Open mouth; insert foot

Published 3:57 pm Tuesday, February 25, 2020

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think that if I had it made in the shade with over $60 billion dollars to enjoy, that’s exactly what I would do. Enjoy my $60 billion dollars in my penthouse in New York City.

Instead, this candidate for the presidency of the United States, who has made a lot of one kind of green, wants to tell farmers how to make a crop. I guess my daddy didn’t know how easy it was to farm.

“Daddy,” I might have said right before I ducked to miss his backhand, “what are you doing all dirty and sweaty?”

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“Son, I make my living by the sweat of my brow. I harrowed the field before I broke it. Then, I harrowed it again to smooth it out for the planting. I hooked up the planter and poured the seed into the hopper and tried my best to plant a straight row.”

Daddy continued. “I’m hoping and praying for a rain so that the seeds will have enough moisture to germinate and, once they get about six to eight inches tall, I’ll put on another kind of plow and lay the crop by. At some point, I’ll spread some nitrogen and continue to worry about enough rain.”

I asked, “And then you’ll sit back and rest?”

“Oh no,” he replied. “At some point, an ear will appear and mature. That will be about June and we’ll go out and pull a few hundred of the ears and shuck them; try to get all the silks out so that your momma can put up some corn and you can enjoy that creamed corn you like so much.”

Again I asked, “And then it’s over?”

“Not so fast grasshopper. That’s just for pleasure. No, July will come and the sun will dry the crop and then we’ll harvest it.”

“That’s the easy part, right daddy?” I asked.

“No,” he continued, “that’s the hot and dusty part. Hopefully, the combine will hold together. It’s pretty old and chances are that something will tear up and we’ll have to stop and fix the machine if we can. We may even have to call someone to come out and replace a part or two. That could get expensive and what profit we might make could be lost if that happens.”

“Then, it’s over, right?” Daddy’s explanation was taking a long time.

“Not yet,” he said. “Then the corn has to be loaded onto trucks or wagons and hauled to where the corn is bought.”

“That’s the reward part, I guess.” I smiled.

“Probably not,’ Daddy answered. “The price of corn is always low and there is very little to be made at the end of the day.”

“One more question, daddy. Why do you go to all that trouble?”

“I heard someone who’s running for president say that he could teach anyone to do what you just explained. He was from New York City and sounded very genuine and authoritative. He said all you needed to do was to ‘dig a hole and put some seed in it. Cover the seed up and water it.’”

“‘Scuse me for saying it, Daddy, but it seems you are making a mountain out of a mole hill. That man was dressed in a tailored suit and I don’t think I saw a hint of sweat anywhere around him. Do you think he is on to a new way of farming?”

“Son,” Daddy said, “I don’t think that man from New York City would know the back side of mule from the front. I also think that if you wait for him to put any of that delicious creamed corn on your plate, you’ll forget what it tastes like.”