A field hand’s job is to support their farmer not just physically, but emotionally. It takes a variety of forms. Need someone to till the soil? I’m your guy. Seeds need planting? Look no further. Cousin’s wedding coming up, you don’t have a date, and you need someone to make a sack of wheat look like a sexy, age-appropriate human being so that you can show it off to the rest of your family and call it your romantic partner? I’m way ahead of you.
I consider myself to be a person who goes above and beyond. Just last month, I convinced the farmer not to vaccinate the livestock by showing him an anti-vaxxer meme that was posted in a Facebook group my Aunt invited me to. I didn’t have to do that. In fact, I was all out of cellular data at the time. I used it all to stream The BFG three times. I can understand a giant being big. I mean, what giant isn’t? But one that’s friendly, too? How do you come up with that? Of course, he doesn’t seem that big when I’m watching him on my phone screen, but his friendliness is still impressive in the truncated format.
It’s unprecedented for me to be this displeased with the farmer. I usually love that guy. I once continued working for the rest of the day after I inadvertently impaled myself with a pitchfork, just so he’d say he admires my work ethic. He not only didn’t praise my work ethic, but he didn’t even comment on the fact that a pitchfork was sticking out of my chest for the entire day. He just acted like it wasn’t even there. Did he not notice? It was a four and a half foot object, jutting out of my body, so he must have, right? I don’t know. But what I do know is that his lack of acknowledgment made me respect him even more.
Yet that respect has been waning lately, since he hasn’t stopped crying about the plague-like effects the farm has endured since I accidentally ran over a witch over with a tractor. (She wandered onto the property looking for root of hemlock for her witch’s brew.)
Oh, boo hoo, the crops are all dead and nothing will grow in the soil. It’s like he’s never had a curse placed upon him before…
To be fair, we probably shouldn’t have been growing hemlock in the first place. The farmer did express concern that it would attract malevolent magic wielders to the property (the farm is currently gentrifying a predominantly witch neighborhood). But I convinced him to plant it so that I could show it to the bus driver in hopes that he would be impressed and I would get some sort of preferential treatment (free rides, forcing the other passengers to sing to me on my birthday, etc.). Unfortunately, not only did bringing a poisonous plant on public transit fail to make me look cool to the driver, but it also got me permanently banned from the bus.
As if things couldn’t get worse, every day the farmer moans about how he’s worried he’ll have no crops to sell this year and won't be able to afford his mortgage, blah blah blah. I’ve never seen him this pathetic. Even after his wife died because some of the hemlock seeped into the water supply and poisoned her, he wasn’t this annoying. I keep telling him the same thing I told him then, “You couldn’t have done anything to prevent this. Now let’s go rip some shots in a Burger King parking lot and see how many chicken nuggets we can eat without yarfing.”
But that doesn’t seem to cheer him up this time.
All he can seem to focus on are the blackened crops, the swarms of locusts that fill the sky over the land, and the fact that the cows have started shooting acid out of their udders that burns holes in metal buckets (although that one could possibly be attributed to not vaccinating them). All his fretting is leaving little time for him to do a farmer’s most important job: chilling with his best friend.
I didn’t get into this line of work for the crops, or the tractors, or the vague paranoia that the scarecrow was in a different place before I turned my head. I got into it for the camaraderie. Now that that’s gone, other than having an excuse to wear an admittedly sweet pair of overalls, what am I doing here?
I’m reminded of a meme my Aunt posted featuring a picture a Neo from The Matrix stopping bullets, along with the words, “Why do we need vaccines if our immune system protects us?” If you substitute “farming” for “vaccines,” and “we can’t even chill with our homeboy, the farmer,” for “our immune system protects us,” that pretty much sums up how I feel.