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Tales of a Hay Hauler: Altered states

Brad Nelson Published on 27 April 2010

Overheard from a fellow who was married to a beautician, “It’s like being married to a chameleon, I never know what I’m going to come home to.” He went on to talk about asking questions only his wife would know the answer to before patting on the fanny the redhead who had been a blonde ten hours earlier.

I had a hand in altering the thoughts and actions of a young man a few years back. My oldest daughter happened to mention that she had accepted a date with this fellow. The girls saw him as “cute” and he was witty and somewhat of a live wire, someone whose mother should have taught him that it was not a good idea to make his teachers cry. One of his teachers had a sign by her desk that read, “Everyone who enters here brings joy. Some when they enter and others when they leave.” Unfortunately, the young man of the current discussion was in the latter group.

I happened upon this fellow in a hallway a couple of days before the date with my daughter. I reached out and laid my arm across his back and took a firm grip on his far shoulder. I made sure he felt the full weight of a professional hay hauler’s muscular arm across his back. “How ya doin?” I asked him. He stated that things were just coming up roses for him. I told him that was just great. Then I told him that we needed to have an understanding about his intentions toward my daughter.

“You need to understand,” I said, “That if you so much as touch her you are dead meat. I mean I will find you and when I am finished with you, you will not even remember why you used to think girls were interesting. So, if your intentions are just one teeny little bit shy of perfectly honorable, this is your one and only chance to leave this situation while all of your bodily functions still work. Any questions?”

He had none. He also had been finished talking with me before I was done talking with him.

A couple of days after the date, I asked my daughter how the evening went. She said it had been wonderful. Then she added, “I couldn’t believe it. He was the absolute perfect gentleman.” He never asker her out again.

One of my neighbors in Middleton, Idaho was an Idaho State Trooper. I had been scouting for hay in the pick-up one day, and as I drove home Pat was out mowing his lawn. I drove over to the edge of his yard and when he stopped his lawnmower to see what I wanted, I tossed him a quart-size plastic bag filled with a core sample of alfalfa hay that was bound for the forage lab the next morning. As he reached out to catch the bag, I yelled out, “Pat! Look at what they are selling downtown!” He stuttered for all of the fifteen seconds it took him to realize that, #1, I was full of it, #2, that I was a hay hauler and often had with me samples of hay, and #3, that the contents in the bag were not “wacky tobacco.” He told me to go home and quit picking on him.

My younger brother, Lyle, for a long time was so skinny that he acquired the nick-name of “String Bean”. During this era, a fellow from eastern Idaho needed help to unload a load of hay near Sand Hollow. I gave him Lyle’s phone number. The next time I talked to this hay hauler he told me about his experience with Lyle.

He was just finishing his meal at the Sand Hollow Café when Lyle walked in, with his hay chaps and hay hooks. When he realized that this skinny kid was his helper, he said to himself, “Oh crap”, expecting it to be a long time unloading. He said that half an hour later he said “Oh crap” again, but this time for a different reason. “That skinny kid was putting hay bales on the hay elevator so fast that if I had stumbled they would not have found my body until next spring!” I just smiled. Everyone needs to have their attitude altered every now and again.  PD

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