Gary Willard said nothing but I felt I had made an indelible impression on my counterpart that day. I was now a swearer, a usurper of manly words, a force to be reckoned with!The delivery and timing were perfect.

When we went back to school in the Fall, I was still a nerd.