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The Adventures of Tractor Man

October 29th, 2017

Strange Visitor from the Planet Diesel

I feel like I got nothing at all done today, but when I list my achievements, they sound pretty good. I applied Roundup to every plant I could find that resembled poison oak or poison ivy. I used it to kill a young magnolia and a bunch of small live oaks. I also took a bag of Amdro fire ant granules and nuked our mounds. I bush-hogged a big percentage of the big pasture. I also cleared a lot more oak branches away and put them on the burn pile, which was still smoldering from yesterday. I put several gallons of water on the pile to keep it from flaring up again. I ordered a new garbage disposal for a tenant. I ordered myself another Carhartt jacket, in a lighter weight than the one I already have. I need something I can work in, when the weather is between 40 and 60 degrees. On top of all that, I took my dad to Tractor Supply and made sure he had a good lightweight jacket of his own. It’s going to be 39 degrees here tonight.

I’m not sure if we have poison oak and poison ivy or not, but I found a bunch of plants that look a whole lot like the pictures on the Internet. I had to stop clearing hurricane debris because of them. I read up on poison ivy to make sure I didn’t expose myself to it.

I read something reassuring: you don’t get poison ivy just from touching it lightly. The contact has to be sufficient to get urushiol, the poisonous compound in poison ivy, on you. The best way to get it is to break something so the juice comes out.

Anyway, I am being very judicious about what I touch when I move debris, and I use the tractor’s forks by themselves when I can. In the areas where I sprayed Roundup, I plan to leave things alone. Maybe I can go back in when the plants have had time to die and rot. You can’t burn them, and you can’t handle them when they’re dead, because the urushiol takes years to break down. I figure rot is the easiest solution.

The Internet says one of the best ways to get a rash is to get urushiol on your tools or gloves and then touch them later, so I am trying very hard to keep my gloves away from my eyes and nose.

I don’t know how strongly I react to poison ivy, but I am not in a hurry to find out. Mangoes contain urushiol, and some people can’t go near them. Supposedly, there is urushiol in mango skin. I’ve skinned a zillion mangoes, and they never bothered me. But I am not anxious to be my own guinea pig in an experiment that causes a horrible rash that lasts two weeks.

I suppose I got enough done today.

My big problem these days isn’t getting things done. It’s getting to bed on time. I hate to go to bed. I enjoy the things I do so much, I don’t want to quit. When I know it’s time to quit, I linger and procrastinate. I wish I could go out and cut some downed trees right now.

The lifestyle here suits me perfectly. I love the work clothes; Carhartt and Danner should pay me to endorse them. I have come to feel nervous when I’m not wearing a ball cap; if I find myself leaving the house without my Tractor Supply cap, I go back in and look for it. I love the tools. Everyone should have a tractor with a front end loader. I didn’t realize how incomplete I was without one. A man with a good-sized tractor is a superhero. Lift a compressor? No problem. Pull a tree down? Hold my beer and watch.

My parents should never have left Kentucky. Being a Southerner is what it’s all about. It’s just better. Period. No wonder so many people want Confederate flags. What we have is great, and what other symbol do we have to celebrate it? Maybe a flag with Colonel Sanders’ face on it. Or the flag of Jesusland.

It may sound weird that I enjoy life this much when I’m so solitary, but it doesn’t bother me at all.

It’s late. Time to knock off.

I’ll try to take more photos in the future. It’s inconvenient to take my gloves off, but I’ll work on it.

3 Responses to “The Adventures of Tractor Man”

  1. Juan Paxety Says:

    I never had much luck killing oaks with Roundup. Let us know if it actually works.

  2. Og Says:

    You should make some fire ant castings with molten aluminum.

  3. Steve H. Says:

    I got better advice regarding killing live oaks. The thing to use is motor oil or some other petroleum product. I always have diesel sitting around, so I think I’m all set.