Friday, August 10, 2007

Tractor Games

I was reading this week about a sporting event in Texas called The Redneck Games, which included heats in the mudhole belly-flop and mattress chuck. Vemont rednecks, commonly referred to as "Vermonters", have our sport too. Getting tractors stuck deep in the woods is chief among the summer competitions. The idea is to find a place in the forest most inaccessible to any piece of equipment bigger than the one you've got -- the only thing that can save you -- and bury it.

Of course, the next step is to find somebody with a bigger tractor, skidder, or backhoe and convince them to risk their machine to save yours. This is the real art of the sport and what separates Vermonters from Texans. It's all about tact, persuasion and charm. You anticipate the excuses and preempt them, IE: "Unless you're afraid you'll get stuck too." Works almost as good as cash.

Being a Kubota tractor owner makes things easier because John Deere owners love nothing more than to pull Kubotas out of the mud. There is a particular smirk unique to the John Deere pilot with a Kubota on the end of his logging chain. The common English phrase "Green with envy" refers directly to the Kubota owner watching the signature green Deere do what he could not do for himself. It makes us humble, introspective and desperate for a voice of our own. It makes us drive sensible cars and wear sensible shoes and send Socialists to the US Senate.

But, Vermont politics, that's a different sport for a different blog on another day. I think I hear the neighbor's John Deere coming up the road. Gotta run.

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